Do you want to take beautiful photos right from your smartphone? Here’s how to capture picture-perfect moments with your mobile device.
Photography has always focused on capturing life’s most important moments — your college graduation, your wedding day, the birth of your first child, and all of your family’s adventures.
Back before smartphones, you would’ve had to carry around a large DSLR camera and start quickly adjusting settings and snapping shots to ensure you weren’t missing any precious candid stills. Thankfully, in this digital age, photography has taken on a whole new form and now everyone who owns a smartphone can be a photographer.
Taking beautiful pictures with your iPhone or Android device is fairly simple, but if you apply a few additional techniques, your phone photography skills will be sure to impress. We’ve gathered some of the best-kept mobile photography secrets to help you establish your artistic eye and discover your personal photography style.
As with any art form, you can’t break the rules until you learn and understand them. The “rule of thirds” is the one of the first principles any beginner photographer should know. This refers to the way a photo can be broken down by its composition. This concept splits an image up into thirds (vertically and horizontally) to create 9 individual pieces of the picture. The imaginary lines that separate each of the 9 quadrants of the image help to break down the photo and draw attention to the specific elements that are meant to capture the viewer’s eye.
Essentially, the most important factors to consider when you’re framing an image is where the points of interest are and how you intend on shooting them (or, where you will place them in the shot).
While you’re still learning how to use the rule of thirds, you can choose to turn a grid on your screen through the settings in your phone. This will help you actually visualize how you want to frame your shot until you commit the grid to memory and no longer need the guidance.
A photo can take on a whole different point of view based on the artistic liberties you take with it. While some photographers enjoy shooting from a lower vantage point, some prefer a higher vantage point — or even an aerial or “bird’s-eye” view.
When you’re shooting your next photo, you should keep in mind that the way a shot is composed can change the way someone experiences the image. For example, images that are shot from a lower place looking up often feel powerful or stir up feelings of awe. Whereas, images that are shot from a higher place looking down often bring up feelings of vulnerability or perhaps superiority over the subject. No matter what perspective you chose, it will be extraordinary. This is the fun part of photography.
Before the use of filters and excessive editing, there was only one way to achieve a certain look with your photographs. This was using certain light sources to frame the shot. Natural light is best since — when used correctly — it does not distort the image (as with a man-made light source, like a flash) and it lets the smartphone photographer experiment with different kinds of shadows and exposure levels. If you don’t have access to natural light, an ambient light source would also work, such as the light streaming in through a window. If you’re interested in more ways to use light in your photographs, check out this detailed article from Canva.
Knowing when to use flash and when to turn it off can make or break your photos. The automatic setting on your phone can be just fine for daytime use, but sometimes, it can prove to be unhelpful after the sun goes down. If you use a flash to shoot at night, the lighting on your subject can often appear harsh and unnatural because of the darker contrast that you’re working with. This can even lead to red-eye and some other ill-effects if you’re not careful since it is difficult to control how your flash is positioned on your subject and you cannot control the amount of flash you’re using.
As a rule of thumb, use natural light as a source for your photos whenever possible.
Some of the most interesting photos focus on the minute details in the picture. Smartphone photos that place added emphasis on texture — in grass, in a cup of coffee, or on the cracks in a piece of sidewalk, for example — make for compelling pieces and easily capture the interest of viewers because these shots make them feel as if they are seeing an object up close and personal for the first time.
Details are amazing but make sure you’re not sacrificing image quality. If you’re using a lot of zoom to get up close and personal to your subjects, you may want to rethink your strategy. The next time you’re out shooting, keep in mind that zooming in too closely can result in your subject appearing blurry or pixelated. This impacts the sharp appearance of the photo and can be distracting if you’re not careful.Keep in mind that you can always move closer to your subject as well. By doing this, you decrease the risk of distorting your image by using too much zoom and you will still be able to achieve the intended look you were hoping to achieve with your shot.
There is no rule against taking too many smartphone photos! In fact, you should take multiple shots to ensure that you capture your moment exactly as you had envisioned it. Luckily, using phone photography, it is easier than ever to take multiple shots in a matter of seconds. If you’re an iPhone user, the smartphone camera has a built-in burst photo feature. This will allow you to capture about 10 frames per second by holding down the shutter release button. You can then view your burst of photos from your camera roll and select which photos you’d like to keep and which ones you’d like to delete.
Filters seem like fun...until they’re not. Using too much or too little “Sepia” on an image is going to make it look like it was altered for effect. If this is your trademark, that is okay, but as a general rule of thumb, editing should be minimal. All of the edits that you might need to make can be avoided when you’re in the process of shooting. Should you need to make slight changes following a shoot, use your discretion.
There you have it! Those are some of the best beginner tips for how to take good photos with your phone . Once you’ve mastered all of these strategies, you could also invest in external gear (lens attachments, etc.) for your phone if you’d like to test out some additional ways of shooting.
If there’s one tip that you take from this article, it should be that phone photography is a form of personal expression. Take photos that bring you joy and that capture the joy of others; photos that you will want to look back on fondly for years and years. When it comes to remembering and storing all these memorable moments, the Rosy private smart home digital assistant and companion app can help. She enables you to scan, digitize and upload your photos in your personal Rosy account. From there, you can narrate stories to make your memories rich and meaningful, and you can share your creation with friends and family.
If you’d like to learn more how you can save your photos with Rosy and share your photography progress with those who matter most, be sure to join our waitlist for the Rosy app, which will be released later this year.
If you’d like to learn more how you can save photos with Rosy and share them with those who matter most, be sure to join our waitlist for the Rosy app, which will be released later this year.