Taking professional pictures with your phone used to only be for experts. You’d have to invest in a nice camera, film, software, and time. But thanks to smartphones we are able to take better pictures quicker than the past.
With your phone always nearby it is so much simpler to whip out your phone to take a shot to share on social media. Still, that doesn’t mean that all the photos look good. There are countless mobile photos that lousy, and I am sure you have seen a few.
What is the secret to taking professional pictures with your phone, then? As it turns out, here are some tips to strengthen your mobile photography game. Once you have some of these tricks down check out some of the best editing apps for mobile.
10 Smartphone Hacks: How to Take Professional Pictures With Your Phone
1) Don’t Just Take A Photo Make It
Getting the right picture is all about taking lots of pictures and planning. You have many pictures some are great but most are okay. Taking professional pictures with your phone takes time to create art. That may need to get up early to get the best light or remembering that extra prop.
Great smartphone photographers take the time to make great art and to plan. It only takes a minute to plan a great shot for your next photo. Whether you are at home or taking a picture here are some quick tips. This will help you take better pictures with your phone that look more professional.
Scan the Area to Find Any Distractions
First, look around and see if there is anything out of place. Notice any signs or objects that might distract from the image. Would shooting from a different angle hide the sign or object? To adjust the angle get lower or higher to hide the sign or object.
Define the Subject
Try different framing ideas so you can get a better shot. By taking a few steps closer you can snap a friend’s emotions and mood. Try one of the three framing styles; far, medium shot, and closeup. When you try these different styles you will see a different view from each image.
Not every shot will you have the time or be at a place where you can plan the picture ahead. If you plan on taking professional pictures with your phone at a birthday party. You can assume that there will be gifts and cake. Take a moment to do some research online on Instagram or Pinterest for new creative ideas.
Where Does Your Eye go First?
When you first look at a picture where do your eyes go? Usually, your eyes look at the center of the image. If there is something bright or out of place it might be a distraction. Take note how your eyes flow as you look at at the scene for your shot. This tip will help the viewer understand your image.
2) Creative Composition Tips
The best way to take professional pictures with your phone is to try the rule of thirds and leading lines.
Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is the most basic rule for composition in photography. By using the rule of thirds, you can improve your photography and create stunning images.
The first step is to divide the image into thirds horizontally. Where do the horizontal lines lie? Are they on the top third, middle or bottom? It is more pleasing if the lines stay away from the center and are either on the top or the bottom third.
If you are shooting a sunset, make sure that the horizontal lines are on either the bottom or top third of the image. By taking the image of the horizon in the center, then the image may look flat. Try shooting from left to right make sure the subject is in the right third or the left third.
To become a better mobile photographer, start by using the rule of thirds. Do this by turning on the grid in the camera settings on your phone. The grid feature will show faint lines as you take a picture so you can position your shot. Once you set the grid lines it will stay on until you turn it off.
iPhone: Go into settings then camera and toggle on the grid
Android: Go to settings on the camera and choose the grid
Follow the Leading Lines
When you look at a landscape do you notice that often the lines lead you through a path in the image? When looking at pictures we naturally start at the very center of the image. Then we look at the other part of the shot. The image composition is there to show us where to look next and how to get meaning out of the shot.
This is a simple composition technique that you can master. Our eyes follow lines due to the clarity and distinction they create. The use of composition technique called “leading lines” can be lead on a journey through an image. Lines can lead you straight direction through a street or it can lead us on a path winding next to a river.
Capturing these lines in an image will lead you to gain the meaning of the story. Leading Lines can guide you throughout the story without being present. It can be the main composition focus or used with other tools like the rule of thirds, or symmetry.
To show a more expansive view of the composition get lower to show a closer look at the leading lines. The lines should complement the subject and bring the viewer into what the subject is doing. A good example of this is taking a picture of someone at the end of a long hallway.
3) Stabilize your Shot
Smartphone cameras contain internal image stabilization software. But, there will still be camera shake, resulting in blurry images. If you hold your phone with one hand and tap on the screen to take the image, the motion might cause a blurry image.
The smartphone photography trick to stabilize your shot is to hold onto both sides of the phone. Then, use the side button or your thumb to take an image. Consequently, your images will turn out crisp and clear.
4) Simplify the Background
Taking professional pictures of a subject requires that all the elements are in balance. It may be a great shot but if the background is busy it will be a distraction. You may want to try to get closer to the subject so they fill the frame or change locations.
One example is taking a picture of a child on a playground. The playground can add or distract to the image. You might want to try different angles to get the best shot so everything is in balance. Simply your pictures to help you take professional pictures with a phone.
