11 SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS!
Smartphone photography has taken a huge rise in the last few years. Not surprisingly due to the great cameras the newer models have. Everyone can take a picture with their smartphones, but in order to make a great picture it still requires some effort. I took this photo on the beach a few months ago, just with my iPhone XS. It took a bit of time to get the photo right, but I am pretty happy with the end result! So here is my list of 11 Smartphone photography tips for you to take your smartphone photography to the next level!
Smartphone photography tips
Tip no. 1:
Clean your lens! It sounds so simple but it really helps. Certainly the lens of your smartphone can get dirty quickly, through your pocket, your bag, fingerprints, you name it. So before you start, just clean that lens. That is possible with a cloth, toilet paper or something similar.
Tip no. 2:
Use a tripod. Stable photos are often just a bit better than photos that you quickly handheld.
Tip no. 3:
Use natural light. That is often softer than studio lights. With natural light you get a beautiful natural glow on your photos.
Tip no. 4:
Turn on your HDR in your smartphone. With HDR, High Dynamic Range, your smartphone takes multiple photos at the same time. Simply put, it creates a better color balance in the photo. Your smartphone merges the photos and ensures that underexposed areas are illuminated a little better, and the overexposed areas become slightly darker. This results in 1 better photo. Your smartphone is busy with it, so it takes a little longer before the photo is ready. Keep that in mind, hence: tripod! You can set HDR in your camera app or via the settings in your phone.
Tip no. 5:
Use the “rule of thirds”. This rule states that a photo is divided into 9 parts, 3×3. Try to position the most interesting part of the photo, for example the horizon, or the person you are photographing on the bottom edge of this frame. So slightly above the lower 3 parts, and at the bottom of the middle 3 parts. I hope this picture gives more clarity.
Tip no. 6:
Do you want to take portrait photos? Then use the portrait function of your smartphone. In this way a nice bokeh effect is created by a lower aperture. Make sure you do not take one too large aperture, so a low number. Because then your smartphone will edit the photo with software and that often gives a very manipulated image. But you can also take beautiful photos with the portrait function, so if you have one, use it!
Tip no. 7:
Use the light meter. You may know him, that square with a lamp icon that appears on your screen. This is the light meter. That is pretty handy. Certainly if you want to take photos in more dark or lighter situations, you can use the light meter to determine how much light must be measured by your smartphone. You can help the smartphone a bit by moving the light meter. For example, move the light meter to a dark area to slightly overexposure the photo, or to a light area to under exposed the photo. In this way you can ensure that your subject is properly visible in situations with a lot of light.
Tip no. 8:
Do you want to take beautiful portrait photos outside? Then stand in the shade of a tree or building. Nice diffuse light comes over the trees or the building that you can use well. Stand at the edge of the shadow and shoot against the light. This gives a nice glow.
Tip no. 9:
Do you want to photograph indoors? Then stand by a window. Close gives nice direct light on the person.
If you really want to make a beautiful photo, try applying the Rembrandt Lighting technique, creating a triangle of light on the person’s cheek. This triangle forms on the cheek furthest away from the window. This technique requires some practice and setup, I am going to make a whole video about it. But above all, start by photographing by a window, which is already a very good step to make your photos better.
Tip no. 10:
Use an external app to edit your photos. As I showed in this video (in Dutch…), you can easily edit your photos with apps such as Lightroom, Snapseed but also in Instagram. You can adjust all kinds of details so that your photo is just a little nicer. Give it a try.
Tip no. 11:
Discover your camera app on your phone. Whether you use your standard camera app or another app (a list of useful apps here by the way) just give these apps a try. Take half an hour and take several photos and play with the settings. Then you automatically learn much more about the possibilities.