Improve Your Smartphone Camera Photos

July 10, 2012

Smartphones offer convenience when you need to take a quick photo on the go. 

While you wouldn’t want to shoot all your listing photos using your phone, you may find times where you need to take a quick photo for a client and you don’t have your camera with you. Is there a way to snap-and-send from your phone while still having it look professional?

“You need to approach [phone] photography as photography; a good photo is a good photo no matter what equipment you take it with,” Adam Bronkhorst, a professional photographer and author of “SnApp Shots,” told The New York Times.

Bronkhorst offers a few tips on improving your phone photos: 

Pay attention to your framing: Do a close-up to showcase an important element in the photo, Bronkhorst says. “If the background is distracting, you can change your angle slightly,” Bronkhorst says. “If it doesn’t add anything to the photo it shouldn’t be in the photo.” 

Watch the lighting: The phone’s small lens makes it difficult for enough light to squeeze through in photos and can making taking photos indoors difficult. Bronkhorst suggests not using the harsh flash on the phone, but finding another light source — even another phone — that could come in from the side for extra light. Also, he says most phones have adjust settings for your focal point in a photo. So if your focal point isn’t properly exposed — with many phones — all you have to do is touch it on the phone screen before shooting the photo and it will automatically adjust. 

Use editing software afterwards: Your photos may need to be touched-up a bit after you snap a photo with your phone to hide any flaws and make the photo look more “artful,” Bronkhorst says. Bronkhorst recommends using Instagram’s Amaro filter and bringing the saturation in the photo down to wash it out a bit. 

Get more camera photo tips at The New York Times. 

Source: “Four Tips to Better Phone Camera Shots,” The New York Times (July 2, 2012)