Phone cameras have come a long way over the last decade to the point where they can compete with some of the best DSLR cameras out there.
But like most cameras, they are not perfect. This is where you need to step in a little and help.
The following tips will show you how to take awesome pictures with your phone to seriously boost your content creation, product photography and social media game.
In case you’re asking yourself “why should I care about taking pictures with my phone?” stats show that content with pictures gets 94% more total views than content without.
Numbers don’t lie.
If you want your prospects, customers and website visitors to see more of your content, you should be including as many high-quality pictures within your content as possible.
You don’t need to break the bank and buy a fancy camera to get started, but you do need to know a few handy tricks to maximise the potential of your smartphone’s camera.
Here we go with 9 mind blowing tips.
Clean the Lens
The first and most obvious phone photography tip that we all overlook is cleaning the camera lens.
Your phone’s camera doesn’t have a lens cap like the lenses that go on a DSLR lens to protect it from all the lint in your pockets, fingerprint smudges, dirt, liquid spills and anything else it comes in contact with.
This build-up of dirt and gunk on your phone camera’s lens can result in foggy, unclear images that no amount of post-production editing can fix, no matter how hard you try.
To not help, I suggest buying a lens cloth and some cleaner or even the glasses cleaner sachets you can purchase. Even wiping the lens with your t-shirt is better than nothing.
Just try to clean your phone camera lens before you start taking photos. It makes a massive difference.
Get as Close as Possible
The next of 9 phone photography tips I have for you is to get as close as possible
Yep, your smartphone can zoom in but when you zoom in with your phone’s camera, you lose a lot of the quality and fine detail.
Instead of relying on the zoom, try taking just a few steps closer towards your subject and see if your picture improves, it most likely will.
You’d be amazed by how getting just that little bit closer towards your subject can make a huge difference in the picture quality.
Use Cameras Gridlines
You may be wondering what gridlines are and what they do.
Gridlines are the horizontal and vertical lines that run across your camera screen and assist in balancing your shot when taking pictures with your phone.
This is one of the most effective and easiest ways to improve the quality of your camera phone shots.
Like i said before, turning on gridlines will place lines on your screen based on the rule of thirds, which is a photography composition principle which says that a photograph should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.
According to the rule of thirds, if you line up your subject along the intersection where the horizontal and vertical lines meet your shot will seem more balanced and pleasing to a viewer’s eye.
This is essential when using a smartphone since there is no optical viewfinder.
If you don’t know, here’s how to activate gridlines on iPhone cameras:
- Go to “settings”
- Select “photos & camera”
- Find “grid” and turn it on.
I’m not a Samsung user but from what I have researched here’s how to activate gridlines on Samsung Galaxy (Android) phone cameras:
- Open the camera app
- Go to “settings”
- Scroll down and switch the “gridlines” option to “on.”
Ditch The Filters
Filters used to be cool, I don’t think I even know anyone that uses them much anymore when shooting content of themselves or their products, but anyway, today they are seen as gimmicky.
Rather than using the same pre-set filters used by everyone from around the world, try your hand at editing your photo content yourself.
When you take a picture of your products or anything else you would instinctively know how you want it to look and most of the time preset filters don’t achieve that look.
If you want something done its best to do it yourself I think the expression is.
Mobile apps like SnapSeed, Photoshop Express, and Adobe Lightroom for mobile are all excellent for turning your photos from awesome to out of this freaking world and without compromising their integrity.
Mix Up Your Angles
When taking pictures for your content, whether that be of your products and services or behind the scenes, try changing your composition and perspective and shoot from weird angles.
These can result in some of the most incredible photos for your content.
This is all about seeing from another perspective and to make it happen will require a little thinking and creativity.
Here are some ideas:
Think about bird’s eye view, looking from the top down — to capture that shot you would need to position yourself above the subject. To do this you can try taking pictures from rooftops, or even ladders.
What about taking a reverse bird’s-eye, looking from the bottom up — to capture this shot all you have to do is lay on your back.
Think about the perspective of someone smaller than you like a child or a dog — to capture this shot you’ll want to crouch or get on your hands and knees.
If you can find yourself a weird angle and make it yours that’s a great way to help with branding your images.
My favourite phone photography tips is leading lines
Leading lines in photography refer to a technique of composition where the viewer of your photos attention follows lines that come from outside of the photo and towards the payoff or the main subject of the photo.
A leading line can be useful in shooting content on your phone as it paves an easy path for the viewer’s eye to follow through different elements of a photo.
Don’t Use A Flash
Only use the flash on your phone if you want to take really bad photos if you want to shoot good content you should leave the flash off.
The light used for the flash is a small LED and this, along with the fact that it’s not even an inch away from the lens, makes for poor photo quality.
So avoid at all costs!
If it’s too dark when shooting content, try to find another light source or if you can’t just abandon the idea of shooting.
For alternative sources of light, you might have to have some patience and wait for the right opportunity and try to work nicely with your environment.
Or invest a little more money and purchase a soft light box set up and external lighting to help shoot products.
Natural light is and I think always will be superiorly better than artificial light, so execute on good time management so you can shoot content with your phone while you still have daylight for the best results.
A lot of people get stuck shooting on a portrait axis. But the web is a horizontal medium.
You need to remember that we consume content horizontally, not vertically.
When shooting content on your phone for your business, you should aim to create horizontal pictures that take up the entire screen and not just a tiny slice of it.
Not to mention you can stuff more into the frame when shooting horizontally. If there’s any part of the image you don’t need you can always crop in tighter.
Use The Volume Button
The volume button on your phone has another function besides the obvious.
By turning your smartphone on its side you can use the “volume up” button as the shutter button to snap the photo.
This is a huge benefit because using the standard shutter button on your camera screen will often throw your perfect picture off balance because you need to stretch your fingers too much to not only hold the phone but to hit the button.
By turning the phone on its side and using the volume button as the shutter, you will be forced to use both hands to take the photo. This will increase your hand stability and reduce shaking so your images come out sharp and clear.
Not only that but you will also save yourself a lot of time that would otherwise be wasted trying and trying to get that razor-sharp image, especially handy when you’re on a bit of a time schedule to shoot some content.
In The End
The key to shooting amazing content on your phone, just like any art form, is to keep learning and practising to find your style and staying consistent with your efforts to create.
Good pictures that are clear, sharp and that tell your story are vital to your content strategy for your business.
While DSLRs are gorgeous pieces of machinery, they are not always the most affordable nor convenient pieces of equipment to purchase (trust me I know)
Which is ok, you don’t need them these days.
It is up to you to take awesome pictures for your brand and business with the equipment you have which is most likely your phone.
By implementing these easy 9 mind-blowing phone photography tips you’ll be shooting powerful and effective content in no time.