Tips for taking quality photos with your phone

Learn the basics about photography and nail those smartphone photoshoots!

#1 – Use the newest phone you have access to

The newer the phone, the better the quality will be from the start. Megapixels (MP) matter, so be sure to Google and see if your phone has more than 7MP. The ideal MP number is around 10-12+ for good quality photos.

#2 – Make sure your camera is clean

Use a lens wipe or soft cloth to clean your camera. It's amazing how much a little bit of dust can affect the quality of your photos.

#3 – Lighting

If you don't have any lights, natural light by a window will work great. In a low light setting, you can use the flashlight of another phone or tablet in a pinch. With one light source, you have three options – front (direct light), side lit and backlit. 

Lighting-Front-1

Front (direct light)

This option produces the most vibrant colors, but can also appear a bit flat. If your lighting is too intense the photo can also be too bright or washed out.

Lighting-side

Side

Side lighting can be a good option if you want to highlight the dimension and texture of your subject. The cast shadows will add a modern look as well.

Lighting-Backlit

Back

Backlit photos often come out dark and moody. It's recommended to choose the other options before considering a backlit subject.

 

Phone Flash – Be careful when using your flash. It can be too bright and cast undesirable shadows. Always try without the flash first, and when in doubt do both.

#4 – Angles

The angle where you photograph can say a lot about the photo's subject.

Angle-down

Angled Above

This is usually everyone's go-to angle. Capturing a photo of an object from above can show a lot about the object, but it also makes the viewer feel more powerful because you're looking down on the subject.

Angle-Hero

Angled Below aka Hero Angle

The other angle you can choose is to shoot upwards. This lower angle makes the object look larger, also known as the "hero angle" in photographic terms. You usually look up at buildings, statues, and the large size makes it feel more important.

Fun tip: Flip your phone upside down to capture the Hero angle. On most smartphones, it will auto-rotate and display right-side up.

#5 – Take Multiple Photos

Who doesn't love options? Save yourself from having to do a retake when you capture a couple of extra photos just in case. You may find one is blurry, or there's a photobomber in the background.