Taking Better Smartphone Photos

Looking to take better pictures with your phone? You will be snapping like a pro with these six tips. Images are the best way to grab people’s attention online and having dark or poor-quality photos can mean you get overlooked. However, you don’t need an expensive camera or tons of photography experience to get great-looking images. Everything you need to create amazing photos is right on your smartphone.

6 Ways To Improve Your Photos

#1 Prepare

It is really hard to take an amazing photo on the fly.  I am not saying it can’t be done but most people need to prepare a bit before they just start shooting.  

The first thing you want to do is plan out what shots you want to take. 

Things To Think About:
What feeling or benefit do you want to convey with your photo?
Where (locations) are you going to shoot?
What supplies do you need such as backdrops or props?
Do you need someone to help you take the photos?

Next, you want to make sure you understand how to use the functions on your camera phone.

Common Phone Camera Functions:
Portrait Mode – This mode automatically detects a well-lit subject within a certain distance from the camera and creates a blurred background effect on your photo.

Burst Mode — If you are shooting a moving object hold down the shoot button to enable burst. This mode will take serval pictures and allow you to sift through them all and choose the best one.

Grid Overlay – You can turn this function on and see a nine-square grid whenever you use your camera.  This will allow you to use these lines to create a better composition for your photos.

Photo Size – You can choose which size to shoot your photos.  This can come in handy when taking photos for Instagram.

Last but not least, make sure to clean your phone’s camera lens before taking a photo.  This is a quick and easy step that should never be skipped.  Your phone’s camera lens can get dirt and oil from your hands on it and this affects your photo.

#2 Lighting

You want to make sure your photos are bright and well-lit. This is one of the main things that can make or break a photo. The good news is you don’t need expensive lighting equipment to get a good picture.  Natural lighting is the best lighting when taking photos and it is FREE.  

Natural Lighting Tips:
Avoid direct sunlight – This kind of light is hard to work with due to the various shadows and glares that it casts. When shooting outdoors look for spots that have open shade.

Use windows — When shooting photos inside position your subject near a window. This will give you the benefit of natural light inside.  Open blinds and curtains to let the light flow into the room to instantly improve the appearance of your photos.

Avoid yellow or orange light – Most homes are filled with soft yellow light and this can ruin a good picture. In areas where natural or soft light is unavailable opt for photo lighting equipment.  Check out my favorite inexpensive photo lighting options here.

Tips for Taking Better Smartphone Photos

#3 Composition

The placement of your subject or subjects within your photo can help your photo go from good to amazing.  You never know what will look interesting so play around with the composition when taking photos.  If you have enabled your photo grid on your phone, then you can use the rule of thirds to help you with this.

This “rule of thirds” is known as the golden rule of photography. The idea is to divide your frame into a three-by-three grid and use one-third of your shot to focus on your subject. Doing this helps you to create a balanced and natural-looking photo.

Don’t forget about the background of your photo when considering your composition. Some photos look great with textured backgrounds while others may look best with plainer backgrounds.

#4 Angles

Angles are something you should consider when setting up your shot.  A different angle can make your photo look completely different. Try to come at your subject above, below, or from the left or right to see which one gives you the best photo.

Selfie Tip: When taking a selfie, the worst angel is to hold the camera down and shoot up.  This allows everyone to see up your nose and isn’t a flattering angle. Instead, hold the phone at eye level or above for the perfect selfie.

#5 Take Multiple Photos

If you want to get a shot you are going to love, then take lots of photos.  Doing this means you have lots of options when it comes to picking which one you want to use.

Tips for Taking Better Smartphone Photos

#6 Edit

Editing can take your photos to the next level if you have the right program.  My favorite photo editing app is Lightroom. It makes the editing process super easy and fast. You can download it on your phone for free by looking it up in the app store.  Lightroom not only lets you edit your photos, but it also has built-in presets (which are like filters) which can improve your photos in one step.  

Tips for Taking Better Smartphone Photos

As with anything, improving your photography skills doesn’t happen overnight. It is something that you get better at the more you do it. The more you experiment, the more you will learn what works well and what doesn’t. Now take these tips and get snapping.

I would love to know what your biggest takeaway was so drop me a comment and let me know. 

Carla Lytle


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