10 Tips For Shooting Great Smartphone Photos – Beginners Guide

Tips Take Better Smartphone Photos 

Smartphone cameras have gone a long way in recent years, and the quality of photos you can shoot now is incredible. Many cellphones today can equal the quality of images that point-and-shoot cameras can’t. It’s no surprise that many of us amateur photographers like it today.

Many of us today have trouble grasping what it takes to produce a stunning shot with our smartphone cameras. With so many camera capabilities and options available on each smartphone, we often overlook the fundamentals of producing amazing smartphone images.

I recently purchased an Apple iPhone 12 Pro max, and I must admit that the camera menu features are frightening. So, what does it take to shoot a fantastic photo with your smartphone? After a few months of trial and error with my iPhone 12 Pro max in attempting to shoot a fantastic photo with the phone, I’ve learned a few tips and tactics to help turn good photos into great ones.

Continue reading if you want to enhance your photography skills and learn how to create stunning photos using a smartphone device.

Want to Take Better Smartphone Photos? Try These 10 Tips and tricks to help you take better smartphone photos.

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Underexpose Your Pictures

Every photographer has had the experience of evaluating their images after a photoshoot and seeing that they are either too blown out or too dark.

A shot that is overexposed or underexposed can be rectified in post-production, but to make great original photographs, you should learn to avoid the problem completely.

What Is Overexposure?

Want to Take Better Smartphone Photos? Try These 10 Tips and tricks to help you take better smartphone photos.

Overexposure is the effect of too much light hitting the film or, in a digital camera, the sensor. Overexposed photos are excessively bright, produce very little detail in their highlights, and look washed out.

What Is Underexposure?

Underexposure is the result of not enough light hitting the film strip or camera sensor. Underexposed photos are too dark, have very little detail in their shadows, and appear dirty.

What Is the Secret to “Correct” Exposure?

Exposure is a creative option, and there is no such thing as “proper” exposure for smartphone images.

If you underexpose your photograph, you’ll have greater room for error in the editing phase. To retain the photo’s integrity, keep the shadows dark, the highlights low, and the overall temperature of the image neutral.

Lock Exposure

The AE/AF Lock feature is critical for achieving perfect smartphone focus and exposure in your photographs. When taking a photo, AE/AF Lock is a smartphone camera feature that allows you to lock the focus and exposure values.

Auto Exposure is abbreviated as AE. The brightness of an image is referred to as exposure. Auto Focus stands for Auto Focus, and it refers to which region of the image you want to be in crisp focus. 

If you simply point your smartphone camera at an image and press the shutter button, the camera will automatically determine which area of the scene to focus on (typically the middle of the frame) and what exposure setting to use.

The camera must be focused on your desired topic to provide the finest possible image. Instead of allowing your smartphone to select what to focus on, you should always manually choose the focus point.

How To Use AE/AF Lock To Lock Focus & Exposure

To lock the focus and exposure point on an Apple iPhone, simply tap and hold that area of the screen for a few seconds. Release your finger when you see AE/AF Lock in a yellow box at the top of the screen.

The focus is locked on that region of the scene when AE/AF Lock is turned on. Until you tap on another section of the screen, it will remain locked.

Even after you’ve clicked the shutter button, it remains locked. This is useful because it allows you to snap many shots of the same scene without having to manually adjust the focus and exposure for each one.

Once you’ve mastered AE/AF Lock, you’ll be able to rest assured that your images will always be precisely focused and exposed correctly.

Try Different Angles & Be Creative

The beauty of digital photography is how versatile it allows you to be in terms of how you present your images. 

To achieve wonderfully clear smartphone images, every decent photography lesson (check out Jimmy Chin’s Masterclass here) emphasizes the need of keeping your camera stationary when shooting. 

But how do you improve the quality of your smartphone photos? Here are a few suggestions to help you start thinking creatively.

There are a plethora of methods to photograph an object, and catching it from an uncommon angle or perspective will set your smartphone images apart.

Why not attempt catching your topic from high up or low down instead of constantly getting the image from standing height? Or walking a few steps to one side, or moving closer, further away?

Get in touch with your inner artist and get creative with the use of these viewpoints, as it will make a significant difference to your image, and it’s also a lot of fun.

Shoot In Raw

RAW is a unique image file that captures all image data collected by the camera’s sensor when the picture is shot and is available on the latest mobile devices. Image data is compressed and lost when compared to shooting in a format like JPEG, resulting in a lower-quality image. 

You can produce higher-quality smartphone images and modify issue regions that would be impossible to correct if captured in JPEG because no information is compressed in RAW format. When you shoot your smartphone images in RAW, you get more detail and a better base image to work with.

The non-destructive editing techniques are another difference to consider between RAW and JPEG files. You can control the image without worrying about erasing its original formatting, overwriting it accidentally, or being unable to undo any modifications. 

The original file will always be available for you to make changes to whenever you desire. For on-the-go editing, use programs like VSCO or Lightroom. To modify the colors and intensity of certain hues in your RAW image, use color grading and split tone.

Keep Your Smartphone Lens Clean

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Consider this: you have the most up-to-date smartphone with an incredible camera, yet your photos are fuzzy and unsharp. A dirty smartphone camera lens is the primary source of this issue.

