Unless you’re a photographer, the majority of photos you take will be on your smartphone. This post gives 6 tips on how to take better smartphone photographs.

The days of terrible phone cameras are long gone and the era of stunning photography taken by the small device in your pocket has arrived. If you have a smartphone from 2016 or newer, you have some incredible technology at your disposal to take better images and continue to engage and captivate your audiences on social media and beyond.

Whether you barely open your camera app, or would call yourself a bonafide iPhonetographer, we’re sure there will be some tips & tricks in this blog post that will come in handy the next time you’re looking to capture that special moment or new product.

1. Focus + Light

We’ll start simple here. Make sure your focus, and your lighting is how you like it in the camera app! Most smartphones now come with some degree of control over your shot. If manual focus is available, it’s usually activated by tapping on your screen where you want the camera to focus. If the image is coming out too bright or too dark, tapping and then holding will allow you to slide up and down to adjust the exposure of the image.

2. Learn to Love HDR

HDR, or High Dynamic Range for all the camera nerds out there, is now equipped on practically every smartphone worldwide. This feature, when turned on, shows more of the details of your shadows while simultaneously showcasing more detail of the highlights as well. What does that actually mean? It means portraits and landscapes where you have much brighter areas than darker areas will start to balance out more.

3. Use Natural Light

While smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past decade, they still have some limitations, and one of those limitations is low light performance. So one of the best ways to improve the quality of your image is to use natural light whenever possible.

Don’t be afraid to move your subject closer to a window, or even increase the artificial light in a room as well. Smartphone flashes can sometimes help, but if you have the option, more natural light or ambient light is almost always going to look better.

4. Slow Down + Steady Your Shot

Sometimes we can all get a little too excited, too carried away, and try and take a picture on our phone while we’re in a rush without slowing down and steadying the shot. Most times when we do that, we’re not happy with the result. It’s okay, but it’s not great. And why settle for okay when you can have great? That’s why one of the simplest but truly game-changing things you can do for your smartphone photography is to simply slow down, steady your shot, and actually pause a bit before snapping. It’s one way to make sure you have things exactly as you would like them, and to ensure the crispest shot available.

5. Use Common Composition Guidelines

Rule of Thirds, Leading Lines, Negative Space, Symmetry. To some readers who are familiar with classic photography composition techniques, those words make complete sense. To others, it’s utter gibberish. But that’s okay, if you can look into even one of those techniques, learn a bit more, and then apply that technique to some of your smartphone pictures you will end up with more captivating images for your audience.

6. Edit on the Fly!

As smartphone cameras have improved over the years, so too have the apps available on smartphones to edit with. If you’ve been on social media and wondered to yourself “why do their pictures look so much better than mine”, there’s a good chance they did some minor editing before posting.

Editing on the fly can be as involved as you want it to be. Sometimes editing can be as simple as cropping to remove distracting elements or straightening for the horizon line, or it can be more complicated with the use of third-party apps like VSCO, Adobe Lightroom, or Snapseed which all have massive libraries of filters, tools, and effects to adjust your image. Either way, putting that extra time and effort into your image is sure to be noticed by your followers.

So there you have it – 6 tips on how to take your smartphone photos to the next level. Whether you decide to implement 1 of these tips or all 6, the important thing with anything photography related is to continue to shoot. With that sentiment of continuing to photograph at all times, we’ll leave you with this quote:

“You just have to live and life will give you photos”

— Henri Cartier-Bresson