These days I don’t always want to carry my bulky DSLR around and there are times when my DSLR with a big lens can disrupt a great photographic moment. Fortunately, modern smart phones now have pretty impressive cameras (for their size), and if you approach phone photography with a couple tips in mind, you can take some great photos. It all comes down to practice and getting creative with what your phone can do.
1. Find a good app, and learn how to use it
For my iPhone, I prefer “Camera+”, as it allows me to pick points for exposure and set my focus independently. It is worth a few bucks for a good app that has flexible tools, but no matter which app you use, learn how to manipulate it. The better you are with the app and your phone’s controls, the more creative you can get. Even tech-nerds like myself read the manuals when something doesn’t make sense, so don’t be afraid to find help with an app. Check the developer’s website or search for help on forums or online photography groups.
2. Pay attention to light
I always prefer natural light, and shooting outdoors or with windows as light sources can often produce better photos. Regardless of what your light source is, angle your subject so that the light is flattering. Make sure the light isn’t shooting straight at the subject, but rather at an angle, to the right or left, so there is a shadow and depth on one side. Also, avoid having strong light directly behind your subject unless the front is also well lit. Or, disregard what I’ve just said and get creative! Rules are meant to be broken.
3. Google “photography composition” and read an article or two
Again, composition rules are meant to be broken, but it is good to understand the rules in the first place. Learn about the rule of thirds, and how to intentionally create visual movement in your photos. Learn how your composition makes the photo feel. Learning composition techniques can take a bit of reading and practice, but when you do so, you’ll notice an improvement in your photos.
4. Take it easy on the filters
Instagram and other in-camera filters can be pretty cool, but use them carefully. Going to the extreme with filters doesn’t always improve your photos – and who wants to see an over-distorted photo of your new kitten? It should be cute enough on its own without turning it rainbow colored with a crazy filter.
5. Look for an interesting angle
Get high, get low, and move around to find a fresh and interesting perspective. Photography can take patience and practice, so roam around your subject and spend time with it to get the best shot.
There are so many things you can do with the camera on your phone. Filmmakers have even used phones to create feature-length films, just to prove that they could. While you may not see us at Gravity Group use our phones for video production any time soon, it’s fun to see how far camera phones have come. So go out and have some fun with your phone, and if you are interested in more photography or video tips and tricks, let us know by liking, commenting, sharing this post on Facebook and we’ll make sure to do more posts like this one.