Because most smartphone cases simply cover the phone’s body and not the camera, your camera lens is likely to get dirty throughout the day. Using a microfiber lens to wipe off dust or sand and brush away unwanted fingerprints is the most popular and easiest technique to clean the lens of your smartphone.

For a few dollars, you can purchase a microfiber cloth pack online, and the outcome of this cleaning will be photographs that are crisper and clearer than they were the day you acquired your smartphone.

What is the best technique to clean the camera lens on your smartphone?

We tend to treat a DSLR/mirrorless camera with particular caution due to the significant investment required. Smartphone lenses, on the other hand, tend to accumulate dust, fat, fingerprints, and sand on a daily basis due to their portability and ability to fit easily in a pocket or handbag.

To improve your smartphone images, use a soft or microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints, water stains, and oil residue.

Carry A Travel Tripod With You

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Using a tripod with your smartphone can make or ruin your photos. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not a must-have piece of equipment, but it does offer up a lot of possibilities. The usual shutter speed, for example, is roughly 1/60th of a second. Because few people’s hands are genuinely stable, motion blur may be seen if you go much lower than that.

That’s not a problem with a tripod! Of course, any form of long exposure photography necessitates the use of these multi-legged instruments.

What is long exposure photography, and how does it work?

The use of a long-duration shutter speed to sharply catch the stationary aspects of photographs while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements is known as long-exposure, time-exposure, or slow-shutter photography. You’ll need a nice smartphone tripod to get these kinds of imaginative images.

The Rule Of Thirds

According to Wikipedia, “The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. 

The main reason for observing the rule of thirds is to discourage placement of the subject at the center or prevent a horizon from appearing to divide the picture in half. 

When filming or photographing people, it is common to line the body up to a vertical line and the person’s eyes to a horizontal line. If filming a moving subject, the same pattern is often followed, with the majority of the extra room being in front of the person (the way they are moving).

Likewise, when photographing a still subject who is not directly facing the camera, the majority of the extra room should be in front of the subject with the vertical line running through their perceived center of mass.”

If you follow the rule of thirds, you smartphone photo’s will stand out from the crowd.

Take Advantage Of Your Lighting & Don't Use The Flash

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Depending on the direction you are shooting, the color and brightness of your lighting conditions can have a major impact on your smartphone photos. I have a rule that the primary light sources I use should be immediately behind me and shining on the subject I’m photographing. 

A good rule of thumb is to position your major light source behind you, beaming on the subject of the photograph. Also, avoid using the flash on your smartphone when taking photos. Turn off your camera in the settings and don’t turn it back on! 

The built-in flash on your smartphone produces poor-looking photos and adds elements to the image that you don’t want, such as shining eyes or overly lighted areas.

Using the built-in flash will result in images that are overexposed, giving your subject a washed-out appearance due to color modification. Always keep in mind that “the best light is natural light” when capturing images or movies with your smartphone. 

Consider using an LED lamp with an adjustable temperature or a ring light if you need to add an artificial light source. Once that, you can experiment with the “exposure” feature in your preferred photo editing app after you’ve taken the picture. This way, you may play about with the image to brighten it up a bit without making it look grainy.

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HDR Is A Picture Saver

HDR stands for high dynamic range, which in photography refers to the balance between your photograph’s bright and dark sections. HDR can be used to provide either an accurate portrayal of a scene as seen by the human eye or visually attractive photographs.

Taking a photo using a smartphone camera that has both bright and dark regions in the display precisely illuminated can be tough. The highlights are often overexposed and clipped to white, while the shadows are too dark to see any detail.

For example, if you had a subject in a darkened region with a bright background behind them, increasing the exposure for the subject in the shadow would overexpose the background. Setting the ideal exposure for the background, on the other hand, would result in underexposure of the subject.

A high dynamic range photograph keeps the image’s details in the shadows while not completely bleaching the bright sections (highlights).

Lessen Camera Shake


When shooting handheld without a tripod or gimbal, shaky hands or low light conditions might result in grainy photographs. There are some DIY methods for decreasing camera wobble, as well as equipment that may be purchased to remedy the problem.

If you’re looking for a cheap way to take photos or videos with your smartphone that isn’t fuzzy, try using the surfaces around you.
Lean your smartphone against a flat surface, such as a wall, table, or ledge. Try turning your phone on its side to shoot images and films horizontally, and utilize the “volume up” button as the shutter for easier access while capturing a picture or video using this technique.

I don’t enjoy utilizing my smartphone’s screen record button since it makes my videos and photos look off-balanced. Resting your elbows on a surface or even tucking them towards your body to assist stabilise your phone in your hands is the next option to decrease shaky camera footage.

Another suggestion is to use the camera’s self-timer. I know it sounds strange, but utilizing a timer allows me to avoid tapping the shutter release when snapping a photo. As a consequence, my phone no longer shakes when I tap it. All you have to do is set the timer, push the shutter, brace yourself and hold the phone firmly two seconds before the camera shoots the picture.

Consider adding a smartphone gimbal to your smartphone gear if you want to eliminate shaky camera footage shooting video or capturing images when running, hiking, or skiing. When you’re on the road and want your footage to look fluid, gimbals are ideal.

Are you getting outstanding pictures with your smartphone? What tips can you share?

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Want to Take Better Smartphone Photos? Try These 10 Tips and tricks to help you take better smartphone photos.

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