1. Use Gridlines
A simple and effective way to improve your mobile photography is to simply turn on the camera gridlines. This gives you a guide made up of a series of lines on the screen based on the “rule of thirds”. A common principle of photography is that an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.
If you position the subject of the image where the lines cross, your photo will be more balanced and level. It allows the viewer to engage with the image more naturally.
To activate the grid on your phone camera:
iPhone: Go to “Settings,” choose “Photos & Camera,” and switch “Grid” on.
Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to “Settings,” scroll down and switch the “grid lines” option to “on.”
2. Set Your Focus
Sometimes it’s easy just to whip out the camera and take a quick snap, as today’s technology means that the phone automatically focuses on the foreground of the frame. However, sometimes the phone might not always know what subject you want to focus on. For good practice, make sure to tap on the screen the part of image you want to focus on just before you take the picture. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to focus on something that is moving around. Practice now on your friends and family now, we’re sure they’d love that!
3. Focus on one subject
Most professional photos include just one, interesting subject which your eyes are drawn towards. Spend time thinking about how you will frame the shot using the rule of thirds and focus. A common theory is that the subject of your photo shouldn’t fill the entire frame and that two thirds should be negative space.
This helps the subject stand out and become more noticeable.
4. Look for alternative perspectives
Snapping your pictures from a unique or unexpected angle can make your photography pop and stand out from the crowd, since some photos are taken straight or from above.
This is worth experimenting with, most of the time it might not be applicable, bur sometimes it can create really interesting results.
5. Find Symmetry
The human eye is drawn to the harmony of perfect proportion and balance, which is why we can’t help but look at symmetrical images. It’s also very simple to do.
In photography, symmetry can be defined by creating an image that can be split into 2 equal parts that become mirror images of each other. Symmetry can be found everywhere, nature, architecture, landscapes, products, food.
Remember to use the gridlines to help you line everything up!
6. Identify Repeated Patterns
Another thing to look out for is repetitive patterns, which are very pleasing to the eye. This is when strong elements of the image are repeated again and again, from arrays to geometric shapes, forms and colours. This can create for an impactful photograph. Even something simple such as a tiled floor can look very striking.
7. Try not to Zoom in
If you are taking a shot from a distance on your phone, you. Might be tempted to zoom in to the subject. Try to avoid this as much as possible, as the digital zoom on your phone camera can cause the photo to appear grainy, blurry or pixelated.
Instead, try and move closer to the subject if possible. And you can always crop the image later, that way you won’t compromise the quality of the picture and it’s a lot easier to edit.
8. Utilise Natural Lighting
Natural light is your greatest lighting tool. Try to avoid using the flash when possible and move your subject next to a window. This gives you a softer light source and you can play around with the angle and shadows.
If you are taking a photo of a person, try to have them stand side on to the window, so the light is hitting one side of their face. Do not have them standing directly in front of the window, unless you want the ‘silhouette’ look.
9. Invest in a mobile tripod
Mobile devices nowadays have great image stabilisation quality, making it easy to snap photos quickly. However, if you decide to take a selfie image without the extended arm in shot, we recommend investing in a mobile tripod to set up your shots to get wider angle selfies. You can also set a self-timer on your phone to take the images.
If you are taking product photos and want them all to be in the same place, then setting up a tripod that takes the photos from the exact same angle every time is recommended.
This is also handy if you want to create videos too!
10. Take Candid Photos
Photos of people smiling towards the camera can be great for memories, celebrating happy moments with friends, family and colleagues. However, sometimes photos of people busy with an activity, unaware that the camera is there can look far more compelling.
This is because candid photography can catch more authentic emotions, as the subject is not ‘putting on’ for the camera and therefore their true emotions are revealed.
The best way to catch these great moments is just practices as much as possible, be aware of the opportunity and take as many as possible in that situation.
11. Be fun!
For social media, sometimes the most engaging of images are ones that make us laugh. Try to spice up your content by encouraging your colleagues or friends to strike a pose or wear a silly prop. If you can make your followers laugh, they are likely to enjoy your photograph too.
12. Regularly clean your phone’s camera lens
A common mistake of phone photography is that they quickly take their device form their pocket or bag and take a photo, without realising that the phone will have been collecting all kinds of dust and dirt. A quick wipe with a handkerchief is an ideal solution for this. Sometimes you can get the odd image that looks “cloudy” if you don’t remember to wipe the lens beforehand.
13. Don’t be afraid to shoot Portrait!
As Instagram and Facebook allows you share photos that are in portrait mode (longer vertically than horizontally) this means that when you upload an image in this style, you can fill the user’s entire screen with the image as they scroll past, making them more likely to stop and engage with your image.
Lining up shots and taking great photos on your phone is just the first step. There is a wide variety of free photo editing apps that can help you increase the colour saturation, brightness, sharpness and even add a frame to the image. Filters can be a great and quick solution to make your food photos look even more delicious.
You can edit the photos on your smartphone, but for more control over the image, we would recommend apps such as InShot, where you can import photos and create visually striking colours.