December 21, 2020
Here are my 4 practical tips for taking your own pro looking photos using nothing but a smartphone!
Even if you don’t have the latest smartphone, you can still snap some pretty and professional looking pictures. All you need are a few tricks like the ones mentioned below.
It’s all about lighting. Don’t take a photo of someone with the light BEHIND them because they will be dark and the whole image will be blown out. Instead, take the photo with the main light source/window to the side of them or with them facing it. Do be mindful if someone is wearing glasses, as the glare of lights (like from the Christmas tree) can easily show up in their lens. This is where the next tip comes in handy…
2. Get creative with angles.
Different angles can be your best friend, especially when you’re looking for eye-catching shots. Take photos of the whole room as well as super zoomed in photos of the tree, presents, other decor, and even the hands of people opening presents. Angles can help tell stories of what was happening on that amazing Christmas morning.
3. Use your phone’s built-in functions.
Majority of smartphones these days have quite a bit of functions built in them.
For example, a function I use often is the ability to control the exposure. On the iPhone, open your camera and touch different parts of the screen. The phone will adjust the exposure for the area you select.
Portrait mode on the iPhone works really well if you have enough light (and hey Christmas morning, there is usually a lot of light pouring in!
If you’re shooting with “live” mode on and someone is looking away or blinking in the photo, you can edit the “Key Photo” to find the photo where they’re looking at the camera! It’s like a photoshop head swap for your phone!
The most I use most often for moving subjects (like our new puppy, Winston) is burst mode! Simply hold down the button to take the photo, it will rapid fire a series of photos. I’ve found this makes my image sharper.
From changing the tones of pictures to adding special effects, you can play around until you find something you like. Most phones also have options to help enhance photos.
My favorite editing app for my phone is Color Story!
4. Snap random pictures throughout the day.
If you have a phone with a built in timer that can snap multiple pictures, consider setting it up to take random pictures throughout the day. Even without a timer, you can set aside a little time every so often to snap a few pics every so often. Then, you’ll have a lot of genuine reactions and a full story of the morning!
Keep the Memories Alive
Once you’ve taken all those amazing pictures, it’s time to do something with them. Most people settle for keeping the pictures on their phone or even backed up in the cloud. Consider using an app like Groovebook or Chatbooks (referral link) to print an easy photo album of your photos. The photos aren’t the best quality, but something is better than nothing and it will cost you under $10!
You can also get them printed to hang on the wall, turn into cards, or use for scrapbooking. The possibilities are endless! The overall idea is to go beyond taking the pictures and turn them into keepsakes for long lasting memories.
I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you’ve used your phone to take professional looking photos? Let me know in the comments below!