Whether you want to take better photos of your family or start an Instagram account for your side hustle, great photos are key to mastering your social media accounts. The best camera is the one you have with you so your phone will be your most used tool. DSLR’s or a “fancy camera” is great for getting professional quality photos. However, it is not always the most convenient to carry with you all the time. So, your mobile photography skills need to be sharp. Even though the cameras in smartphones today are getting better with each new version, you need to know a few tips and tricks to make the most of them.
1. Lighting – Good light is essential to a properly exposed and sharp photo. Don’t stand directly in the sun or have your subject looking into the sun. This will create harsh shadows. Try to find a natural source of light or use what is around you. The best light for selfie’s is when you face a window. Avoid using the built in flash. It is a small LED light that is right next to the lens and will result in blurry images and weird shadows. You can use a white piece of paper to reflect light back onto the subject. Use external ring lights. You can even use a flashlight and bounce the light off the wall behind you if necessary.
2. Composition - Keep in mind what you are taking the photo for. Do you need to keep things centered? Do you want to put words next to you? If you turn on your grid it will help you keep things composed properly. Go to settings either in your phone or in your camera app. There will be an option to turn grid on or off and some phones will let you choose what type of grid you want. Don’t always center your subject.
2a. Along the same lines as composition, turn your camera for horizontal photos. The web is a horizontal medium, you should take photos that use up the entire screen not just part of it. Our brains consume content horizontally so these photos are more appealing to viewers. They also have a more professional feel.
2b. Play with different angles and depths. Try getting as close as possible. Try getting a bird’s eye view (looking down) or getting low and looking up. Do not be afraid to lay on the ground or step up on a ladder.
3. Close - Ups and Detail - Don’t use the camera’s zoom. Move closer. When you use your zoom the image will get more pixelated and you lose detail. It is better to move your feet and get closer if necessary.
4. Keep Lens Clean - It seems like a no-brainer but most people forget.. keep your lens clean. It is so easy to get lint, dirt and fingerprints on your lens. It will make a big difference in the overall quality of your photos.