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Take better phone photos

Here are 5 easy ways to improve your mobile photography

Most photographers will tell you that when it comes to taking good photos, the tools and equipment you use usually fall quite low on the priority list. Because truthfully, a good camera does not automatically equal a good photo. Instead, the best advice is typically to improve by doing — which means shooting more, whether that’s on a fancy camera or using your phone.

But other than waiting until all of your practice makes perfect, there are some basic techniques to keep in mind to get the most out of your mobile photography (or any photography for that matter). Here’s a list of our top five:

Stay sharp

Let’s start with the most obvious tip to get a clean, crisp shot: clean your lens! Although unexciting, just think about how many minutes (or more likely — hours) are spent touching your phone. So grab a tea towel (or even better — one of those microfibre cloths you use to clean your sunglasses), and give your phone’s lens a clean.

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The key to an even sharper image? Making sure the right parts of your photo-to-be are in focus. So next time you’re ready to take a snap, quickly tap the Subject of your photo on your screen to make sure they are in focus.

Follow the light

With mobile photography, finding the right light is key. As a beginner, stay away from lighting extremes (whether that’s night scenes or harsh mid-day sunlight). You’ll want to keep to overcast conditions or slightly shaded areas for your next shoot.

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Remember to adjust the brightness on your phone when taking photos. Simply tap on the subject of your photo until you see sunlight icon — then drag your finger up or down your screen to play with the brightness and find the perfect lighting.

Strike a balance

A simple way to create a balanced and visually appealing image is to pay attention to the lines within your composition when taking a photo. Say goodbye to crooked angles and off-kilter horizons! Instead, focus on every element within the frame, not just the main subject of the photo, to make sure that the natural lines that run through your image are balanced.

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An easy way to keep a level horizon is to activate the grid setting on your phone’s camera. Plus, the grid can help you craft a perfectly symmetrical photo, or experiment framing your subject using with the rule of thirds.

To set up the grid on your iPhone, go to Settings and scroll down to Photos & Camera. Once you’re there, scroll down to Grid, and turn that setting on.

Play with perspective

One of the main rookie mistakes in photography: Snapping one photo and carrying on. Don’t do that! As Unsplash contributor Mika Korhonen explained in a recent interview: “Quite often good photos can be great with some work — and that’s the part many people skip.”

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For your next shoot, challenge yourself to take at least 5 photos of your subject from different distances and angles. Also remember to physically move around to find these new perspectives, rather than relying on your camera’s zoom (which is a camera function we’d generally avoid on your phone).

Keep it simple

When you’re just starting out — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the techniques and rules to remember, or frustrated by your perceived lack of progress. So scaling back and keeping your shots simple can go a long way as you build up your confidence.

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During your next shoot, keep these things in mind to pair down your photos:

Basic background

Find a quiet environment for your next shoot, so you have more control over how to frame your photo.

It’s the little things

Get up close and personal, focusing in on specific details that you find intriguing.

One track mind

Stick to one subject so that you can focus on framing them well.

As helpful as these tips may be (and we hope that they are!), there’s no substitute for going out and shooting as much as possible. And really, you have no excuse — chances are, your phone’s with you wherever you go.

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Take better phone photos


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