Lights, [Smartphone] Camera, Action!

Professional Looking Photos from your Phone

Photography is an art.  Professional photographers know this as they have poured themselves into their passion, honing their craft and creating pictures that we can’t help but show off in our homes. We never tire of photos as they capture our lives and the moments in time we never want to forget, and even though the method of catching those moments has changed over time, our instinct is to salvage those events, instants, and important people through the lens we have closest to us-our phones.

The cameras on our devices are getting better and more advanced with each new model.  Our photo-capable devices are producing such stunning images that the everyday, traditional camera has become obsolete.  This new artform of mobile photography might just be one of the most radical changes to be seen in the photography world; it hasn’t just changed how photos are taken, but it has also increased the number of people taking them, and how they are shared, consumed, and eventually viewed.  Mobile photography gives the capability of turning even the most unskilled or amateur cellphone-carrying person into a competent photographer. With access to rather advanced (yet deceptively simple) cameras, domestic photography, the photographic activities of ordinary people taking and using images for non-professional purposes, has taken the world by storm, props to social media. 

Being fully immersed in this digital photographic society, we are continuously exposed to images that stimulate our imaginations and creativity as well as challenge us to create the next “best” picture.  But how can we do this without being educated in the medium or having experience in the field?  Of course, there are plenty of apps to edit photos after they have been taken, but knowing how to set up your photos before pressing the shutter button really goes a long way in creating an exceptional image.  Here are four tips to help you get your picture- perfect phone photo.


1. Use negative space

Life is incredibly busy and full, but it doesn’t have to get lost in cluttered-filled photos.  Incorporating negative space into your photos can take them from “good” to “great.”  Negative space is the area around and between the subjects in an image, so including more empty space like a body of water, the open sky, a grassy field, or a large wall will cause the subject of your picture to stand out more or bring about a stronger reaction.

2. Unusual perspectives

Most photos on our phones are taken straight-on or from a bird’s eye view, which can be rather boring.  Its time to start playing with angles to make them more unique and memorable.  Taking a photo directly upward or at a slight downward angle creates illusions of depth or height that makes the subject or image stand out.   

3.  Repetitive & Abstract Patterns

Repetitive and abstract photos can make quite a strong visual impact.   Abstract photos capture the essence of an object without revealing the object in its entirety to create unique, surprising images from ordinary subjects. This can be done by cropping a portion of an otherwise normal photo, or by taking close-up shots of objects.  Repetitive or patterned photos can be created whenever strong graphic elements like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors are repeated within the lens’ frame. Tiled floors, a street lined with cookie-cutter townhouse fronts, or rows or exquisitely decorated pastries will make distinctive and impressive photos.

4. Take Candids

Posed photos definitely have their place, however, candid shots of people tend to be far more interesting. Candid photos are better at effectively capturing the emotion and essence of a moment. Taking a lot of photos will provide many options to choose from, and even though it may take a bit of sorting, you’ll never be disappointed when you find that the stars aligned in the perfect cheesy smile of your toddler, a sweet moment between siblings, your fur baby jumping through the air, or the surprise on your significant other’s face as you catch them off guard.

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