Sometimes the perfect moment arises: the delighted customer with their latest purchase, your product glistening in the flawless natural light. Or your team, hard at work behind the scenes to make sure your deadlines are met. In times like these, you need to embrace the opportunity to capture that perfect shot. But not everyone has access to the latest DSLR camera OR knows how to use it. What if we told you, you don’t have to? What if we told you your go-to camera was in your pocket? That’s right, with these smartphone photography tips you can create professional-looking content, whenever the need arises.
Tip 1: Clean the lens
Your phone is exposed to so much during the day. Greasy hands, dirty surfaces, messy handbags and so on. Before attempting to capture your winning shot, avoid the haze and make sure the lens is clean. Your sunglasses lens cloth will do just the trick!
Tip 2: Focus, focus, focus
Whether it’s a product flat lay or an employee profile, don’t just aim and shoot. Touch the screen and take some time to focus on your subject matter to make sure you are capturing the best image. If your smartphone isn’t focusing, it means you’re too close. Take a step back and try again.
Tip 3: Move forward
Subject too far away? Instead of using the camera’s zoom, move closer. Using your smartphone’s zoom function often creates noise and lowers the quality of your image. If you’re unable to reduce the distance, try shooting through a pair of binoculars. It will take some practice, but you’ll end up with a well-executed shot.
Tip 4: Know what you’re shooting
What exactly are you shooting? Are you capturing everything or are some areas cropped out of the frame? Think about whether you should be shooting horizontally or vertically and adjust accordingly.
Tip 5: Use the grid
The most important smartphone photography tip is to use your grid to create the rule of thirds. The grid divides your frame into 9 squares and helps position your subject in the left or right, leaving the remaining two-thirds of the frame open.
Why is the rule of thirds so important?
- Leads to a well-composed shot
- Creates an interesting composition
- Helps draw the eye to the subject matter
- Produces clean, aligned images
- Generates a well-balanced shot.
If you’re shooting people against a background, use your grid to see where your horizontal lines are falling. This will help you avoid cutting off parts of their body with the lines of a landscape.
Tip 6: Be a night owl
Don’t be afraid to use the night mode on your smartphone. This gives the device a better indication of what you’re trying to shoot when there is dim light to achieve the best results.
If you’re in a dark area with lots of artificial light, like a product launch or an evening team building event, place your phone on a flat surface and use your timer. This will eliminate the possibility of blurred results and remove any excess noise from the glow of unnatural light.
Tip 7: Move over Mona Lisa
Want to create that winning employee feature shot? Select the portrait mode on your smartphone. This will create an eye-catching subject with a blurred, muted background. Portrait mode allows you to alter the depth of field as well as create the light you want to shoot in. It does require the subject to be still, so try shooting in live mode to reduce any unnecessary blur.
Portrait mode can work for objects too! It works well if you are looking to capture a close-up shot of your product with an indistinct background.
Tip 8: Take multiple shots
Use the burst mode on your smartphone to capture multiple shots as your subject moves. You can then select the best shot from many options instead of shooting one image at a time. Activate burst mode by holding the shoot button on your device.
Tip 9: Tricks with panoramic
Trying to get that epic shot but you can’t seem to fit everything in? Flip your phone on its side and use the panoramic feature to create a wide-angle lens. This will help capture the whole subject matter without cropping out any essential elements.
Tip 10: Light it up
Lighting can make or break your image. So, you need to make sure you’re well equipped with some photography lighting knowledge. Here are a few tips:
- Natural light always works best, no matter what you’re trying to capture.
- If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure you avoid shooting in the middle of the day. Harsh light on your subject can create a lens flare or a blinding glare.
- It’s better to shoot in overcast weather as the clouds act as a diffuser for the light.
- Consider where your shadows are falling and make sure your own shadow isn’t in the shot.
- Shooting when the sun is low can create long shadows and soft silhouettes.
- If you are shooting indoors and have minimal natural light, use alternative light sources. Check out how to set up a DIY home studio on a budget.
- It’s easier to edit underexposed images than overexposed ones. So, consider that when you’re setting the scene.
Tip 11: Don’t flash
It’s simple: your images will look better without a flash. Using a flash can make the shot looked washed out, distort the colours and often makes the subject appear much brighter than the background.
Is there ever a suitable time to use your flash? This may sound strange but it’s in broad daylight. When you’re shooting outdoors and your subject is in the shadows, a flash helps create an all-around even light.
Tip 12: Avoid in-app cameras
This is one smartphone photography tip that often gets overlooked. Don’t create any content using in-app cameras like Instagram. It limits the features you have access to and lowers the quality of your image. Rather use the full functionality of your smartphone’s camera and upload the content directly onto the app.
Tip 13: Listen up
This is one of the best-kept smartphone photography tips of all time! Plug in your earphones and use the middle button between the volume controls as a remote to capture that perfect shot. This is especially useful if you’re looking to take a self-portrait and need to create distance between you and your smartphone.
Tip 14: There are options
You’ve set the scene, you’re in position, but your finger is struggling to reach the capture button. One slight movement and your whole image will lose the magic touch you’ve been working so hard for. There’s a solution for that! Use the volume button as a shutter to create your pièce de résistance that is clean, well-executed and isn’t blurry.
Tip 15: Look at it like a bird
Master the art of taking showstopping flat lays. Flat lays are one of the best ways to showcase your brand’s product and offering. They encapsulate a story, incorporate a range of attention-grabbing props and allow the audience to see the whole picture from a birds-eye perspective instead of a piece of it.
The old saying is true: when it comes to mastering smartphone photography, practice makes perfect. Play around with your phone’s features and study other brands’ photos to help you get inspired. If you follow these 15 smartphone photography tips and pay attention to lighting and composition, then you’ll be on your way to capturing killer content that most professional photographers would be envious of.
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