5 Ways to Take Better Cellphone Photos

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Most of us can't afford to have a professional photographer follow us around every day (and even then, I don't think the paparazzi are very popular...). But what about those beautiful moments outside of a professional photo session that you just CANNOT seem to capture?

Even if you own a DSLR, the most likely camera you have on you during the day is your cell phone. So if you're tired of blurry, washed out, dark, disappointing photos, here are a few ways to help you more accurately capture every day life with nothing more than your camera phone. Each image below was taken with an iPhone 6s Plus to give you some real-life examples.

 

1) Lighting, lighting, lighting.

If there is any way for you to shoot near a window or outdoors, do it. Below is an example of the difference between a backlit cellphone image and one where we are facing the window instead:

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The difference between the two images is massive! When we face the window, our skin tones become less orange, the image is crisper, and the directional light far more flattering. All it required was for me to swivel!

2) Experiment with what your phone is capable of.

Some camera phones are better than others. Can yours catch a sunflare? Can it take a clear image in dim lighting? Does it have portrait settings? Experiment and discover the limits of your phone and then stick within those boundaries. Your images will be more consistent, clean, and focused.

3) Don't abuse filters!

It makes me cringe when I see images completely over-edited. When you use a filter, try not to use more than a 20% opacity. Go in to manually adjust things like highlights, shadows, and sharpness. Make sure not to overdue it in manual settings either. Anything more than slight adjustments are likely to make your photo look overdone.

4) Choose an editing style and stick with it.

Don't worry about switching things up every time. Instead, choose between 1 and 3 filters and practice using those each time. Your photo style will become more consistent and you'll become more intuitive with your editing. I personally use the VSCO editing app. It has free filters as well as ones available for purchase.

 Before

Before

 After

After

5) Try various angles and cropping options

When I take an image, I shoot from a variety of angles before going back into my phone and deciding which has the most potential. Sometimes the image needs to be rotated or trimmed down to get rid of distractions. But usually, there is a particular frame that stands out from the rest. It's not uncommon for me to take 12 different shots of the same thing, only to pick 1 or 2 for editing and sharing.

I hope these tips help you better capture your every day memories! Practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to set up a "photo shoot" to try out what you've learned. And if you do, please share them with me either by email or on social media! I would love to see what you accomplish!