If you’re not the type to carry a camera around with you, you’re probably relying on your smartphone to capture those unexpected moments. The good news is you can still take incredible photos even with your phone, and you don’t need to be an expert. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you snapping like a pro in no time.
Clean your lens
It may sound obvious, but remember to wipe your lens before snapping away. The lens on your phone spends most of its life face down, stuffed in pockets or the bottom of a bag, picking up a lot of muck. A dirty lens can ruin every photo you take until it finally gets a wipe, so try and keep a clean dry tissue or cloth with you and gently wipe over the lens before shooting.
Protect your phone
A phone case is a wise investment, particularly if you often use your phone as a camera when you’re out and about. Customise one of our phone cases with your favourite photo or your own design to keep your phone safe and looking stylish. Then you won’t need to worry about bumps and knocks when you’re out on location capturing your snaps. Cases start from £14.99, and are available for all makes and models.
Take advantage of natural light
Camera phones aren’t great at taking pictures in low light conditions so you want to try and get as much natural light on your subject as possible. Even if this means moving your subject around or moving the light source, the results will be worth it. Try and steer clear of using the built in flash until you really need to. A good rule of thumb is to always begin without it, then if the image is still too dark switch to flash.
Stay away from the zoom
Most smartphone cameras now offer digital zoom, but technically this isn’t a real zoom and should generally be ignored. The moving lenses you see on other cameras are ‘optical’ zoom; the lens makes the subject appear bigger.
Smartphones don’t have moving lenses so the ‘digital’ zoom simply enlarges the image that’s already there, pixels and all. So you’re left with a poor quality pixelated image, which is never nice to look at. Your best bet is to forget the zoom all together and move closer to your subject.
Adapt your flash
The flash on your phone is probably the worst type of flash around, a little LED light that kicks out a very bright, unflattering light. With this in mind, your smartphone flash should only be used if absolutely necessary. If it is necessary fear not – our pro tip is to stick masking tape or a white sticker over the flash. This diffuses the harsh light, making it softer and more flattering
Unfortunately camera phones can’t capture the amount of detail good digital cameras can so if there’s a fair amount of distance between your subject and your phone you need to budge forward! Always move in as much as you can to capture more detail, framing your subject tightly.
Take time for composition
Shooting with your phone doesn’t mean you have to quickly capture the moment every time. Snapping away is all well and good but missing heads and cluttered backdrops can spoil an otherwise frame-worthy photo.
Take your time and consider the composition. Look at your phone’s display to see how things are positioned, move around and try different angles until you’re happy with the shot. Trust what you see on screen.
Touch to focus
Not every phone has this but if you own a touchscreen smartphone it’s likely you have the touch to focus option. It gives you the ability to choose what you’d like the camera to focus on simply by touching the object as it appears on screen.
Keep those hands steady!
One of the biggest reasons for those blurry photos is the age old problem of shutter lag, that annoying delay between pressing the shutter button and the camera actually taking the photo. It’s not a huge delay but it’s long enough for you to move, resulting in a blurry picture.
Once you’ve hit the shutter be sure to stay as still as possible until the photo is taken. Use both hands to keep extra steady with feet firmly positioned. It’s also worth asking your subject/s to hold still until you say so. Using the touch to focus option can shorten this delay reducing your chances of a blurry photo.
Relive your memories
Whatever you decide to photograph, make sure you show off your new found talent and print your photos. You can order prints straight from your phone in just a few clicks with our mobile app. Don’t have it yet? Download it now so you’re always ready to print your best pics.