February 23, 2017

We love to celebrate all things photo at Precision Imaging and we get to see all kinds of interesting photos from the different photographers we work with, as well as the good people of Kings Heath.

Though a professional camera undoubtedly has the edge, the quality of smart phones these days is so good there’s no reason you can’t get an amazing shot from your phone, so here’s 14 tips to help you get the best results from your phone’s camera.

1. Be Ready!

I always keep my phone in camera mode so that when I unlock it, it’s ready for taking pictures. A good moment is so easy to lose.

A simple but important point: As we tend to keep our phone in our jeans pockets or handbags, give your lens a quick wipe before you shoot. It is a lint and dust magnet in there!

2. Use both hands

It took me a while to realise but you can use the volume buttons on an iPhone as your shutter. This means you get much more stable shots than if you press the shutter on your screen.

One more thing, hold down the shutter button and you get 10 fps burst mode so you don’t miss the action.

3. Don’t think twice

If you doubt whether to take a picture or not — take it! Snap it! Some moments will not be repeated. If you don’t like your picture you can always delete it, but if you had lost the moment you wouldn’t be able to turn back time and catch it. Don’t overthink and hesitate because there’s nothing to lose.

4. Take lots of pictures

Professional photographers often tell me that they almost never take one picture. Take a shot, critique it, then take another shot…. Change your angle, change your distance to the subject, change your exposure… Almost ALWAYS the end result will be better than the first image you took.

5. Learn to read light

Lighting is what makes a great image, whether you take it with a Nikon DSLR or a mobile phone. If you know what makes great light you are half way to making great photographs.

6. Forget about flash

If you are out in a bar with friends, by all means flash away; but as with point-and-shoot cameras, the light is going to be flat and prone to red eye. You get much better images if you can use the room light. (see point 5)

7. Don’t use zoom!

I think this is the first step towards taking a bad smartphone picture. If you want to zoom in on something, use your legs and move! Don’t forget that this is just a phone, and its abilities are not those of a DSLR lens.

8. Choose unique angles

Try shooting from the cat’s view. This will make you look at the objects from a meow perspective.

9. Reflections

Mirrors are everywhere: glasses, puddles, smooth and shining surfaces. Use these to your advantage and discover other, more unique views.

10. Shadows

Mother nature paints with light. When the sun is shining, shadows help create lots of interesting scenes for you to capture. Look around and you’ll see that even mundane scenes can be captured in a special way.

11. Post-Process Your Images

There are some fantastic apps to help post-process your shots. I use the free app from Google called Snapseed, although the latest version of iOS has much better built-in options than its predecessors.

12. Make your pictures come alive!

Print your pictures, send them as postcards, give them to your friends, hang them on your walls. Holding your pictures in your hands is such a lovely feeling, and it can’t be compared with looking at your pictures on a smartphone screen.

13. Storytelling

Take two or more pictures and make collages. This is a simple way to use your photos to tell a story.

14. Have fun!

At its heart, mobile photography is about fun. The joy of having a camera available at those moments you want to keep is what it’s all about. The best way to improve is to have fun and to enjoy the process of doing better than what you had done before.