5 Simple Tips for Better Phone Pics

If you’re serious about stepping up your social media game as a thought leader, influencer or brand, YOU NEED GREAT CONTENT! “But I don’t have the time and/or money to waste on buying and learning to use a DSLR or paying a photographer!”... Worry not, my friend! With the information I’m about to give you that tiny magical device in your hand is beyond capable of doing everything you need.

  1. Composition

There’s a bit more to taking good photos than “point-and-shoot”. The rule of thirds is amazingly simple to master. Just keep your subject aligned towards the “outer” thirds (vertically) and your horizon towards the lower third (horizontally). You can even set most phones to show a grid that divides your screen into horizontal and vertical thirds.

Angling yourself is another simple yet powerful change to your images. Get lower to the ground, stand on your tiptoes and reach high with your arms. We’ll be doing more in-depth blogs about this and other composition tricks in the near future, so stay tuned.

  1. FLASH OFF PLEASE

First off, it’s annoying. No one likes the person walking around blinding people with their crappy phone flash. I don’t even like professional flashes. NATURAL LIGHT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! The flash on your phone is one-directional (meaning it hits your subject head-on) and looks extremely artificial, causing harsh shadows and making everything look terrible. Best times to shoot are shortly after sunrise or during sunsets, otherwise known as Golden Hour. Overcast days are also ideal as the cloud cover acts as a massive natural softbox that evens out the shadows! If you’re stuck in a situation with low light ask yourself how badly you need that photo, and, if you decide you really need it, try to find other external sources of light other than your flash. (sidenote: if you’re ever shooting a video on your phone and your flash is on and some random guy with a beard smacks your phone out of your hand, it’ll probably be me… turn that sh*t off!)

3. Shoot in RAW

Most phones these days come with the option to shoot RAW. These files will take up more space (sorry for the selfie obsessed peeps out there) as they are completely uncompressed in order to keep more detail in the image. This will allow you a lot more freedom when manipulating the image.

4. Do not use digital zoom!

Most cellphone lenses do not have the physical capability of changing focal length (optical zoom). While newer phones like the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8 offer some slight form of optical zoom, it’s not going to make much of a difference. The majority of phones simply use digital zoom which make it SEEM like you’re zooming in, when really all that is happening is that you’re increasing the size of the image, thus reducing the final quality of it. This will result in the dreaded pixelated look.

  1. Basic Editing

99.9% of those amazing images you see aren’t what the photographer got directly out of the camera. Take the time to understand terms like exposure and white balance. There are apps like Lightroom CC (mobile) that give you a little more in-depth editing capabilities that will help make that VSCO filter look even better!

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