Tips to Take a Better Photo With Your Smartphone

Smart Phone Photo Tips Header Image

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and while a digital camera with a lens will often take a better photo than a phone, a good photo is a good photo, regardless of the gear used to take it.

Keep these tips in mind when you take photos for business and marketing purposes.

Keep your lens clean

You keep your phone in your pocket and your camera lens can pick up all sorts of dust and grime. So, before you take a photo, make sure to wipe your lens off with a clean cloth to remove any unwanted finger prints.

Make sure the photo background is attractive

Before you snap your pic, take a quick look at the background and make sure everything looks nice, no open garbage can or stray items behind your subject. If your are taking a photo of a product, try using a backdrop. (A clean white sheet or large fresh white piece of paper usually make a good substitute to buying a professional photography backdrop.)

Steady your shot

One area where smartphones still lag behind dedicated cameras is in their sensitivity to movement. A slight shake can leave a smartphone photo looking like it was taken on a rocking boat. Try to minimize camera shake as much as possible. Buying a small smartphone tripod can be great solution, or if you don’t want to buy a tripod then use whatever’s available—a wall, a friend’s shoulder, or even your other arm.

Phone Tripod Example

Use good lighting

Too often a smartphone photo is ruined by bad lighting, and using the phone’s flash usually just makes things worse. Instead try positioning your subject in a well-lit area with the light in front, this way your subject won’t be silhouetted.

Adjust the focus

Smartphone cameras have come a long way in a short time, and most now give you some control over the focus of your shot. If manual focus is available, it’s usually activated with a tap on the screen, on the point where you want the camera to focus.

Focus Example

Don’t use photo filters

If you are taking a photo for marketing purposes, filters might not be the best way to convey your message. You don’t want your brand new product looking like it was made years ago by using a “retro” wash filter on your photo. Keep it clean. If you’re using it for a flyer or ad, let your designer decide if the photo needs a special treatment.

No filter photo example

Use HDR photo mode

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is now a staple feature for smartphone camera apps. Simply put, it brings detail out of the darkest and lightest parts of your picture and creates a better balance of colors overall. The downside is that, in HDR mode, photos take a little longer to process while your smartphone works all this out.

HDR photo and Normal photo Example

Watch for lens flare

Lens flare can cause your pic to lose detail, contrast, and color. To get rid of lens flare, just position your camera so that the very bright light source is not pointing directly into the lens, or cup your hand over your phone’s lens to block it out.

Lens Flare Example

Crop, Don’t Zoom

Smartphone cameras usually offer a digital zoom function to help with capturing far away subjects, but the zoom function doesn’t always grant the best result. Your phone ends up cutting corners and reducing the quality of your photo in order to get a closer look.

Instead, just set up your shot and take the photo. Once you have your pic, use your phone’s built in editing mode to crop the photo to show your desired subject. This will keep the quality of the photo higher, and still get you a similar result.

Zoom and Crop photo Example

Give us a call when you need marketing photography beyond your expertise. We are here to help.

Recently we photographed business colleagues for a study on light and contrast. The dramatic contrast in black and white captures the essence without the judgement of color. Leaving a true representation of the subject. Take a look.

Dave Pedersen Photography Portraits