How To Take Good Photos On Your Phone

I’ve been asked a few times now what I use to take the photos you see on my social media. (You’re probably expecting me to name drop some fancy camera)  but no, it’s just my iphone… whomp whomp. Although I’m sure my pictures would look 20 times better if they were taken with a big fancy DSLR camera, I don’t find it necessary at all for taking beautiful pictures. You can get really gorgeous photos just by using your smart phone – Here are the rules I follow to take good pictures with just

How To Take Good Photos On Your Phone

Natural Light |  Chase the light, by that I mean go to wherever your natural light source is. Phone cameras are already a bit grainier than DSLRs, so try to use bright, natural light whenever possible to get the best photos. If you’re inside, try to get as close to an uncovered window as possible. Outside? Find some shade under a tree so you can still get a well-lit photo without having harsh sunlight directly on your subject (this also means turn that flash off!). Also, magic hour (about an hour before the sun completely sets) is called magic for a reason – use it wisely!


Try Different Angles | Once you’ve got your photo set up, make sure to try out different angles and photo sizes to get the best shot. Maybe the overhead flat lay of your makeup bag contents doesn’t look quite right as a 5×8, but cropped to a square it looks killer. Or perhaps an overhead shot of your new boots isn’t the best angle, and they’d look much better up against the wall with the camera directly in front of them and level with the floor. It really all depends on what style and look you’re going for with your photography, so try as many ideas out as possible so you’re sure to get the best possible shot.


Hold Still |  When using your phone as your main camera, the pictures tend to easily become blurry and grainy. It’s super important to hold as still as possible when shooting photos on your phone so that they turn out sharp, clear, and focused. If you need to, think about investing in a tripod or remote for your phone so you can get insta-worthy photos. One tip for handheld photos is to breathe normally – don’t hold your breath! – and take the photo as you exhale. Your body will be relaxed and hands will be steady.


Focus | One thing that some people might not know is that you can tap the screen of your phone right before taking a photo to focus in on a certain area. This can be especially helpful if you’re going for that blurred out background look – just tap on whatever is closest to the phone and it will help that become in focus while everything else behind it will become a bit blurred out.


Always Edit | I think there’s a bit of a stigma around editing photos, like you’re not supposed to edit them or you’re being “fake”. While I don’t advocate Photoshopping your face to hell and back, I do think every photo, whether taken on a small phone or a big camera, needs to be edited at least a little bit to correct lighting and color issues. Some of my favorite photo editing apps are SnapseedAfterlight, and VSCO. Whenever I edit my photos, I always make sure to add some brightness, contrast, clarity, and sharpness, and then I’ll play around with saturation, temperature, tint, and midtone color if the overall color of my photo is a little off. Everyone will have a different philosophy on editing photos. I once heard a photographer say that he edits photos to make them feel like he did in that moment. It is not about making the picture flawless but rather to capture the desired feeling. Each picture is different, so you may need to do more editing on one than on another – practice and edit a bunch of different photos until you find what works best for your style/brand.


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