Hi there! Welcome back to my blog! This week I am going to give you ten tips how to make your smartphone photos better.

Let’s face it, nowadays, we can’t imagine a world without phones anymore. Every new phone that comes out on the market is better and more advanced than the last. We photograph our food, our kids and basically any other moment that happens in our daily lives.

There’s enough to find on the internet about how to improve your photos with your smartphone, but here’s some of my most important tips below!

  1. Light!
    This is probably the most important thing for every photo because without light we can’t even see any details. However, having the perfect light can give your photos that professional pop that no filter can add. So, make sure you take that extra effort in finding the right light. Try to look for a window or any other place where natural daylight can shine on your subject. This will give your photos more depth and as a result look more appealing to the eye.
  2. Focus
    Your focus point can really make or break your photo. Make sure that when you take a photo the right object/subject is in focus by clicking on your screen on the spot you want in focus. The closer you get with your phone on the subject/object, the more the background gets blurry; also known as the Bokeh effect (see down below for explanation*). The blurred background makes the object stand out and appear to be in sharper focus. The further you are from your subject, the more everything is in focus. Once you know this thought process, you can decide for yourself what is important for you and what you want to be the focus of your photo.
  3. Rule of Thirds
    A good tool when taking photos with your phone is your photo gridlines. Gridlines are a tool based on what photographers call the rule of thirds, or in a broader sense, composition. In photography school, they teach us that if your subject/object is in these intersections or along the lines your photo looks more interesting to the viewers eye and appears more in balance. Composition is key and is a golden rule in photography. 
  4. Crop
    When you take photos, try to limit cropping your photos too close, as this can take away from the atmosphere of the photo. If possible, leave enough space around your subject/object because you can always adjust the photo to your liking later on in the process. But sometimes cropping the photo can make your photo look more intresting try to play with different croppings and see what you like.
  5. Avoid Over-zooming in
    Sometimes you may feel you need to be closer to capture a moment and it can be so tempting to zoom all the way in. Unfortunately, this can actually make your photo pixelated, blurry and grainy. It becomes unrecognizable what you’re trying to capture. In most cases, try to go closer on your subject to prevent all this hassle. You can also crop your image later on which is still better than trying to zoom all the way in. And please ALWAYS use your back camera instead of your front camera. The rear camera will typically have more pixels and makes better photos than with the front camera 
  6. Flash
    One of my personal biggest frustrations is using the mobile flash. Let’s be honest, it does not make your photo look any better with its harsh light that blinds you and makes everything look really flat. Other times, it may look even darker. It completely takes the feeling out of your photo! Always take time to focus effort on finding a natural light source before resorting to the flashlight. This will already make your photos look more natural than if you would’ve used the flash. If you decide to take a photo with flash make sure you do it during the day time this will help making shadows more soft and less darker. 
  7. Negative Space
    No, I don’t mean negative space that may be surrounding your thoughts or feelings. I’m talking the kind of space that has very little detail so your main subject can stand out more. In minimalistic types of photography, we use this negative space. It’s being used to demand the viewers eye to look at the photo’s main subject for a longer period of time.
  8. Fill it up!
    If your not a fan of using much negative space in your photos, you can really make your photos very interesting by filling up the frame with one subject that you want to stand out. This can create interesting photos of a simple subject up close keep the rule of thirds in mind here.
  9. Perspectives
    Looking back at tip 3, rule of thirds and composition, this tip goes hand in hand with using perspectives. Looking at the subject or place in a surprising way makes it more interesting and appealing to the eye. Instead of taking the usual photo straight from the front, try to tilt your phone to the side or more up or down to create a different angle or make a photo in between subjects. Don’t worry if you feel self-conscious to be creative and try new perspectives. With every new perspective, you will get a better feeling for which perspectives are best to use.
  10. HDR
    HDR stands for high dynamic range. Simply explained, high contrast between three photos ranging from under-exposed to overexposed. Then, the three photos are merged together to create a more detailed image. For your smartphone, that means your brightness on your photos will be more bright while keeping the dark colors dim. This lets you take more detail out of your brightnesses and make your subjects 3 dimensional. For your phone, it’s a lot simpler. With HDR on, it makes 2 photos. One normal and one HDR. So ultimately you can decide which on you like better. Typically, HDR is used for landscape and nature photo.

There’s probably a lot more tips and tricks you can do with your phone, I just wanted to share my top 10 I always keep in mind when I’m taking photos with my phone. I would love to hear and see your tricks as well and photos you use when taking pictures with your phone. I’ve added a gallery below keeping in mind the tips I just gave you, of some ways I made interesting photos with my iPhone 6s.

Next weeks topic is all about what to wear for a photoshoot. I’m going to share my tips together with a fashionista who stays updated on what’s trendy and what not for every season. Let’s be honest, if your clothes don’t compliment you, it can take away from even the best looking photos.

I hope to see everyone else’s  smartphone photography tips in the comments! Until next week, I hope you all a peaceful Sunday.

*Bokeh explained: Boke is Japanese for ‘blur’ or ‘haze’ you pronounce it as “boh-keh”
The closer you get to your subject the more in focus your subject will be and the more blurry the background gets this creates a shallow-depth-of-field focusing on one focus point and making everything else blurry this gives your photos more definition.

-Nancy Deremer