simple photography tips to improve your smartphone photos

We live in a time where the smartphone camera is more common than any other. Whether we like it or not, majority of our photos are staying in digital form, and are getting taken on a phone that doesn’t have nearly as much pixel capacity as a professional camera. It’s quicker, it’s lighter, and it’s taking your all-in-one device into capturing your life moments conveniently. That being said, even without the high-class three-thousand-dollar camera, it is still possible to take beautiful pictures by just following a few simple tips:

  1. Crouch. Especially when taking someone’s full length photo, always crouch! The photo should be taken as low as possible, to benefit your subject with the illusion of longer legs (unless they are already Karlie Kloss). It grinds my gears when I see a photo taken from an awkward angle, making the model look disproportional, and therefore not as flattering.
  2. More feet, less sky. It happens too often that we see a photo on social media, where 40% of the shot is the sky above the person, and their poor little feet didn’t make the cut. This goes hand in hand with crouching. By taking the photo from a slightly lower angle, you are giving your model the benefit of having feet, and having feet is a wonderful thing (you didn’t buy those nice shoes for nothing).
  3. Be aware of your light source. If your photo subject has light behind them (whether it’s the sun or a lamp), it would be best to take advantage of your flash for the photo. If flash isn’t used in this instance, you will either have a very dark person, or you may be lucky and have a silhouette. If you don’t intend on using flash, make sure the light is coming from behind the photographer and onto the model.
  4. Don’t expect to get everything into one photo. Yes, it may be a simple snap of your adventures, but you want to make sure your photo has a purpose and isn’t just one big mess. If you are taking a portrait, make sure it’s clear that it’s somebody’s portrait. If it’s a photo of a sight or nature, make sure you don’t have any obstructions. Be clear with what you are showing in your picture.
  5. Don’t count on one good shot. I know it’s tedious asking a friend to take several pictures of you, but more often than not there isn’t “one lucky shot”. Just like a professional photographer has to take lots of pictures just to pick a few great ones, the same goes for your iPhone, and even more so. Because you are dealing with a device that isn’t going to capture everything at its best, you have to take into account trial and error. Out of 20 photos of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower, maybe only one will turn out Instagram-worthy.

Believe it or not, all my photos on this blog and on @ellavoyage Instagram are taken with my iPhone 6. If I had a great camera and editing program, I would post a lot more pictures, but with these simple tips, I am able to make the most of what I’ve got.

Hopefully this helps you in your pursuit of great social media photos or even prints for home.

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