Phone Photography, Photography

11 Extremely Simple But Professional Smartphone Photography Rules You Can Use To Capture Award Winning Photos

… Just like the pros do it…

Capturing unique and beautiful photos with your smart phone camera is not rocket science. Here are eleven simple, tested but trusted tips you can use immediately just like the real pros do to snap award winning photographs of your own… using your smartphone camera. Be sure to let us know your own tips in the comments section below.

  1. Equip Your Smartphone With External Lenses To Get More Visual Excitement

This tip is actually a no-brainer. Want to take phone photo skills to the next level?  Then equip your phone with the best Smartphone accessories available to expand your phone camera’s capabilities.  Accessories like these excellent ones here are useful for taking macro or ultra-wide angle shots.

Using these accessories with your smartphone will definitely transform your photography skills to an unprecedented level. Let’s just say your friends would be more eager to take group pictures or selfies with your phone.

 2. Equip Your Smartphone With The Best Apps

All experienced photography  pros edit their pictures. The same applies to mobile phone pictures. And by edit I do NOT mean simply slapping an Instagram filter on a picture. Want to churn out great photos? Then learn the basic concepts in photography and how their interactions result in amazing pictures. Learn about brightness, contrast and saturation. Apps like Fotor, Adobe Photoshop Express, and Lumina Creative Studio installed on your phone can help you do just that..

Feel free to change moods and colors and to add some more visual elements to your photos. Editing apps can help you to make your pictures much better, or at the very least more interesting.

Fantastic Photo editing apps you can use immediately include in your smartphone photography arsenal include Snapseed, Pixlr, Mextures, Distressed, and Mattebox


3. Get Closer To Your Subject Rather Than Using The Digital Zoom Function

Most inbuilt smartphone camera images tend to be small. So to avoid having to zoom in on the object, which in turn reduces the image quality, get a little closer to the object of your photograph.

Also, using your phone’s digital zoom function decreases the quality of your photos by making them appear more pixilated. This pixilation is more obvious when the zoom in function of the camera is activated.


Generally, a better option to zooming in with your camera is to either get as close as possible before taking the shot and then edit the photos using either photo editing software on your phone or PC . Another option is to shoot the picture first and later crop out the unwanted elements in  your photo so only the preferred parts you want to lay emphasis on remains.


4. Keep Your Camera Hand Steady

Want a clear, blur-proof photo image? Simply keep your smartphone camera hand as still as possible. This may involve using a phone tripod or monopod standto hold your phone in place or where possible, lean the hand holding the phone on a rock solid object ( a wall, a tree, a pole etc) before pressing the capture button on your phone.  Note that your smartphone camera might have an inbuilt shutter lag i.e. the timeframe between when the camera capture button was pressed and when the camera actually takes the picture.

This feature is most noticeable when photographing objects under dim lighting conditions. This means that you may need to hold the phone still and steady for a little more time than usual to ensure a clear image.


5. Take Your Photos From Different Angles


Add a little bit of spice and variety to your smartphone photography skills by snapping photos of your subject from various angles, perspectives, positions or views. Getting down on your knees, laying down on the ground, climb a ladder, climb a tree etc.The possibilities for capturing another point of view of the same subject are indeed limitless… try as many of them as possible  You can be sure of getting beautiful, unique but attractive images.

A great idea is to buy and attach some cool external smartphone camera lenses like these ones right here on to your phones too.


6. Don’t Delete Those “Mistake” Shots

It happens… even to the best among us all. Those camera shots we took look awful or silly, so we head for the delete/ trash button almost immediately… Not so fast my friend!

The inbuilt screens on most smartphones generally do not have the same quality and pixilation like your PC monitors. So don’t be so hasty to delete those error shots until you have actually viewed them on your PC. They just might look a whole lot better on a higher quality monitor like a HD screen.

Besides, with a little photo editing skills and touches, those erroneous or blurry shots can be quite useful as framed abstract photographs for your living rooms, kitchen and bedroom.


7. Clean Your Smartphone Lenses Regularly


Regular cleaning of your phone’s camera lenses (inbuilt or attached) is a must as most smartphone camera lenses are easily blighted by dust and dirt, such as those from your fingerprints … especially if your phone has no lens cover. So do your phone lens a huge favor by periodically cleaning the lens using a very soft cloth (eg cleaning cloth for sunglasses) or  a piece of cotton swab dampened with a little distilled water. Both will do the job nicely and can be easily purchased at a nearby general store near you.


8. Turn Off Your Smartphone’s Inbuilt Flash


using your smartphone camera flash is never a great idea unless you consider taking selfies or group photos at night showing slightly blurred images with strange skin colors and demon-like eyes to be cool.

If this is not the case, then consider capturing such photos using alternative light sources such as a neon sign in that bar or nightclub, the spotlights at a night party function, some night photo apps or even an external camera flash instead, where available.


9. Use The High Dynamic Range (HDR) Feature On Your Phone.


The HDR feature on most recently produced smartphones enables the user to capture 3 different images of a single subject, all at different exposures, combines them together, while highlighting the best part of each shot.

With this feature, you have the advantage of getting the best photo from 3 slightly different possibilities. but remember that taking photos in HDR takes a little more time and as such, you might need to hold the phone steady for a longer than usual period of time.


10. Light, Shadows and Reflections

It’s all about light. Light surrounds us everywhere. Learn to read light as lighting is what makes or breaks a great image, whether you take it with a Nikon D4 or a mobile phone. If you know what makes great light for snapping photos, you are already half way ahead in your race to capturing  great photographs.

Mother Nature paints with light. When the sun is shining, shadows help create lots of interesting scenes for you to capture. Look around and you’ll see that even seemingly mundane, scenes can be captured in an unexpected but special way.

Mirrors are everywhere all around us; glasses, puddles, smooth and shiny surfaces. Use these to your advantage and discover other, more unique views of your subject that you never saw or thought of initially.


11. Focus

What’s your theme? Try to select just one theme, one idea for each shoot, and let it act as your guide. Stop for one second and think about whether you want to capture the picture in front of you.  One often forgotten rule of taking superb photo shots is simplicity. Less really is more in photography and the less cluttered or jampacked your image looks, the better. Use empty spaces, the sky, uncolored surfaces, and focus on details as much as possible.


Ultra Wide Angle and Macro

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