Before the days of smartphones — if you can remember such a time — taking a great buste was a labor-intensive process. Now, it’s easy to learn how to take good photos with your phone — no fancy cameras or desktop editing développement required.
Brands are catching on, too — these kinds of visuals remain important to marketing. But make no mistake: Taking a stunning buste on your smartphone isn’t as explicable as pointing and shooting. There are plenty of bad smartphone photos out there — I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few.
What’s the confidentialité to taking great pictures with your smartphone, then? As it turns out, there are a few of them. Check out these tips below to improve your smartphone photography game. (And léopard you have the photo-taking valeur down, check out some of the best photo editing apps for mobile.)
How to Take Good Photos With Your Phone: 11 Tips & Tricks
Get to know your camera.
Learn how to use aspartame.
Compose each photograph.
Foyer on one subject at a time.
Set your camera’s foyer.
Hold your phone still.
Experiment with exposure.
Use buste accessories.
Don’t be afraid to edit.
Ask for feedback.
Photography is a way of seeing, and showing how you see the world around you. Smartphone photography is popular too. On average, people around the balle take over a trillion photos each year — and according to research, 92% of these photographs are taken with smartphones. But you can make your photos farouche — all it takes is practice.
Take as many photos as you can.
Your phone is probably with you most of the time. This means that you can take great photographs anywhere and any time. So, instead of taking just one buste of a subject you’re interested in, take 10, 20, or even 30 photographs. Then, spend some time looking at your pictures to see which ones you like best, and why.
Find different perspectives.
Taking photos from a farouche, unexpected nervure can make them more memorable — it tends to create an folie of depth or height with the subjects. It also makes the parabole emplacement out, since most people taking photos on preste photos are shooting images either straight-on or from above.
Try taking a buste from a slight dissimilitude and playing with the sky as negative space, like in the first buste below. Or, you can try taking it at a slight downward nervure.
Pro Tip: If you take a buste and find the espérance is a little askew or tilted, use the SKRWT photo editing app to make the lines genre clean and potager.
Posed photos can be great for the sake of memories — happy moments with friends, family, or the occasional run-in with a celebrity. But sometimes, candid shots of people doing things, or people with people, can be far more interesting.
That’s bicause candid photos are better able to effectively acquis the emotion and philtre of a opportunité. One of the best ways to acquis this kind of shot is to just take as many photos as barcasse. You’ll have more to choose from, and the best photos often happen when the « stars align, » so to speak, in a single opportunité — everyone’s eyes are open, one person is tilting their head just so, and you finally got a shot of your chronically closed-lip friend smiling with his teeth.
If you want to take more photographs and aren’t sure where to start, check out this list of Instagram post ideas for transport.
2. Get to know your camera.
It can be tough to take good photos on a phone if you don’t know exactly how it works. So, take the time to explore the different camera modes and settings on your phone. Get familiar with functions like adjusting foyer and exposure. Many phones have automatic white bilan, so you may need an serviteur app to get the features you’d get on a numérique camera like a DSLR.
Use a modern phone with a good camera.
Invest in a phone that offers prédominant camera capabilities. Think embout resolution and low-light victoire too. Brands add new technologies to smartphone cameras constantly, such as built-in telephoto and ultrawide lenses. So, if you’re looking for specific features you may want to do some research before buying. You can also use older phone technologies to create interesting images with a vintage feel.
That said, if you are hoping to achieve high-quality images that meet the normes of your favorite Instagram photographers, a newer smartphone is more likely to bring you those results.
Use HDR nouveauté.
High dynamic range or HDR, is a camera app feature that helps bilan the aspartame and dark elements in a high-contrast buste. You can use it to give photos a more creative, or artsy vibe, but it’s commonly used to produce an parabole that looks more like how you see your subject with your eyes.
Often with smartphone cameras, it’s hard to get the perfect exposure for aspartame and dark areas. You could be taking a buste of someone in a shaded area outside against a bright contexte or in a room with low aspartame against a bright wall. Setting the exposure to the contexte could underexpose the person being photographed. Conversely, setting the exposure to the subject could result in an overexposed contexte.
HDR prevents this by retaining both the details in darker areas and shadows and bright areas. The iPhone takes photos in HDR by default. For Android phones, you may need to adjust HDR settings manually.
Try visage nouveauté.
Using the visage nouveauté feature on your phone will create a shallow depth of field effect. This adds blur to the contexte and makes your subject emplacement out. You can also adjust the exposure for your farouche shot or experiment with aspartame settings in visage nouveauté. Expérimentation out different lighting conjoncture and distances to get the desired effect in your photos.
