Easy ways to level up your phone photography!

There are so many things that go into taking great pictures, and while I can’t possibly explain them all now, here are 3 high-impact techniques that will help you take awesome phone photos.

Number One: Compose!

If you’ve never heard of it before, I’m going to give you the simplest way you can compose great shots. Use the rule of thirds! Imagine drawing a tic-tac-toe board over your phone screen, and align the subject of your photo on a place where the lines cross. If that’s a person, put them in the left or right 1/3rd of the image looking towards the other empty 2/3rds. This gives a sense of movement to your picture: asymmetrical compositions can feel more dynamic.

The red circle shows one of four intersections points.

Number Two: Perspective!

Perspective dictates a large part of how a photo feels. If you take a picture of a person or an object from very very low, it makes them look tall. If you take an image from above, it makes them look shorter. For children and pets, I recommend getting on their level. And I mean really getting on their level. When you take a photo of a child this way, your picture feels like it’s in their world, almost more real. It immerses you into the photo.

Similarly, how close or far away you are is important. Really close up photos of a person’s face automatically feel more intimate than a picture where the person is tiny and the viewer feels like an onlooker. Both can be wonderful effects!

This image feels more removed.

It feels like the couple is alone in their own world and I am looking on.

Columbia River Gorge Couples Photos

This image is more intimate.

Both close and wide shots are part of telling a complete story, one is not better than the other.

Intimate couple's photos in Oregon

Number 3: Lighting

The lighting in a photo is crucial. There is no wrong lighting, but whatever light your subject is in, the photo will take on the character of that light. If you want a soft and airy photograph, find some full shade. If you want a harsh and glaring photograph, take it in full sun. If all you have is noonday sun, try angling up the face of your subject to get rid of eye shadows, and rotate their body to find the best light. If you are inside, put a window to one side of your subject and you’ll have beautiful natural light.

Sometimes we have no choice of where we take a photo, but when it’s easy to go find a better spot, I recommend it! Your photos will be all the better for it.

Phones are good, cameras are great! I’m biased, of course :)

You don’t always have access to beautiful, professional quality photos, and phones come in very handy! I just want to show you the difference between a decent phone portrait and a decent camera portrait. The results speak for themselves!

Portrait taken with my iPhone. It’s nice, but lacks the depth and dimension offered by a camera.

Portrait taken with one of my cameras. The camera has more flexible focus, creating softer photos if desired.