By Nicole Tinkham
STOP! Before you hire a photographer to take professional photos, read on to discover how you, the amateur, can take high quality photos right from your smartphone. Whether you’re photographing your artwork, gathering inspiration, capturing special moments, or just trying to get an interesting shot for your Instagram account, we can help you seem like a pro even if you aren’t one. Ready to give it a SHOT? Here’s how to take better pictures with your smartphone.
1. The rule of thirds
When you go to take a picture where do you typically align the subject? In the center of the frame, right? Actually, the trick is to break the frame up into thirds both horizontally and vertically in an imaginary grid (or your phone may have a grid option for you). Where you see the lines intersect is where the focus should be. See below for an example and notice where the star is. Your subject can be aligned wherever those lines intersect.
2. Use natural lighting when possible
Natural lighting will always give you a better picture especially when doing portrait shots. However, natural lighting isn’t always available. In the case of little natural light, reflect as much of it as possible using white objects like a white poster board or large white sheet.
3. Use editing apps
There are numerous photo editing apps available for your smartphone which allow you to crop, rotate, add filters, change colors and more. Play around with them as well as the settings on your smartphone camera.
4. Digital zoom is a no-no
Instead of using the zoom feature on your smartphone camera, get a little closer to the subject. Fill the frame if possible but remember that you can always crop the photo if you need to. Note: High res photos mean better quality. You should be able to adjust the resolution in your camera settings.
5. Accessories to have
Two things to invest in: Attachable lenses (yes, they make them for your smartphone) and a tripod. Lenses can give you special effects like fish-eye shots. All you have to do is pop them onto your camera lens. Tripods are a MUST especially if you have a shaky hand. Many of these are small and portable so you can take them anywhere.
6. Make the most out of panorama mode
Most likely, your phone has a panorama mode and we highly recommend you play around with it. Landscape photos come out great using this! You just can’t have anything moving in the scene.
7. Clean the lens
Smart phones go through a lot. They get shoved in pockets, thrown in purses, and are touched throughout the day. Clean your lens frequently so you don’t end up with gunk in your photos!
It’s great to take all of these tips into consideration when doing some photography work but if there’s one thing to start doing right now, we’d recommend playing with your camera settings. You’ll start learning all the really cool things you can do right on your smartphone. Also be sure to look up some editing apps and play around with lighting. Quality photos don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Start doing these things to take professional looking photos right from your smartphone. We know you can do it!
Have you taken a brilliant photo with your smartphone? We’d love to see it! Share the photo with us over on our Facebook page.