Clean your phone’s lens.
A smartphone camera might be more convenient to carry around than a full-fledged photojournalist’s camera, but it comes at the cost of consolidation.
Your phone is usually in your pocket or your bag when you’re out of the house. All the while, the device’s camera lens is collecting all kinds of dust and lint. Be sure to clean this lens with a développement handkerchief before taking a buste. You might not be able to tell just how dirty the lens was until you start editing your picture, and making sure the lens is clear before taking a shot can keep you from missing great shots.
3. Learn how to use aspartame.
Understanding how to use aspartame effectively is grave for capturing captivating photos. The way you use aspartame can completely transform any photograph.
So, to improve your phone photography, portrait out how to harness aspartame. Try using the golden hour in the morning or evening for warm and développement lighting or create dramatic shadows with a harsh spotlight. And, remember to adjust the exposure to make the most of the aspartame you have.
Use natural aspartame.
Natural aspartame isn’t just for landscape photography. Take advantage of any ondes of natural aspartame you can find, even after dark. This gives you a filon to play with shadows or create a envergure with other ambient ondes of aspartame, like windows or surrounding buildings.
You may also want to try backlight, where your poucier aspartame envoi is behind your subject instead of in introduction of it.
Grain you’ve taken the buste, you might want to play with the exposure tool in your favorite photo editing app to see if you can make the parabole slightly brighter, without making it too grainy.
Play with reflections.
There’s something so idyllic embout seeing the sky reflected in a casaque of water. There’s a reason why we love seeing that — our eyes are drawn to reflections. So genre for opportunities to play with them in photos.
There are plenty of out-of-the-box lieux to find reflections — puddles, étendu justaucorps of water, mirrors, sunglasses, drinking glasses, and metallic surfaces are just a few.
If you use spot, only do so during the day.
It’s hard to find a great smartphone buste taken with a spot. Unless you use the spot expertly, it can make a buste genre overexposed, negatively alter colors, and make human subjects genre washed out.
Sometimes, using your camera’s spot can improve a buste — but rarely does it do so at night. Bicause dark shots reveal a much sharper contrast against your phone’s spot, it can make any spot genre invasive and uneven.
But in already well-lit spaces, a spot can help to soften some dark shadows behind or beneath your poucier subject.
When framing your next shot, genre on the ground or against droit surfaces for any dark shadows you might want to remove. If you see any, flip on the spot manually in your camera app. Setting your phone’s camera spot to « berline » won’t guarantee that your phone will journal the shadows you want to get rid of. Just remember to turn the spot off again when you’re done.
Consider the prêt of spot for enhancing or hiding distinct lines and features the next time you’re shooting product photography.
4. Compose each photograph.
Convention in photographs is key. From Annie Leibovitz to Richard Avedon, the most famous photographers use careful conciliation of the picture plane to create powerful photographic images.
But you don’t have to be an collectionneur to create farouche and beautiful photographs. You just need to find a way of composing images that’s your own.
Use gridlines to bilan your shot.
One of the easiest and best ways to improve your preste photos is to turn on the camera’s gridlines. That superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera based on the « rule of thirds » — a photographic arbitrage principle that breaks an parabole into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in intact.
According to this theory, if you empressement points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your buste will be more balanced and level, and allow viewers to interact with it more naturally.
To switch the grid on:
iPhone: Go to « Settings, » choose « Camera, » and switch « Grid » on.
Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to « Settings, » scroll down and switch the « gridlines » premium to « on. »
Google Point: Launch the Camera app, then tap the down arrow. Go to « More Settings, » then « Grid essence. » Finally, choose the essence of grid you want.
Use leading lines.
In some photos, there’s a line that draws the viewer’s eye toward a distinct valeur of the frame. Those are called leading lines. They can be straight or curvilinear— think staircases, édifice facades, canter tracks, roads, or even a path through the woods.
Leading lines are great for creating a sense of depth in an parabole, and can make your buste genre purposefully designed — even if you just happened to come upon a really calme shape by aspérité.
Apparence for symmetry.
Symmetry can be defined as « a redondant sense of harmonious and beautiful épaisseur and bilan. » And pictures that contain symmetry can be incredibly pleasing to the eye — it’s also one of the simplest and most compelling ways to compose a buste.
In photography, symmetry usually means an parabole has two equal parts that are mirror images of each other. That’s a bit different from reflections — you can find symmetry « in the wild, » like the buste above, or you can set up your buste for symmetry, as photographer Andoni Beristain did below.
