How to Take Better Photos with your Mobile Phone - A Thousand Words Photography By Anna-Marie

Tips for taking better photos with your mobile phone


2.08 billion of us are using smart phones. This number is set to rise to a staggering 5 billion by 2019. With todays technology, this means that billions of us have a camera in our pocket and take it wherever we go. It is a handy tool to have, and one that we use to capture the sudden moments that arise whereby we want it captured instantly.

Don't get me wrong - the smart phone will never come close to a professional camera, or even a smaller compact. They just aren't as powerful, but it is a fun tool to have to capture those fleeting moments and make a memory in an instant. Chances are that you often watch great photographic opportunities pass by. Now you can easily capture them on your mobile phone.

I often share my mobile phone pictures to instagram which is a fantastic app which makes a timeline of your favourite photographs that you have uploaded. I sometimes look back on them and wish I had taken them with my pro camera, but I also know that however much the quality may suffer on some of those pictures, many of those photographs wouldn't exist had I not reached for my mobile phone and captured it. Having a grainy, out of focus photograph from your mobile phone is better than not having a photograph at all, and the moments I have captured of friends and family and adventures. There is emotion and attachment to every single photograph you take.

Clevedon Pier

Here's how you can make the best out of those photographs:

1. Clean your lens

Many of us keep our phones in our pockets or our handbags. Over time, they pick up dirt or dust and this can sit on your lens. Clean the lens before taking a photograph so as this dust isn't visible in your photograph and you see speckles in your images.

2. Test out the camera app

These days, our smartphones camera app has a variety of settings and scenes and allow you to gain even more control over your photographs. Experiment with the HDR, self timer and photo filters that it offers as well as the different modes (panorama, video, white balance etc) Knowing how your camera's different modes work will enable you to have more control over the final image. Set your phone to its highest picture quality and resolution to get the best quality.

3. Add Gridlines 

Photographers will tell you all about getting composition right in camera. With the help of gridlines, you can use these to compose your shot and place your visual elements in your frame. Look for light, lines, shapes and faces. The gridlines will also help you straighten lines and get your subjects out of the centre and will improve your photographs enormously. On an iPhone, you can switch the grid on by going to 'Settings', choosing 'Photos and Camera' and switch Grid on.

4. Focus

Many people just hold up their mobile phone and quickly press the button. Did you know that you can use your touch screen to place your finger where you would like to focus before taking your shot? Placing your finger where you would like the camera to focus will ensure that the camera focuses where you have told it to, and therefore your picture will be sharp.

5. Don't zoom

Zooming on a mobile phone camera will result in losing quality. You may notice when you zoom, you see more grain and speckles in your photographs. This is because a digital zoom will always lose quality the more you zoom in. If you want to get a closer shot, get closer to your subject.

6. Avoid using flash

Using flash over exposes your photographs and makes the colours completely washed out. Instead of using flash, look for light elsewhere. Natural light is my favourite, but you can also look for street lights and any other light that would make your subject looks creative. Experiment with shadows and reflections. Avoid fluorescent lighting as it can add a green cast to your subjects.

7. Look for colour

The more vibrant your photograph, the more appealing it will be. Colour splashes, flowers, landscapes all infuse colour and really add depth to your photographs. Try taking shots at different angles for added creativity!

8. Use an Editing app

There are many editing apps out there and you will be amazed at how a slight tweak will make your images pop. Brightening a photograph or adding a little saturation can work wonders, as well as a bit of sharpening. Mobile phone pictures will never be as sharp as a digital camera, so adding a little sharpness will help. Popular editing apps include Instagram, VSCO Cam and PicTapGo. Your smartphone will enable basic editing on your photographs such as cropping and straightening, but there are plenty of other apps for both iOS and Android phones, including some fun apps where you can add cartoon filters etc if you want to add something like this.

9. Share your photos! 

Rather than keeping them stored in a folder on your mobile phone, share them and print them!  Back up your photos so as you don't lose them, and keep a timeline of all of your adventures on apps like Instagram.

Tortworth Court Hotel
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May 2016

Meet Dave. 

I had so much fun with this little guy on my Bluebell shoot last week.

This gorgeous pup was so excited to be somewhere new, to sniff new scents and walk in an unknown woodland surrounded by bluebells, that I wondered if he would keep still long enough to get a photograph of him. He had me laughing so very much at his cheeky shenanigans and at the endless joy displayed across his face.. Joy that was so very contagious that I didn't stop smiling throughout his photo shoot. 

I think he is the bounciest Golden Retriever pup I have ever met. That soft white fur had my heart gushing as soon as I set eyes on him. Amongst the colour of the bluebells, he dazzled like diamonds, his face full of wonder and impatience to explore the woods. I am certain that he enjoyed his photo shoot as much as I did. 

© A Thousand Words Photography By Anna-Marie 

Bluebell Photo Shoots in Yate.

Dog Photographer & Portrait Photographer in Yate/Chipping Sodbury. Covering Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire & The Cotswolds.

© Photography By Anna-Marie 2018 | 07825 683524 |

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