5 Phone Photography Tips for Beginners

We might be talking about phone photography but it’s still photography. Give your phone the same respect you would give a normal DSLR camera.

1 – Get closer

Get as close as you can. You might be surprised by your phone’s macro capabilities.

Taken with Samsung A70

2 – Lower the exposure

When you’re taking photos with your phone it will usually be over-exposed. Lower the exposure just a little bit. It can make for a much better image.

Taken with Samsung A70

3 – Zoom in. Slightly

Zooming in just a little bit can help to flatten the photo by fixing some of the distortion of the lens. I find zooming in between 1.5x or 2x to work best.

Taken with Samsung A70

4 – Use HDR wisely

HDR can be beneficial when you want to capture an entire landscape with all its detail. It can also make a great dramatic photo, such as the one below.

Taken with Samsung A70

There will be times when you don’t want to use HDR. Such as when capturing a sunset or sunrise. With the photo below I wanted to focus mainly on the clouds and the color of the sky. The foreground was just a boring empty field and wouldn’t have added anything to the photo. So instead of using HDR mode, I used normal mode, lowered the exposure quite a bit in order to get the full color of the sky, and as a bonus the trees made for a great silhouette.

Taken with Samsung A70

5 – Auto vs Manual Mode

The advantage of using manual mode is being able to control the camera settings yourself.

Using the images below as an example. The photo on the left was taken with auto mode. As you can see the image is soft and not as sharp compared to the one on the right. This is because of the high ISO. Because there wasn’t much natural light, the phone increased the ISO to make the sensor more sensitive to light and increased the shutter speed to get the sharpest photo possible. But the photo isn’t sharp because of the high ISO.

The photo on the right was taken in manual mode. I decreased the ISO to the lowest setting, then slowly decreased my shutter speed until the vine was exposed correctly.

Taken with Samsung S7 Edge

If you found this helpful, here are 10 more phone photography tips.

Learn about using manual mode for phone photography.

Want to learn how to edit your photos with your phone?

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


Foundation of Photography

Phone Photography Tips

Photography Tips


141 thoughts on “5 Phone Photography Tips for Beginners

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  1. I think you make some really good points about phone photography. After all, we all have one in our pocket. There are so many apps now that help you to make better images with your phone and, of course, to edit those photos right on your device. As the quality of phone sensors improve it’s a niche worth serious consideration.


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