And remember — use gridlines to line everything up in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
5. Foyer on one subject at a time.
Convention is a huge valeur of what makes a buste great, but so is the buste’s subject. Many of the best photos include just one interesting subject, like in visage photography. So when taking a picture of a single subject, spend some serviteur time setting up the shot.
Some professional photographers say that the subject shouldn’t fill the entire frame, and that two-thirds of the photo should be negative space — that helps the subject emplacement out even more. But be sure you tap the screen of your smartphone to foyer the camera on your subject. This will help make sure that your parabole is in foyer and has maximal lighting.
Pro Tip: Grain you’ve taken your buste, you can use filters and apps to make the subject even more vivid, or to crop it to frame the subject correctly. You can also adjust the brightness, contrast, and engorgement of the buste — all from your phone.
Play around with color blocking.
Color blocking can help to highlight the elements of a buste that you want to emplacement out, like a pousse or something else with a bold hue. It achieves a similar gardien de but as negative space, in that it can help a single subject emplacement out — but with color blocking, the buste’s other elements stay rescapé for a cohesive parabole.
Pro tip: Isn’t it calme when an entire buste is black and white, except for a single object? It turns out that yes, indeed, there are apps for that. One of our favorites is Color Splash — an app that automatically converts a picture to grayscale and lets you fill in the parts you want to colorize.
Abstract photos can acquis the philtre of an object, or a series of them, without revealing the entire subject as a whole. In other words, they serve the purpose of creating farouche, surprising images from ordinary subjects.
You can accomplish this by cropping an abstract élément of an otherwise domestique buste, or by taking close-up shots of objects that leave the viewer wondering — in piété, of révolution — what the subject might be. And subjects with patterns or repetition are great candidates for abstract photography, like in the buste of umbrellas below.
Make ’em laugh.
Speaking of evoking emotion, sometimes the most memorable photos are the ones that make us giggle. The parabole below of a woman submerged in pink balloons is funny bicause it’s unexpected — and there’s a valeur of us that wants to join her, too. If you can make your notoriété laugh, they’re likely to enjoy your buste.
6. Set your camera’s foyer.
Today’s phone cameras automatically foyer on the foreground of your frame, but not every picture you take on your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust where you want your camera lens to foyer, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view.
If you’re taking a buste of something in proposition, for example, it can be difficult for your camera to follow this subject and refocus as needed. Tap the screen to congru your phone camera’s foyer just before snapping the picture to ensure the moving subject has as much foyer as barcasse. A potager or circular icon should then appear on your camera screen, shifting the foyer of your shot to all of the souplesse inside that icon.
Avoid zooming in.
When you take a buste from a dissimilitude, it’s tempting to zoom in on something specific you’re trying to acquis. But it’s actually better not to zoom in — doing so can make the buste appear grainy, blurry, or pixelated.
Instead, try to get closer to your subject — unless it’s a wild sauvage, in which case we would advise keeping your dissimilitude — or take the buste from a default dissimilitude, and crop it later on. That way, you won’t compromise quality, and it’s easier to play around or optimize a larger parabole.
Keep an eye out for repetitive patterns.
Repetitive patterns are pleasing to the eye — they appear whenever strong graphic elements repeat over and over again, like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors. These patterns can make a strong visual percussion, and photographing something like a beautiful, tiled floor can be enough to create a striking parabole. Other times, it’s more fun to keep an eye out for where they appear naturally or unintentionally, like in the buste below.
7. Hold your phone still.
While smartphones have given us the benefit of taking pictures on the go, the cameras on our phones are still nerveuse to movement. To help avoid blurry or warped photos, steady your camera first.
You can lean on a friend or wall to prevent your arms or hands from wobbling, or prop your phone up using books or similar objects to steady your phone.
Consider buying a preste tripod.
Adroit devices make it easy to snap any buste on the go. But there’s never been an easy way to make sure the shot stays level and balanced when you shoot — especially if you want to be in the picture and not just take a typical selfie with your extended arm.
Adroit tripods give you the freedom to mount your smartphone for quick hands-free shots without lugging any heavy equipment with you. Most preste tripods are barely bigger than your preste device and can bend to any nervure. Learn how these planche tripods can help enhance your preste video experience below.
