How to Take Better Smartphone Photos

You’ve got the latest and greatest smartphone, but still figuring out how to click better pictures? Here are some tips that will take your snapshot game from amateur to amazing.

Word by: Team Just Urbane

Smartphones cameras have gotten phenomenal in the past few years, with companies beefing up photo resolution, adding more lenses, and integrating photo storage options that keep you snapping without fear of filling your camera roll. From 2 great cameras to 5 amazing ones, there is no dearth of options. But your clicking game isn’t matching the awesomeness of your phone? We’re here to tell to how to do it effortlessly.

Before you shoot a single picture, you’ll want to make sure your gear is in order. Often, that means doing a bit of pre-shot cleaning. While wiping your lens on your jeans might do the job, using coarse materials, like a cotton shirt, or a napkin you dipped in water, may end up damaging your lens over time. If you’d like to keep scratches at bay, use a softer material — like a microfiber cloth — to clean any smudges off your camera lens.

Artfully framing shots may mean more creativity, but that doesn’t mean you have to line everything up all by yourself. Luckily, you can employ your camera to assist you when it comes to framing and composing your shots. In iOS, visit Settings and select Camera. From there, enable “Grid” to deploy a rule-of- thirds overlay in the Camera app. That grid will help you better compose your image, and keep your shot parallel with any vertical or horizontal lines in your shot. On Android devices, visit Settings > Apps > Camera, and select “Grid Lines” to choose between a rule-of-thirds overlay or a square overlay for perfectly framed Instagram images.

As much as you’d love to get a closer look at that dog across the field, you might have to be content with a picture. But zooming in before you take the shot is not the solution. Digital zoom shots are simply cropped and resized images, unlike the optical zoom functionality you might find on a full-blown camera. Digital zoom will not only yield a grainy image, it will reduce the resolution of the overall photo and exacerbate any vibrations from your hands, leaving you with an inferior representation of that adorable canine. In general, avoid digital zoom as often as possible — but knock yourself out with the telephoto lens on your smartphone, if it has one.

The flash of an LED light from a smartphone doesn’t flatter anyone, no matter what pose you’re striking. And that glaring light coming from the back of your phone will more often than not give your images a harsh, odd-coloured look. Instead of depending on an underpowered light to properly illuminate your subject, try to find better sources of light you can use, be it the waning sun, some indoor lights, or even some candlelight if you feel like getting artsy. If you’re really at a loss for light, you could always employ another smartphone’s flashlight mode to provide a more consistent light source.

Since your smartphone’s already constantly listening, waiting for you to demand its attention, why not make it take your selfies, too? For Android smartphones, you can ask your Google Assistant to take a photo, selfie, or timed image and watch your smartphone open the camera app. For Google’s Pixel smartphones, you can have Google automatically detect the perfect moment for a photo, be it a big smile or a kiss, thanks to its AI-powered face detection features like Top Shot and Photobooth. For iOS, Siri can open the camera app for you, though you’ll have to press the button yourself.