Just because you can’t afford professional photography for your marketing, social media efforts, or personal projects doesn’t mean you have to resort to stock images.
Before smartphones burst onto the scene, that may have been your only option. But today, you’ve got the power to take professional photos in the palm of your hand.
And considering the advancements some smartphones have made in recent years, it’s getting easier and more manageable.
Here are some tips and tricks to make your smartphone photos top-notch.
Remember the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds says that if your image had three horizontal and vertical lines going through it, your subject should be in the crosshairs of the outside lines.
This simple rule can take your phone photography to the next level. And to help you visualize your thirds, turn on your camera’s gridlines. This little tip can go a long way.
Don’t Use the Zoom
We can be tempted to zoom in for closer looks at our subjects, but unfortunately, most phones just weren’t designed for crisp, zoomed-in images.
As an alternative, take the photo as is (even if it looks like you’re far away) and then edit it. You can crop the surrounding area to make it feel as though you had zoomed.
Find Good, Natural Light
Unfortunately, one thing professional cameras have on phones is exposure. Excellent lenses can provide lots of assistance in darker settings.
Another downside of phones is that many have sub-par flashes. So unless you’re in the dead of night, avoid relying on it.
Instead, seek out settings and scenes with ample natural light. Even if it’s nighttime, you may be able to find some streetlights or traffic lights to utilize. Natural light can be a game-changer for your phone photos.
Take Abstract Photos
Abstract photos capture the essence of a subject without showcasing the entire scene. Because our phones aren’t as useful as cameras, you will often find more success shooting abstract photos than attempting to capture a whole scene.
For example, if at a pumpkin patch, an up-close photo of a single pumpkin with some vines might look far more professional than a shot of the whole patch.
Take Lots of Photos
There’s a tiny margin of error when it comes to phone photography. The slightest twitch or glare of light can ruin an image in an instant. So take lots of shots.
Anytime you’re trying to capture something, keep shooting. Adjust your angle and keep shooting. Then, go through and parse through the ones that turned out well. This process can be cumbersome, but your photos will thank you.
Hold Your Phone to Your Chest
This is an easy way to stabilize your phone when taking pictures. Bring your elbows in, tighten your grip on your phone, and bring it into your chest. Tighten up and stand still.
This will prevent your photos from being blurry and give you maximum clarity on your shots.
Choose the Right Phone
Having the right phone for photography can make all the difference. Some of the recent iPhones have advanced camera features, as does the Pixel. Androids have stepped their game up as well.
Check out this article for more information on choosing the right phone: iPhone X vs XR: Which is better for photography?
Choose the Right Accessories
Phones obviously aren’t as powerful as cameras, so don’t be afraid to invest in some accessories to make them more useful.
You could buy a tripod or a rig for more stable shooting. You might benefit from a lighting attachment for better clarity. You could even find a microphone attachment if you’re shooting videos with audio.
Get an External Lens
Rigs, lights, and microphones can be useful accessories, but one that can change the game is an external lens. They will allow you to zoom or capture different kinds of photos.
There are plenty of phone lenses on the market, from fish-eye to wide-angle. Some can help you solve the zoom problem, too. And thankfully, they’re very affordable. Find one that you like and give it a try.
The idea of editing images can be daunting. Even just finding a good app to help can take some time and research. But your final product will be well worth the time.
Most phones now have simple edits baked into the photo app, so you don’t even have to download a new one. Touch up the coloring, remove blemishes, and crop your images after taking them.
Use these tips to change your photo game – no professional photography required.