5 tips for phenomenal phone photography

Fiona Georgeson Powell gets smart with her Huawei to shoot colourful urban scenes
(Image credit: Future)

Like most of the population, I take a smartphone with me everywhere I go. This makes its built-in camera an obvious, and most available, option for taking photos quickly and easily. 

The smart autofocus and easy point-and-shoot style enables me to capture images even while walking. I can then edit or share the pictures on social media without having to lug my Fujifilm X-S10, along with the lenses, SD cards and batteries I would carry for more dedicated jobs. It’s really easy to use phone editing apps, like Photoshop, Gallery and Snapseed, to name a few – and many of these are free. 

• Check out the best camera phones around right now

I think the future for smartphone photography is exciting – particularly how many people are more than satisfied with the results. It has become a widely accessible way to have the thrill of taking photos but getting to the final results far quicker. 

Another benefit (especially when on the move) is that taking photos with a phone is more discreet than using a digital camera. In recent years, people all over the world have become used to seeing people using their phones to take photos and don’t pay attention any more. So you can pretty much go about your day without anyone wondering what you are up to.

Here are my top five tips for perfect phone photography…

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

1) Be mobile

Get out into your local towns or cities and start shooting. Grab yourself a coffee and start to explore the area, looking for potential image opportunities in new spots
that you might not usually venture into. Try not to rush around; a big part of camera phone photography is that it’s easy and enjoyable, and you don’t have to put too
much emphasis on the final images. 

(Image credit: Future)

2) Shoot in Portrait mode

Most of the time, but not always, I’ll use the Portrait mode setting. Designed for taking portraits, this option adds a little more blur to the background and foreground, therefore drawing the viewer’s attention to the areas that matter. 

Is phone photography REAL photography? A day in the life of pro shooter Mike Kus

(Image credit: Future)

3) Adjust the exposure 

When you offer up your phone to the scene, it will hazard a pretty good guess at the required overall exposure. If you’d like a little more control, however, just tap on the brightest area. You can also hold your finger on the screen and pull up or down.

(Image credit: Future)

4) Zoom in and out

Camera phones have fixed optical lenses, but you can zoom in or out digitally by pinching the screen. Zooming further will usually result in reduced image quality,
so use this functionality sparingly when trying to adjust the composition to your advantage.

(Image credit: Future)

5) Edit your images

Snapseed is installed on my phone, so I don’t need to wait until I’m at home to edit. In the basic ‘Tune Image’ tab, I can experiment with brightness, contrast, saturation, ambience and so on. This is usually enough to take an image to the next level.

Check out the best lenses for iPhone and Android phones, be sure to look at the best flip phones & best fold phones, and here's our reality check – nobody actually needs a 200MP camera phone!

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