It’s really exciting that we have the ability to take photos with our phones. It’s not so exciting to pull your pricey device out of the packaging with the highest of expectations, only to realize that the photos you’ve taken are grainy or the subject is difficult to see. Here are a few tips for taking great phone photos:
1. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting. If your subject/object isn’t well-lit, you’re going to have problems. The brighter the light, the clearer your image is going to turn out. Off-times cameras come with a flash built-in, sometimes this can help out in a dark situation – but not always. The bottom line is, the more natural light, the better.
2. Keep Steady. If you’ve got the shakes, your photo will have them too. I tend to use both hands to hold my phone when I’m taking a photo, to stabilize the phone. You’ll also want to take into account the lag-time between when the button is pressed and the photo is taken – hold the camera steadily in place until you’re sure you’ve gotten the shot.
3. Step Closer, Never Zoom. The zoom feature on phone cameras is practically useless when it comes to clarity. You’re going to want to get close to your subject instead of trying to zoom-in. You won’t regret putting in the extra effort to get the shot.
4. Keep the Rules of Composition in mind.
Rule of Thirds: Have you ever wondered what those squares are for in the Instagram app (or any other app for that matter)? – To help you abide by the Rule of Thirds! This rule divides images into 9 equal squares with 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The most important elements in your photos should fall along the lines and the intersections of the grid. This adds balance to your photo!
Balance: It’s important to try and balance the visual weight of the other objects in your photo if you’ve placed the subject far off-center – this helps the extra space to seem less empty.
Symmetry: Symmetrical forms are visually interesting if they’re perfect, but also if the symmetry is broken. Look for ways to demonstrate both symmetry and asymmetry in your scenes.
Cropping: The way a photo is cropped is important – it helps to keep small things from getting lost if you crop in tightly, and big things to be exposed to the fullest if you take a step back to capture the big picture. When you’re mindful of what you’re framing in your photos – it will make a huge difference in your end result.
5. Have Fun! Take a lot of photos of fun and interesting things, take risks, take bad ones, and good ones. As long as you’re enjoying the process and constantly experimenting, you’re bound to get better!