The photo quality of smartphones is getting progressively better and improved. Technology has come a long way and keeps surprising us with the high-quality pictures we can take with the little box in our pocket. Besides that, you always have your smartphone at hand. Therefore you no longer have to lug around heavy cameras to take amazing pictures for your website. Using this guide for smartphone photography, everyone will be blown away by the quality of your smartphone pictures.
Tips and tricks
The quality of your photos of products or people depends on the camera of the phone you use, but even more on how you use it. Take a minute to think about what you want to shoot and what story you want to tell with the photo. Even though it is ‘just a smartphone photo’, never rush it.
One of the key things to strive for, to create an attractive series of images, is consistency in your work. Keep the same style to reflect credibility and a unique and professional look. You can for example use the same neutral background, presets, color palette, etc. The possibilities are endless, but a cohesive element is mandatory if you want to look professional.
2. Use natural light
Smartphones tend to shoot the best shots in bright daylight. Try to avoid using the flash since it is more difficult to take a great smartphone photo with a flash. You can also try to make the image slightly brighter using the ‘Exposure’ tool.
3. Don’t use the zoom
Even if you have a smartphone with amazing camera technology, once you zoom, you lose a lot of quality. There are two simple solutions to this. You can either just get closer to your subject. Or, if that’s impossible, simply crop your picture afterward. Trust us on this one!
4. Turn on the grid
Use gridlines to make better compositions and balance your shot. This is a simple, but effective tip for smartphone photography.
5. Keep your phone still
An obvious tip, but oh so important. Avoid unclear photos by holding your phone close to your body. In that way, your hands will be more steady. If you don’t have steady hands, use a tripod or a pile of books.
6. Use negative space
Negative space is space around and between objects of an image. If you include this ‘empty’ space, your object will stand out more. Some examples of negative space are an open field, a wall, water, etc.
7. Get the focus right
Many of the best photos focus just on the detail of a product or one interesting subject. To help the subject stand out, it shouldn’t fit the entire frame. Moreover, two-thirds of the photo should contain negative space. You should take your time to find the right position and to let your camera find the right focus and shoot! You can also tap the screen where you want the camera to focus.
8. Take multiple shots
It is just a mathematical thing. The more pictures you take, the more chance one of them is your perfect image. Tip: just hold your camera button to take multiple pictures in a row in burst mode.
9. Clean the lens
This might sound obvious but is very important when capturing pictures with your smartphone. Since your phone is collecting lots of dust and dirt during the day.
Choose your subject
Every website is different. Whether you want to shoot portraits of your employees for your ‘meet the team’ page or pictures of your products for your product page, with the right tricks you will do absolutely fine.
Portrait smartphone photography
Pimp your ‘meet the team’ page to amaze your visitors! Shoot pictures of your employees, your clients or your colleagues to personalize your website – but don’t forget to ask for their approval.
Pictures not only tell the story behind the person in the picture but also the story of your business. The style of the pictures you use shows visitors what kind of company you are. Creative portraits better match young and trendy businesses, while more neutral pictures are common for timeless and stylish companies.
Choose a style that matches the story of your company and stick with it (we are serious about consistency!). Is your team, for example, a crowd of cool, outdoor workers (like farmers, road workers, etc) and you want to stress their robust character? Go for black-and-white or colored pictures with high contrast. Is it a creative one, use accessories to focus on their original thinking, etc. Don’t they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Use it to show others who you are.
Free extra tip for portraits:
Make sure you use the right framing. There are two things you should keep in mind while photographing and editing portraits. Try never to crop at any of the joints of the body. This includes fingers, toes, elbows, wrists, and knees. You don’t want it to look amputated if it’s not. Also, don’t take photos of only ahead. That is never flattering. Instead, include at least the neck, and leave enough space above below the head. Also, the background is important in portrait photography. Do not use an overly busy background that distracts the attention from the subject.
Food smartphone photography
Even more, than in portrait photography, the light in food photography is crucial. Take control of the shadows to make the difference between a food picture and a mouth-watering professional-looking food picture.
In food photography, diffuse light works best. So, other than what most people might think, the perfect day to shoot is not a sunny one, but a cloudy day. Strong sunlight will cast dark shadows that can ruin your picture. You can solve the shadow problem by simply placing a white paper between your subject and the light source.
How to take irresistible shots of food? Think about the colours, composition, and background. Because a food picture is never really just a picture of food. Take your time to think about how you want to capture it before shooting.
Free extra tip for food photography:
Try different angles until you find the angle that works best for your photo and makes the most of the subject. You can arrange your food neatly because a good composition is key to great food photography. A final tip is to decorate the scene. This can be done by using spices, a nice spoon, fruits, chocolate etc.
If you want to learn more about product photography, check out our tips and tricks for product and fashion photography.
Smartphone photography trends for 2021
Keep your photo editing simple. People are increasingly looking for authenticity and expect to see real unedited images. Of course, you can make minor edits to the photos. But keep it as natural as possible so it is not noticeable.
A vintage look with a grainy texture is a huge trend for 2021. You can create this effect with the grain settings in a photo app like VSCO or lightroom.
In-feed color blocking
This trend can make your feed look more cohesive and professional. You can use a color scheme for all your posts and use tones that work well. A visual planner helps with planning your photos and makes your feed look pro.
Great apps to edit your pictures
Even if you used all these tips and your photos look amazing, editing them afterward really makes the difference between mediocre and professional-looking images.
Experiment with different apps, depending on the features you need for your style.
Once you found the one, stick to it and keep using the same editing process to create a cohesive and good-looking collection of pictures. But be careful not to over-edit your photos so they still have a natural look.
Here are some apps we find very handy:
VSCO has a limited free version. To unlock more filters and other features, you’ll need the paying version. The app has nice presets, filters and edit tools. VSCO is a great app to create a cohesive look for all of your pictures because it allows you to copy-paste the edits you made.
Snapseeds offers a bunch of edit tools, including a blur function to blur the background of your images. Perfect for portraits as well as product pictures.
Specifically created for foodies. The app has more than 30 filters and edits to turn your food pictures into a work of art.
Lightroom Mobile is a great photo app for anyone who wants to get the best out of their photographs and spend an amount of time editing. But it may be too complicated for pictures on which you don’t want to edit more than a quick brightening, crop, or special effect before sharing.