How to Take Better Photos with Your Smartphone – Best Camera Tips
When it comes to taking pictures on your smartphone, you want to make sure that you’re getting the very best snaps your device is capable of. Here’s how.
The camera is now without a doubt the most popular feature on smartphones now. With all the major flagship devices sporting at least two lenses, and with the best phones offering cameras with up to 48MP, people are now shopping for the best cameras that money can buy.
The reasons for this are simple. Instagram, Facebook, Tinder, and just about every other popular app sort of require you to take pictures of things. From sharing photos on your story temporarily to making profile photos and sending selfies to your loved ones, the phone camera is a central aspect of much of what we now use our handsets for.
So, it comes as no surprise that you’ve found yourself here: on an article about how to take the very best photos with your smartphone. You’ve got a lot to learn, but don’t worry, it’s actually really easy (and fun) to get much better at taking photos on your phone.
How to take better photos on your smartphone
Our tips for taking better photos are all free – although some of the apps we’ll mention do have paid premium versions. For the most part, however, these are all quick fixes that you can try out now and see results quickly. Without further ado…
Wipe your lens
Ever worn a pair of steamed-up glasses? If you have, then you’ll know how much it affects your ability to actually see anything. The same applies for the lens on your smartphone camera. Think about how many times per day you get a fingerprint on that lens, or it gets something on it from your pocket, or it just isn’t clean. All of this is destroying the quality of your photos.
Make sure that you wipe your camera lens on some soft clothing prior to taking a photo. Do this every time you get your phone out to take a photo. Not just once per day – before every photo session. The results are immediate and very noticeable.
Use the light
Lighting is important for any photograph, but you don’t need to be a professional photographer to figure out why. Quite simply, if there is light coming onto your subject, then make sure it isn’t too bright and make sure that the source of it isn’t in the photo.
It’s best to shoot with the light source behind you – this way, your subject or object is lit up, but there isn’t any glare from the light source that will otherwise dominate and ruin the photo. Natural light is the best to use, so when shooting, keep your model or object in a light spot. You can also have the light in the photo to create a desired effect, like the one pictured above.
The one-third rule
There is a rule in photography that your subject should take up just one third of the photo at most. This means that the rest of the photo isn’t them. It is best if the rest of the photo is ‘negative space’ like a white wall or a blue sky. This makes your subject stand out more and the fact that they’re smaller in the photograph actually draws more attention to them.
Try to make your subject the focus of the photograph by removing any large distractions as well as by zooming out a bit.
Use leading lines
Another rule from the professional photography scrapbook. Leading lines could be anything from a train track with your subject in the distance, of a tree line, or even a telephone wire. It’s a line that leads from the foreground of the photo into your subject. This obviously works best if your subject is in the back of the photo.
Our minds naturally follow leading lines and this draws attention to whatever it is that they’re leading towards. It’s a great way to highlight the subject in your photograph.
Play with angles
By no means do your photos all have to be straight, aligned, and make loads of sense. Sometimes, shooting from above, or underneath, or some other interesting angle can completely transform the perspective of a photo and turn it into something much more powerful.
You never know what the result will be until you try something out, so grab your smartphone and get down low – see how your photo looks from various angles. Be unconventional, be spontaneous, and be adventurous.
Download a photo editor app
There are plenty of photo editor apps out there. We recommend VSCO and Adobe Lightroom. These two apps both allow you to make post-shooting edits to your photos to ensure that they look as best as they possibly can. This doesn’t mean that you have to make dramatic changes to your photographs – it might just mean increasing the brightness a slight amount, or reducing the shadows in a particular area to bring more life out of an image.
VSCO also comes with loads of preset filters which are designed to mimic film cameras. What’s great about these filters is that they’re actually pretty subtle and don’t scream “I’M USING A FILTER” which makes your photos look more professional and sophisticated. There are a few to use for free, although you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to the app to access all of them.
Be adventurous, have fun
Try photographing different things, and make sure that you’re having fun while you’re doing it. There isn’t any point in spending loads of time and effort to produce something for someone else in your free time if you don’t enjoy it. You should be taking photos for your own enjoyment.
The kind of things that you take photos of are a reflection of your own interests and hobbies and they can reveal a great deal about you and the unique elements that make up your personality. So, don’t be afraid of being adventurous and experimenting with what you photograph. And if you just want to take pictures of trains or something, then that’s fine – someone needs to, so it might as well be you.
Passion can be seen in all things that it goes into. If you love what you’re photographing, then anyone looking at that photo will be able to see that passion through the care that you took in taking the photo. That is how to take a good photo.