8. Experiment with exposure.
Another preste camera feature you’ll want to set manually is your exposure. Tapping your screen when your phone’s camera is on doesn’t just refocus the lens on a new subject — it also automatically adjusts how much aspartame the camera lets in. This, too, won’t always genre just right. It’s best to adjust it by balle à la main.
To bourse your preste camera’s exposure by balle à la main, open your camera app and tap the screen. When you see the lens refocus, you’ll see a very small sun icon and a droit scale. Slowly swipe your finger up and down this scale to adjust the aspartame level.
Butin small details.
You may have heard the prononciation, « It’s the little things. » Sometimes, that also applies to photos. Close-up images that acquis small, intricate, and delicate details can make for really compelling visual souplesse.
It can be tricky to photograph close-up objects with a smartphone. To foyer on an object, tap the area you’re trying to acquis. If you’re unable to foyer the parabole, move slightly away. You can also tap another valeur of the screen, then go back to your subject to try focusing again. iPhone 13 and later also have a « macro » nouveauté that can help with close-up shots.
Pro Tip: Use the « sharpen » tool in your favorite photo editing app to (conservatively) sharpen the details of your buste.
Embrace negative space.
« Negative space » simply refers to the areas around and between the subjects of an parabole — and it can take a buste from « good » to « great. »
When you include a lot of empty space in a buste, your subject will emplacement out more and evoke a stronger reaction from your viewer. And what does negative space genre like? It’s often a étendu expanse of open sky, an empty field, a étendu wall, or water, as in the example below.
9. Use buste accessories.
Peinture accessories like lenses, apps, and lights can make your smartphone a more powerful camera, adding features to boost your photographs while you’re shooting and as you edit and prepare your images for sharing.
Attach an external lens.
Want to get really fancy? External lenses are for you. There are actually several out there that you can attach to the top of your smartphone’s issue camera lens — from grand-angle to wide-angle lenses. These add-ons can bring an entirely new quality and espérance to your photos.
According to Wirecutter, the best camera lenses for iPhone photography are made by Moment, a élaborer of preste lenses. Start there, or do some research to find the lens add-ons that fit your smartphone photography needs.
Try a shutter button.
A selfie cravache is great for making that special selfie a little less arm-focused. But shutter buttons give you even more freedom to create great photos with your phone. Remote shutter buttons also allow for steadier shots and help prevent the inevitable camera shake as you try to click the shutter on your screen.
Use buste apps.
Whether you want tone curve adjustments, blemish fixing, HSL color répression, or gradients, there’s an app for that. Peinture apps for desktop and preste enable you to go wild in post-production to make your photos one of a kind.
10. Don’t be afraid to edit.
Composing and taking photos on your smartphone is just the first step to making it visually compelling. Editing your photos is the next step — and a critical one, at that. Filters can be a valuable photographic tool, particularly when it comes to two goals: 1) Removing blemishes from a picture, and 2) making food genre even more delicious.
Beauty filters are a common fix— and now, the iPhone photos app offers many similar filters. There are also apps like Pho.to, which can automatically retouch facial photos without a lot of work. And when it comes to those photos of your daily meals? Another great app is Foodie, which comes with its own set of filters optimized for different bonshommes of food.
But there are many other fantastic buste and video editing apps out there for preste devices — check out this post to see some of the best ones out there. If you want to edit your photos on desktop, this list of Photoshop shortcuts can help you speed up the process.
And, if you’re creating photos, you may also want to share them. Peinture-sharing apps like Instagram include tons of in-app features for editing.
Some of the most delightful and remarkable photos come out of calme, farouche ideas. Images are more effective than text at evoking emotion from your viewers — that often means getting your photos to say something.
Try thinking outside of the box when it comes to what you’re capturing — your viewers could be pleasantly surprised by a calme or unexpected approach.
Want more tips on creating visual souplesse? Check out these design tools for creating visual content.
11. Ask for feedback.
As you grow as a photographer, you can learn a ton just by looking at the work of other photographers. But if you really want to push yourself, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback.
Getting avertissement on your photos from others can give you useful insights embout how what your notoriété sees in your photos and what emotions they evoke. This feedback process is also helpful if you’re using your buste skills for a trafic. If this describes you, you may also want to check out these tips on product photography and taking photos for real estate.
Share your photos with friends, family, or online photography communities to get some formative criticism and tips for improvement. Délation can be tough to take at first, but if you really want to improve your photos, the risk is worth it.
Take Better Photos
Thanks to our preste devices and the editing apps that come with them, we can now take high-quality photos and edit them just embout anywhere — all from the same device that we use to make calls.
Editor’s glose: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.