5) Shoot from Different Perspectives
Camera angles can create very intriguing stories. Take pictures at eye level but change the angle of your smartphone.
In a drawing, it is hard to create depth, but by using perspective it can create images that have depth. The artist chooses a vanishing point and drawing diagonal lines leading to the point. This creates depth in the image, in photography. Pay attention to where these lines are. It is the key to better composure and great cell phone photography.
Shoot at 90% Angle
If you are shooting a scene from an angle above the object make sure you shoot the image at a 90-degree angle. If you are taking a picture of a cup of lemonade from above. Center your smartphone parallel to the surface to get the cup as a perfect circle. When taking pictures from above the image shows as simple shapes.
Low Angle Photography
Understanding where the horizon line in a drawing can help you create better artwork. It is a tool you can use in your photography. When you use low angles in photography the horizon line is on the bottom of the image. This brings out the subject matter and it fills the frame in a more creative way.
Low angle photography can show objects being larger to scale than they are. You can create a sense of awe or authority to create professional pictures with a phone. Using angles can also be a great way to show a sense of scale when taking a landscape. Adding people or animals can show the scale of a vast mountain.
6) Adjust the Exposure
How do you control exposure in a shot? When you take a picture with your phone it sets the exposure, which is the amount of light that is in the scene. The camera can get the wrong exposure if the scene is very dark or bright. Tap on different areas on your phone to change the exposure. This changes the exposure and lighting of the image.
To learn how to take professional pictures with a phone, exposure is very important. When you take a picture, exposure is the amount of light that is collected by the sensor in your camera. It is the way to control the light and darkness of the image.
Traditional SLR cameras have a light meter that tells them what the lighting should be set at. A smartphone can adjust the focus and exposure. You can do this by touching any part of the screen and a little circle or square will come up. This will adjust the focus and exposure on your phone. Getting the right exposure in mobile photography can be hard.
Explore each smartphone touch screen by tapping anywhere to adjust the exposure. By tapping on a dark portion, the image will become brighter. Tap on a light part and the shot will become darker. The trick is to find the right spot where your phone will have lights and darks are even. There are no blinding lights and black blobs in your image.
Getting the image totally in focus can seem easy but sometimes it looks almost in focus but is not. On a cell phone, you can choose the focal point by tapping on the place you want to focus on.
This spot will be the spot that is most in focus. As the image move out the image will become more blurry. A smartphone does a great job of getting everything in focus.
8) Use Natural Light
How to take professional pictures with a phone using natural light. First, you need to pay attention to the direction of the light. Is it too dark or bright? A quick tip for inside photography is to use the natural light from a window. Take a picture of someone standing so the light hits them evenly. You can increase the light by increasing the exposure on the slider on the side or the bottom.
Look for the image of a sun or a light bulb and slide your finger up or to the side. When taking a close-up picture shadow can mess up your photo. If the image has many harsh shadows, you can stand between the sun to reduce the glare on the subject. Taking pictures at sunrise or sunset is the best time to get good lighting.
9) Use The Flash Sparingly for Mobile Photography
The general rule of thumb for using mobile flash photography is to keep it off. With your phone, you can keep it off and then tap on it to turn it on for a specific shot. Then auto flash won’t mess up a great image. Use flash for low lit photography if there is not enough light to get a good shot. Sometimes you can increase the ISO but if it is too high then the image will be grainy.
Use the Flash in Daylight as a Fill in Flash
One of the best times to use the flash for mobile photography is when it is bright and sunny outside. Your subject may have a few shadows and a front flash will help lighten up the image. If your image is back-lit or lit from above, you may have odd shadows. The ambient light that surrounds the object will be much less harsh than straight flash.
10) Explore Add on Lenses
Trying add-on lenses is one of the easiest ways to improve your smartphone camera. Olloclip has the top lenses in the mobile photography industry. For many years the company only made lenses for iPhone’s. This left many mobile photographers without a place to get high-quality lenses. In the last six months, Olloclip created a clip to attach to almost any phone.
Lenses make it easier to take fantastic wide-angle shots, macro, and telephoto images. They introduced an easy way to swap with any lens through the Connect Lens System. These lenses work great with all camera apps. They are an effective way to take video, time-lapse, and panoramas.
See it’s easy to learn How to take professional pictures with your phone. Of course, mastering these tips will require a bit of practice. You can quickly improve your eye for mobile photography by adding a grid and applying the rule of thirds.
After you have tried a few of these tips you can create better pictures in minutes. The next step is adding some final touches by editing the image. Do you want to learn how to professionally edit your pictures? Check out Snapseed Editing Tricks: How to Use Filters