Phone Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Phone photography is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to take photos. Many of our smartphones today have excellent and high-definition cameras that can capture incredible images. However, you will still need to master some skills to take a bomb-looking picture.

If you’re a beginner in photography, this article may be for you. We know how frustrating it can get to capture a good photo using a phone. Thus, we gathered all the tips and tricks we can provide to help you out.

By the end of this article, you can surely master the art of photography, even if you’re still a newbie.

How to Take Good Photos using Your Phone

Although you can do photography with any phone, sometimes, the phone model matters. So before you head on to photography, make sure your smartphone has the best camera specifications. You can always research this, and you’ll find there are plenty of options for you.

However, some photographers would say the phone model does not matter. It only takes a few tips and tricks to capture good photos with any phone. And here, we’re about to show you some beginner tips on phone photography.

Gridlines are your best friend. 

Taking amazing photos with the help of gridlines comes first on the list for beginners. Using gridlines on your phone’s camera is among the easiest way to improve your shot. The lines will help you balance the angle, making sure you are getting the right one. 

A smartphone’s gridline is divided into three small boxes, both vertically and horizontally. With that, you will see nine small grids on the screen. Photographers call the gridlines “the rule of thirds.” 

According to this rule, you will place the points of interest (the subject) into the intersections of each grid. If you do so, your photo will look more balanced. In addition, you can level the angle using the lines and allow you to interact with the shot more naturally.

If you are wondering how to turn on your camera’s gridlines, check your phone’s settings. Usually, it can be found when you open your camera. An option called “Grid” or “Gridlines” will show on the settings list, and you need to turn it on. 

Clean your lens.

Before taking a photo, make sure your camera lens is clean. Sometimes, while we use our phone, dirt, dust, and smudges can accumulate on the phone’s lens. So with that, it’s essential to clean it once in a while.

You can wipe your camera’s lens using a smooth cloth. Others use the same fabric they have for their eyeglasses, but some use any fabric. Cleaning your lens before taking a photo is probably the most basic photography tip to do. 

With that, take it into a habit to clean your camera lens regularly before taking a shot. 

Set your camera focus.

Many of today’s smartphones can automatically detect a subject and focus right in. But, professional photographers recommend setting the focus manually. This is because smartphones mainly focus on the nearest object from the camera, even if it’s not the subject.

With that, you will need to focus your camera lens on your desired subject manually. To do so, you will need to open your camera app. After that, find your subject and tap the screen where you want to focus on.

If you are taking a photo of a moving object, it will be more challenging to set the focus manually. Since a smartphone camera’s focus changes, you might need to refocus again. With that, you will need to tap the screen a couple of times until you focus on the right subject. 

For subjects in motion, you will need to tap the screen first before capturing the photo. This way, you can ensure that you are focusing on the right subject. For example, when you tap your screen for focus, a circular or square icon might appear for you to place your subject in.

Prohibit the use of flash.

Many people think that using your camera’s flash enhances a photo, but that’s where they are wrong. A phone’s camera flash will not make your image better. Instead, it can ruin the entire shot. 

If you are capturing photos in natural light, you don’t have to use a flash. Most phone cameras might have the flash setting automatically turned on. If your phone has auto-flash, turn it off.

Using natural light, especially sunlight can help you capture an excellent shot. You may use flash during nighttime, but make sure you point it right at the subject. Keep in mind that a harsh flashlight can ruin your photo and the focus on the subject.

Use negative space to your advantage.

Negative space is the term used for the empty areas around and in between the subject. Many people think these spaces can only ruin the photo, but it does the other way around. 

Empty spaces in photos will draw a reader’s attention to the subject even better. As a result, your photo’s subject will stand out and get a better reaction from your viewers. Examples of negative spaces are an open sky, wide walls, an empty parking lot, and more.

Set exposure manually. 

Similar to setting the manual focus, you should also set your camera’s exposure manually. You can manage and adjust your shot’s exposure manually on your phone camera. Exposure is also another term for brightness, just in case your phone uses the latter term.

With that, you can control how dark or bright you want your photo to be. To do so, tap on the screen until a bit of the sunburst icon appears. Then, you may drag the icon up and down to adjust your desired exposure. 

Look for different angles.

Just because your subject is in the middle doesn’t necessarily that angle is the best. You can get better and different points with your smartphone camera. Phones are better to use than actual cameras because they can fit your hand perfectly.

Taking photos from different perspectives also brings illusion and life to the subject. You can change a shot’s height and depth when you use other angles. The main goal in photography is to make the subject stand out, and there are plenty of ways to do it than capturing it from the front.

If you’re taking a full body photo with an open sky area, try to take it from a distance. Tilt your phone upwards without eliminating the subject. This way, you are giving the matter more open space for it to draw attention.

Use the rule of odds.

Like the rule of thirds that can help you maintain balance in your photos, there’s also the rule of odds. According to this theory, using odd number quantities (3,5,7,9, etc.) for your subjects can bring balance to your photo.

Also, according to many photographers, seeing an odd number of subjects is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, this will also depend on you. The rule of odds is only a concept recommended by other photographers, but you don’t necessarily have to use it in all your photos.

Experiment with reflections. 

You might agree that something unique about seeing a reflection of a sunset or moon in the water. There is a reason why people like seeing such—because it pleases our eyes. With that, don’t be afraid to play with reflections with your phone’s camera. 

Avoid zooming in on subjects.

Many people still think that when they zoom their camera lens to a subject, it will create a better photo. However, this is false news. A great way to do fantastic phone photography is to keep it natural, and zooming in can ruin it.

A digital zoom of your phone’s camera does not do much in photography. It can only cause more distortion and noise to your photo. If you wish to get a closer shot at your subject, try moving closer instead. 

Use leading lines.

 Lines can draw attention from the viewer. Leading lines is a great way to take a good phone photo. It can be staircases, buildings, roads, or even a clear path through the woods. 

Leading lines allow viewers to make an in-depth connection with the photo. Photographers also say that this trick makes a picture look like it’s intentionally designed that way. 

Repetitive patterns are suitable for the eye.

Another aesthetically leasing photography trick is to look for repetitive patterns. You may come across a natural one, or you can also set some subjects into place. Such repetitive patterns can be you and your friends’ coffee mugs, cars in the parking lot, or tiled floors. 

Use color blocking.

Phone cameras have built-in settings that will no longer require you to use photoshop. In addition, unlike actual cameras, you can block other colors on your phone camera. Then, when you stop the surrounding’s color, you can make your subject stand out more. 

The goal of color blocking is to put more focus on the subject. It is somehow similar to using negative space. However, with color blocking, you can keep other elements in the photo.

Capture all minor details. 

Small details and elements play a vital role in phone photography, but not many realize it. Phone cameras have an advantage to capturing delicate elements since it’s handheld. You can also make better visual content if you combine all the tiny aspects into one photo.

Use a small phone tripod.

Although you can take a photo from your phone in a snap, using a tripod can also help you capture excellent images. If you want to take the perfect shot with all the accurate balance and level, you will instead use a tripod than your hands. 

If you think that tripods are bulky to bring for a photoshoot, there are portable ones you can buy. You can check computer shops near you or online selling sites for phone tripods. 

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, all these tips and tricks are perfect for all phone photography beginners. Moreover, these tips will surely enhance and help you improve your skills as a news photographer. So, if you’re a beginner in phone photography, take the tips mentioned above in mind and apply them to your sessions.