Phone Photography – Tips for Beginners

Phone Photography

I take most of my photos with my iPhone, as I always seem to have my phone with me. Phone photography is something I fell into, as it was much easier for me to use the camera on my phone rather than lugging around a DSLR camera “just in case”. The cameras we get on our mobile phones are much much better than they used to be, and seem to be improving every day. But ultimately, the photo is only as good as the photographer, and you don’t need an expensive camera to take great photos. If you can learn a few tricks, you can get great photos everyday with just your phone. 

Tip 1. Use the Rear Camera

Our mobile phones these have two cameras. One at the front, which is of lower resolution, which you might use to take a selfie or use to facetime your friends and family. The other is at the back or rear camera, which is higher resolution. This is the camera the manufacturer intends for you to use to take photographs with. Below are two photos that were taken on the same day at the same time. The first one is taken with the front camera. You can see that the photo is not as crisp and as clear, and the colours not as vibrant, as the second photo which was taken with the rear camera.

Pro tip – always clean the lens before taking any photos with your mobile phone. Because we use them for so many things and are constantly touching them they often have grubby smear marks on the lens. This will instantly make your photo unfocused so make sure to clean it prior to taking a photo.

Tip 2. Composition and The Rule of Thirds – Enable Gridlines on Your Phone

There is a heap of information out there on composition in photography, but one of the best known is the rule of thirds. Simply put, you are dividing your image up into thirds both horizontally and vertically. You place your point of interest, whether its a person, or a natural feature along one of these lines or where they intersect. I have found that many photographers make this subject way more complex than it needs to be when you are just starting out. I think this article is a fairly good overview if you want some more information about it. 

Tip 3. Edit your photos

All professional photographers edit their photos, and it is super easy for anyone to do it these days. No longer do you need Photoshop and heaps of skill, anyone can edit their photos quickly and easily on their phones. You can go into the editing settings of your photo on your camera and edit them there by choosing a filter. You can also adjust the intensity of the filter because sometimes the full filter effect can be a bit intense and unrealistic. There are a heap of other phone apps you can use for editing, but I choose to use the free Lightroom app by Adobe which is available on IOS or android.

Don’t be scared of using Lightroom. It has heaps of features, but until you feel comfortable using them and getting a feel for what you like, I recommend using a preset to get started ….. You can even use the exact presets I use.

If you are following me on Instagram (scroll down to see my grid), you will have seen my photography. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about how I take my photos and let me know if you are interested in using presets to make your photos pop!

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