10 Phone Photography Tips for Beginners

 

1) Clean your lens

(Self-explanatory)

2) Manual mode

Usually, the white balance might do this to your sunset photos.

Processed with VSCO with  preset
Taken with iPhone 4

Because your phone is trying to balance out all the colors in order for it to look as ‘natural’ as possible. But that’s not what we want. We’re artists. We don’t want to be restricted by some nonsense.

That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn how to shoot in Manual.

Because if you do, you can achieve something like this.

Processed with VSCO with g6 preset
Taken with iPhone 4

You can get a similar outcome by changing your white balance to ‘cloudy’, or just by playing around with the white balance on your phone until you get your desired result.

3) Enable the grid lines

It’s an easy way to give you guidance. It helps with the rule-of-thirds. But don’t let it restrict you. It merely serves as a guide.

Annotation 2020-06-16 203420
Grid lines

 

4) Exposure

Most phones usually overexpose photos. Make sure you adjust it manually to capture the picture you want.

Processed with VSCO with  preset
Over-exposed
Processed with VSCO with g6 preset
Adjusted exposure

 

5) Negative space

This can lead to more simplistic pictures which can look very pleasing.

Processed with VSCO with kg2 preset
Negative space

6) Keep it simple

Allow it to be simple.
Don’t overwork it.
Don’t overthink it.

Allow mother nature to be the true artist. Allow her to do the work. You’re just the photographer.

When we’re young or new to a craft, we tend to overwork it. Because we’re given all this information, all this knowledge, all this skill – and we feel we have to use all of it.

But if you look at the true great artists of the world, they make it look so simple don’t they?

They just allow it to be simple.

– Inspired by Marco Pierre White

7) Leading lines

A leading line helps guide a viewer’s eye. This is usually done in the form of a road or river, but there are many ways to do this. Just get creative.

mario-alvarez-M1YdS0g8SRA-unsplash
River

wes-hicks-zdN-qY0TWeM-unsplash
Road

 

8) Avoid zooming in

This can make your photo very pixelated. Try to avoid it. If you must – do it very slightly.

Unless your phone has a telephoto lens(it allows you to zoom in without losing quality), then, by all means, enjoy zooming in.

9) Perspective

You’re taking photos. You’re creating art. Don’t place yourself in a box. Use your imagination. Shoot-up, -down, -sideways. Get on the ground. Climb a tree. Get creative.

10) External macro lens

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Buy the cheapest external macro lens you can find. It usually comes with two lenses. One is a macro lens, the other a wide-angle lens.

You can have fun with both, but I enjoy the macro lens the most.

Annotation 2020-06-16 200041
Taken with iPhone 6 and a macro-lens

I’ll leave you with these final words.

Experiment more, copy less.

“You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits…” – Auguste Gusteau

Once again, what you’re creating is ART.

art
/ɑːt/
 
noun
  1.  
    the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.

Share your photos on the wandering ambiverts Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wanderingambiverts

Confused by some photography terminology? Here’s a list of photography jargon.

If you found this helpful, here are 5 photography tips for beginners.

Learn about developing your eye for detail.

Thinking about which camera you should buy to begin photography?

Categories

Foundation of Photography

Phone Photography Tips

Photography Tips

181 thoughts on “10 Phone Photography Tips for Beginners

Add yours

  1. Thank you so much for the details, glad to see that you are also interested in photography…I wish to do a professional photograph course as my hobby after my
    studies are over…

    Like

  2. These were helpful! Thank you! I was wondering if you had tips on using a phone to photograph small product photos on a white background, like jewelry. Mine always look awful and unprofessional (well, I’m not a professional but whatever closest I can get on a Samsung A71..).

    Like

    1. Get a piece of white A4 paper, or bigger. Find a table or desk that’s against a wall. Tape the top of the paper to the wall and the bottom to the desk. Don’t fold the paper 90 degrees. Make sure there’s a slope, this gives the illusion of infinite space behind your jewelry.

      Most importantly is your lighting. Get a desk lap, something like out of any Pixar movie. It needs to be light you can direct, not just a lightbulb that’s shining in every direction. Now you’ll have to play around with the lighting until you’re happy with the results.

      If you’re using your phone, I’d recommend zooming in at least 2x. That will give the jewelry a flat look, which is more realistic to what your eye sees.

      Definitely bring down your phone’s exposure when you’re taking the photos.

      Edit with Snapseed.

      Like

        1. It’s a pleasure! It can be so much fun though! Does it have to be on a white background?

          It can be even more fun if you’re able to place the jewelry between certain objects, or place flowers around it, or even photograph it on someone. That opens up a world of infinite creative possibilities. 🙂

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