Mobile Photography: 7 Tips & Tricks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Anyone who wanted to take easy, quick, and affordable photos two decades ago had to buy a point-and-shoot camera. But that all changed with the onset of smartphones and mobile photography. 

With a billion people carrying around a device that doubles as a digital camera, it’s no surprise that more than 85% of all photos are taken with a smartphone. But if you’re wondering why your smartphone photos don’t have that “wow” factor you see on Instagram, we’ve got you covered. 

Here we’ll go over seven mobile photography tips to help you take professional-grade photos. 

1. Clean Lenses Equal Crystal-Clear Photos

This is the cheapest, easiest, and most overlooked tip for high-quality mobile photography. It’s easy for your smartphone camera lenses to become covered in dust, dirt, and fingerprints since your smartphone spends a lot of time in your hands. And unfortunately dirty lenses will cause dust spots, smudges, and blurs on pics. 

You have to clean the lenses if you want clear photos. This may seem like an obvious tip for smartphone photography, but most people skip it. If you get into the habit of cleaning your phone photo lenses with a soft cloth, it will make a huge difference in the clarity of your mobile photos. 

2. Balance Your Shot With Gridlines

Turning on the camera’s gridlines superimposes a series of lines on the screen based on the rule of thirds. This photographic principle splits photos into a three-by-three grid and helps place the main points of interest near the corners of the segments. 

The rule of thirds is one of the easiest ways to create a balanced shot with a natural feel. By using the rule, you’ll notice how the eye flows around your image with ease.

You can also use guidelines to frame the subject symmetrically within the screen for a clean and clinical feel.

3. Set Your Camera’s Focus for a Sharp Subject

Autofocus is one of the great miracles of modern mobile photography, but it doesn’t always focus where you want it to. For example, it might be difficult for a camera to follow and refocus when shooting something in motion. Adjusting where you want the camera to focus ensures that the subject is always in sharp focus. 

But how do you set the camera focus?

  1. Open the camera app and compose your shot. 
  2. Tap on the screen where you want to sharpen the focus. A circular or square icon should appear, shifting the shot’s focus to the content inside it. 
  3. Press the shutter button to take a crisp and sharp photo. 

4. Take Mobile Photography Action Shots in Burst Mode

Many people find it hard to take shots of moving objects, especially since they never know when to press the shutter button. But thanks to burst mode, you can capture excellent action shots every time.

But what is burst mode, and how can you use it to improve your mobile photography?

Burst mode allows the smartphone camera to take photos in quick succession. Then, once you’ve taken a set of photos, you can go through them to find the perfect shot.

People love this feature for capturing images of animals, people on the move, and street photography. 

5. Use Natural Light When Possible for Premium Mobile Photography

Smartphone cameras have small sensors, making it difficult to take candid indoor shots. Using the flash doesn’t help either, as it results in images that look overexposed. It can also negatively alter the colors and make human subjects look washed out. 

But taking shots in natural light offers better results. You can play with the shadows, create silhouettes, and brighten the photo’s atmosphere—the possibilities are endless. 

6. Keep the Camera Steady 

Camera shake is one of the leading reasons for poor-quality mobile photography. And cell phone cameras’ limited low-light performance makes it all the more important to keep your device steady.

If you’re shooting from a standing position, try standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the phone steady, with you elbows tucked into your body. Then, use the volume button to snap the shot with minimal camera shake. 

Other alternatives for stabilizing your smartphone camera include:

  • Using a tripod with an appropriate clamp
  • Bracing the smartphone against a wall, tree, railing, or other stationary objects
  • Embracing improvisation and using any household item at your disposal to stabilize the phone

7. Take Advantage of Editing Apps

Taking smartphone photos is only the first step toward amazing shots that social media followers envy. A secret to all those Instagram-worthy images are editing apps that give your shots the extra oomph you’re looking for. 

Most of us who love mobile photography are familiar with Instagram filters. But there are other apps like AirBrush that allow you to make your mobile photography portraits pop.

You can also use video editing apps such as InShot to add music and create seamless reels with your smartphone.

Practice Makes Your Mobile Photography Perfect

The above list of mobile photography tips is a good start for someone who wants to push the boundaries of smartphone photography. 

No matter what apps you use or which phone you’re shooting with, the best tip for perfecting the art of mobile photography is to practice as much as possible.

Take as many photos as you can and analyze them to find out how to develop your skills. Keep improving on what you’re doing, and you’ll be a pro-level smartphone photographer in no time.