3 Top Secrets to help you Shoot professional Photos on your smartphone

African Woman

Magical moments, those moments that are forever etched in the vaults of our memories are instantaneous as they are rare, never planned, never anticipated, they swoop on us like an afternoon downpour in the heat of the Kalahari desert. Fleetingly, they disappear just as quickly as they appeared, leaving us gasping for more.

Taking out your smartphone and simply shooting, at best may capture the subject, at worst capture a hazy, foggy image, and not a sharp clear photo that will leave people craving for more. Most photos taken on smartphones are at best amateurish or at worst a mish mash of creativity.

African children

Knowing a few photographic techniques and understanding how to use inbuilt features in your smartphone’s camera, will propel your photography to greater levels.

Here are 3 top secrets known to professional photographers, that if correctly applied will help you shoot award winning photos on your smartphone camera;

1. Understanding the features of your smartphone’s camera

Shooting a beautiful photo on your smartphone camera is sometimes reduced to a flash decision, a well tuned camera coupled with quick reflexes may determine whether that photo is talked about for years to come or instantly forgotten. Knowing your smartphone’s camera features and how to unleash their powerful potential, will guarantee that your photos stand out every time.

African poor boys play with a wheel

Here is how to ensure that your smartphone’s camera is always ready:

Clean your Lense: Smudges and dust particle blur your image; gently clean your phone’s lenses with a clean soft cotton cloth everyday.

Shoot fast:The volume up or down button on your headphones trigger a remote shutter release; use it to shoot sharp, steady images. Setting the phone on a tripod in addition to remote shutter release will capture steady sharp photos.

Aim Right: You may have seen gridlines on your smartphones camera,do you know how to use them? Gridlines will help keep your image straight, helping you observe the rule of thirds. Placing the horizon in the top or bottom third of the photograph with other elements falling along the intersections of the gridlines will create balance in your photo.

Focus on target: Pay attention to what's in the foreground or background of your shot to add more visual interest, ensure that nothing distracting falls in your focus.

Shoot Right: When shooting your photos, shoot in high resolution, the higher the resolution of your photo the better quality you will achieve.

Cute dog and his owner young handsome man have fun in the park, conceptions animals, pets

Landscape orientation on your camera allows you to fit more subjects into your photo, it's perfect for taking expansive photos that include more people or more elements. Photos taken on landscape are easily more editable on your computer.

Get an App: Download a camera app that will enhance or add features like;

- gridlines,

- adjust your exposure level,

- lock your focal point and exposure level

- High Dynamic Range - HDR will help produce a single shot from several images taken at different exposures.

- A good App can also minimize image compression by capturing images in .tiff or .dng formats.

Holiday fun at the beach of the Indian Ocean Mombasa

2. Playing With Light - Understand how light affects your images

Let’s imagine for a moment a scene, a lovely scene, a scene etched in all our memories, replicated thousands of times in places as far away as Iceland; It's a lovely morning a rare morning, one of those mornings when the sun seems to divinely unleash its golden rays gloriously bringing everything it touches to life, you are out enjoying this magical moment by yourself, with strangers, loved ones, or with your favorite pet.

Baby rabbit eating grass outdoor on sunny summer day. Easter bunny in garden. Home pet for kid. Cute pets and animals for family

The moment is so good you want it to last forever. you whip out your smartphone pray to God that somehow you can capture this memory in a beautiful photo, and shoot, if you know what I am about to share with you, you will be assured of a perfect photo.

By understanding the simple principle of light in photography you will get rid of guesswork in your photo shoots.

Here are fundamental principles of light in photography, that will light up your smartphone photos;

Perfect white sandy beach with palm trees, Paje, Zanzibar, Tanzania

* Your smartphone’s camera works best with natural light, outdoors. Sunrises and sunsets will always give you the best images. When shooting, avoid shadows, choose an angle that makes your subject stand out, an angle where light touches your subject but leaves the background dark, use long exposure.

* Let the light direct your attention, a brightly lit image will always stand out. Light affects the color of your image, sunrise or sunset light gives your image warmth, bright harsh midday light creates shadows making your image cold. After sunset your smartphone camera registers light as a blue cast.

* Keep adjusting the angle of your shoot to get the most out of your light, light must fall on your image where it enhances your subject’s message.

Kiwano melon Cucumis metuliferus African Horned Melon . Fresh Kiwanos at a farmers market

* To get the most out of your light keep your smartphone steady while shooting, use a tripod and earphones, shoot your images by simply clicking on the volume button to trigger the shutter.

3. Understand the right composition of your image

Unlike a DSLR camera you cannot adjust the aperture of your smartphone camera to blur out background details, focus on composing all the elements in your image, make them pleasing.

Elements like lines, shapes, colors and light when arranged professionally will evoke a range of emotions in a viewer's mind..

How you arrange this elements will make your image dynamic or static.

Nairobi traffic at dusk

Use your smartphone camera professionally, capture unique photos, photos that stand out, apply principles shared in this article, turn your camera into a powerful photographic tool. You may get your name in the photographers hall of fame, and even make some money while you are at it.

Photo credits: Africa786, Angela Ravaioli, Eteri Okrochelidze, Famveldman, Kasto80, Viktoriia Zarubina, Joshua Wanyama, John Wollwerth, Yurasova.

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March 11, 2019


Yes sir! absolutely correct.

March 08, 2019


Whatever you do, don't push the shutter button on you phone, just a gentle touch or tap. Image stabilisation and fast shutter speeds can't make up for camera movement!

December 20, 2018


Waltersmith542...you nailed it bro!...Thanks for reading the article.

December 18, 2018


The vast majority click photos with their Smartphone's nowadays. For any individual who needs to venture into the universe of photography, an smart phone camera is the initial step. With Smartphone cameras getting increasingly marvelous with each new model released, the choice to learn Smartphone photography to develop the lovely innovation you possess is relatively self-evident. This Smartphone photography lessons will demonstrate to you how Smartphone Photography.

November 30, 2018


You are welcome, vandanjain, thanks for reading;

November 28, 2018


thanks for your guideline :)

November 27, 2018


Beautiful photos with the help of new technologies and good photographers!

November 27, 2018


Hi Sixty7a, I'm not allowed to suggest Apps on this site, but a good online search will yield various options. Thanks for reading the article.

November 24, 2018


App suggestions?

November 23, 2018


Too True !

November 23, 2018


Thanks Mike....

November 22, 2018


This read is of MUCH HELP!.. Thank you Masiga.

November 21, 2018


Thank you!

November 21, 2018


Just bought a new phone...Useful article! :))

November 21, 2018


Thanks William, I assure you, you will get memorable photos every time!Thank you for reading the article.

November 21, 2018


I rarely remember to utilize my phone's camera. But your article will prompt me to try and get it out more often to see what it can do. Thanks! William

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