Tips and Tricks to take good photos with your smartphone

Hundreds of millions of photos are taken every day and a huge number of them are shared on social media. Almost everyone has and always carries their smartphone with them, but few people always carry a camera in their bag or pocket, so the number of photos taken with a mobile phone is increasing day by day.

The main reason for taking photos with your phone is that you always carry it with you and you can share them instantly.

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Of course, the best photography is not one that we have not been able to take because we did not have the camera. The best photography is the one you take with what you carry by hand, and what we always carry is usually our mobile phone.

Therefore, our best photo is most likely taken with a mobile. But, can photos taken with a mobile phone be good? How can we improve them? What photo editing apps are the best?  We are going to try to answer these and other questions and give some tips and tricks that may be useful to you.

cellphone, camera, phone

Taking photos with our mobile phone

There is a belief that photos taken with mobile phones cannot be compared to those taken with interchangeable-lens cameras.

It is true that in some aspects mobile phone cameras have some limitations, but if we know and take advantage of these limitations we can turn them into advantages, and depending on the use we are going to give to these photographs, these can be even better than those taken with expensive and big reflex cameras.

Tips and tricks for taking beautiful photos with your mobile phone.


1. Always remember to clean the lens

Normally the lens of our smartphones is dirty with dust and grease from the fingers, which will make the photos appear hazy, lack of sharpness and strange reflections.

To clean it, you can use a tissue or your cotton t-shirt, blow afterwards to remove the hairs that the tissue may have left. Always adding some mist, do not rub the lens dry and rub gently.


2. Use natural light whenever possible

Try using natural or ambient light instead of the flash. If the light is abundant and also diffuse, you will get a very pleasant image. In general, for portraits and photos of objects, avoid direct sun, because it produces very harsh and unpleasant shadows.

the sea, beach, australia

3. Get closer

Do not do digital zoom to bring a face or an object closer, with most mobile phones you will only be able to pixelize the image losing quality. It is much better if you can get closer to the scene, and the photo will be sharper and with more detail.

The famous photographer Robert Capa said: If your photo is not good it is because you were not close enough.

4. Take advantage of reflections

When you are photographing landscapes with water, shop windows in the city, urban scenes on rainy days, etc.. Observe the reflections that are usually produced and that create abstract images and symmetries.

darling harbour, sydney, australia

5. Backlights, sunrises and sunsets

Don’t be afraid to photograph against the sun or against very strong lighting. You can get beautiful silhouettes of people, rocks or trees. A side backlight of a cloister in which the shadows of the columns are projected on the ground is also a beautiful photograph.

By photographing backlights and sunrises or sunsets you can obtain spectacular and very rewarding images. Make sure the photos are not too bright by adjusting the exposure a little.

sydney, abendstimmung, sunset

6. Play with shadows and lights

Despite what was said in trick 2 about diffuse light, very strong and hard lights play a lot with the shadows they produce, especially when the sun is very low or the pavement has attractive textures.

Observe those lights and those shadows, practice and take photos trying to highlight those aspects. Try to make the shadows really dark, not light.

bike, grass, wall

7. Don’t forget the composition rules

Why shoot recklessly and without first studying the composition?

The mobile phone camera is still a camera used to take pictures, like all other cameras.

Rules as classic as the rule of thirds will help you compose well and observe points of interest.

Activating the grid on your mobile camera can be useful to apply these composition rules.

8. Do not use the effects or filters that your mobile phone has

Always shoot in normal mode and thus save the original photo. Then apply to that original photo the filters or effects you want, whether they are those that the mobile brings or those that you have with a photo editing app.

Once you get the effect you want, save the image without deleting the original so you can always try other filters.

9. Download a couple of phone camera apps:

1. Manual camera control application

The camera app on your mobile phone will allow you to do some things, such as choosing the focus point and adjusting the brightness, but if your mobile is not high-end, it is most likely that it will not allow you full and manual control of the exposure. To do this you will need to download an application from the Apple Store or Google Play.

The good ones are paid and one of the best and most intuitive is the FV-5 Camera with which you will control the phone as if it were a professional camera. It allows you to make exposure bracketing, adjust the white balance, program time lapses, save the shots in PNG without loss and in raw DNG that you can edit with much higher quality on your computer.

2. Photo editing app for your smartphone

Your mobile phone  may already have a good app to edit the photos, but it is usually quite limited. Download and try a good application and compare it with the one you have, you will surely be surprised by everything that can be done with good photography applications such as Picsart that in addition to being free, you have it for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems.

10. Read the manual of your smartphone

It is very important to know how the tools of your smartphone work. The foregoing could be of no use if you do not know how to use your phone’s camera or the application to edit the photos.

Although at first it may seem complicated, it is much easier than you imagine.