Learning how to take good photos with your phone is a useful skill if you want your Instagram to be successful but it can also help you on days where you just want to relax with the family and still get some good photos.
Taking professional kit everywhere with you is almost impossible. I honestly wish I could take mine everywhere but as a Mum of twins, I already seem to take the entire house with me wherever I go!
Your phone will have its own benefits and its own limitations, so I won’t get in to the super technical features of specific phones and I won’t pretend that it will be just as good as having a DSLR with you because in most cases it won’t.
Instead, I’ll give you some basic tips on how to take great photos with the tools you do have with you.
So, here’s my tops tips on how to take good photos with your phone…
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Use good lighting
One limitation phones have, is that they’re not very good in low lighting situations. Have you noticed how grainy your phone photos are in a darker room?
To take good photos with your phone, you need to be using decent lighting.
If you’re using natural light, make sure there’s lots of it. Position your subject in front of a big window with lots of light pouring in, or take them outside.
When taking natural light photos outside, be aware of the position of the sun. If the sun is very high in the sky (usually midday), it can create harsh shadows, so be sure to use a bit of shade during these times of the day. Taking photos early in the morning and late afternoon/early evening is best.
Avoid the built in flash
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a phone or a DSLR, built-in flashes are usually terrible.
They’re harsh and too direct, so make most photos look pretty unflattering.
If you’re taking a low light selfie, I’d recommend getting a budget tool such as this Selfie Ring Light to create a much nicer look.
I’ve even used the Selfie light for other subjects by positioning it to the side of my subject. It’s small and compact enough to carry in a handbag, so no need to carry around an alternative light source.
One way to ruin a photo is to forget your horizons, so straighten up your photo before you take it!
It will save you from having to crop and straighten when you edit, which would cause you to lose a bit of your photo around the edges.
A lot of the skills you will need when trying to take good photos with your phone will be composition based, as you’ll be limited to what settings you can change and what tools you can throw into the mix.
Composition is basically how the photo is composed and how the subjects of a photograph are arranged.
Here are some composition specific tips you should know:
Rule of Thirds
To compose images with the Rule of Thirds, you need to imagine your image with a grid divided into 9 segments. 3 rows across and 3 columns down. Then position the important parts of your image along the lines of the grid.
Some phones have a grid you can turn on in camera, so you can compose your photo with the Rule of Thirds.
Keep it minimal
With the limitations of using a phone camera, you won’t be able to seperate your subject from the background as well as you could with a DSLR and a good lens.
To ensure your subject stands out and there aren’t any distractions in frame, be sure to keep it simple.
Create interesting photos by using symmetry. When you can’t change much of the technical aspect of your photo, you can at least make it as pleasing to the eye as possible.
Edit your phone photos
To give your photos a finished look and make them look a bit more professional, you should think about editing them in an app.
I recommend either using the Lightroom App, or the VSCO app.
No worries if you’re not great at editing, you can always use some ready made Lightroom Mobile Presets that will look great in your blog or on Instagram.
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