Smartphone Photography 101

These days, everyone is a photographer thanks to smartphone cameras. But does the convenience of having a powerful camera on hand 24/7 suggest that we’re taking better images as a whole? While that’s a discussion for some other time,¬†COOPH shares a few pointers to improve your smartphone photography:

1. Composition

Composition is the key to shooting great photos. There is no alternative. Turn on your phone’s grid view to help you comply with the rule of thirds.

smartphone photography tips

Position interesting elements on the intersecting grid lines.

iphone camera tricks

Grid View

Also, make use of the concept of negative space.

smartphone camera tips

Negative Space

2. Symmetry

Scout out locations that are symmetrical. Symmetry is a great way to introduce calmness to an image. But remember to break symmetry sometimes, too.

symmetry in photography


3. Rule of Odds

Including an odd number of objects in a frame is visually appealing. Three faces, five golf balls, three tomatoes—you get the idea.

rule of odds

Rule of Odds

4. Positioning

Play around with the positioning of the elements in the frame.

composition tricks

4. Framing

Look for elements that you can use to frame your subject.

framing composition


5. Depth

Depth is difficult to create with a smartphone, because of the built-in lens’s inherent limitations. But some modern smartphones can mimic a DSLR-like depth of field effect.

smartphone photography 101


6. Direction

Directing your model can bring out their best. They may not be professionals, and this is where your expertise and knowledge as a photographer comes into play. Give the model a countdown to the click so that s/he is ready when the picture is taken. Show them the photos you’ve taken and share your ideas for the next shots.

directing a photography subject

7. Manual Mode

Your smartphone has limited options to shoot with manual settings. You have the ability to change the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and exposure compensation. Try using the control you have to change the look of your photos, rather than always relying on the automatic settings.

8. Editing

Even though the images you shoot are JPEGs, you have some editing abilities on your smartphone. Try tinkering with contrast, saturation, exposure, brightness, and hue.

As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. Use these tips to create better images even when you’re only armed with your smartphone!

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One response to “Smartphone Photography 101”

  1. Rick Maus says:

    I believe in #7 that your opening sentence “Your smartphone has limited options to shoot with *manual* settings” should have read “Your smartphone has limited options to shoot with *automatic* settings.”

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