Phone photography means freedom and capturing special moments with family and friends. It may be tricky at first to get a good shot, but here are some tips to help improve your photography. Remember the best camera is always the one you have with you.
• Hold the phone like you would a camera: Use two hands for stability (whether you are shooting in portrait or landscape mode). Try holding the phone with one hand and release the shutter with your thumb of the other hand.
• Keep the camera still: This can stop your pictures from being blurred. Keep your hand still a second or two after shooting, since the shot is still processing.
• Zooming in: Use your feet, not your camera. If you want a close up shot, walk in and don’t be afraid of getting close. If you do use the camera’s zoom, remember the greater the zoom, it’s likely camera shake will cause your photos to lack sharpness.
• Take multiple shots of the same thing: One of the images will be vastly better than the others.
• Check your phone camera’s resolution and picture quality settings: Set them on the highest available (please refer to your phone’s manual for details).
• Shoot from the height of your subject: If you want your child to stand out in the photo, get down to their height. Don’t be afraid to get close.
• Move around and get in different positions: You can easily improve your photos by finding a more interesting angle – e.g. shoot from a different perspective. Find a nice low angle or maybe shoot from above at times.
• Keep your photos simple: Don’t have too much going on in your photo. Everything in the image should contribute to the mood and emotion you want.
• Make sure your phone camera lens is clean: Cleaning the lens can make a big difference to your shots.
• Focus on the eyes: To set focus, tap on the screen where you want the focus to be. If you are photographing people, their eyes should be the focus point.
• When photographing kids keep the session short and fun: Play games with them and even ask them if they can see their reflection in the lens to get good eye contact with the camera.
• Lighting: The quality of light can determine the success of a photo.
– When shooting portraits, avoid sun and direct light on faces, which can create harsh shadows and squinting. Look for soft light –
e.g. light from a window, which will provide a soft and pleasing look to your photo.
• Use a plain background: This shows off the subject you are photographing. When you’re ready to take your picture, study the area surrounding your subject. For example, make sure a tree isn’t ‘growing from the head’ of your subject !
Advanced tips for better Phone Photography
Depth and perspective: Photographs that have a feeling of depth are dynamic and powerful. Include something interesting in the foreground of the photo, as this can help to add a sense of depth to the photograph. For example, lines like the edges of buildings
or the shoreline create a sense of depth, and can draw the viewer’s eyes into the photo.
Be unique: Don’t use the same Instagram or other app filters that literally millions of other people are using.
Find different perspectives: try taking photos from a unique, unexpected angle can make them more memorable. Get down on your knees, lay down on the ground, climb a ladder, climb a tree: there are hundreds of possibilities for capturing another point of view of the same subject and you should try as many of them as possible.
Play with reflections: Our eyes are drawn to reflections. Look for opportunities to play with them in photos. There are plenty of places to find reflections — puddles, larger bodies of water, mirrors, sunglasses, drinking glasses and metallic surfaces.
Don’t be afraid to edit: there are many other great photo and video editing apps out there for mobile phones. Editing your photos is the next step to better images. They’ll let you make adjustments like contrast, sharpness, and color temperature. Be selective! Try to choose only the best pictures and then edit those.
Get out and take more photos
Composing and taking your smartphone photo is just the first step to making it visually compelling. Photography is all about using light. Even the most boring composition will be saved by the good light no matter if it’s a day or evening.
As a professional photographer, I never take just one picture. Take a shot, critique it, then take another shot. Change your angle, change your distance to the subject, change your exposure. Almost always your end result will be better than the first image you took.