How to take better smartphone photos

5 simple tips that’ll transform your smartphone photography.

For when the DSLR won’t fit in your carry-on, your hands are tied or you simply don’t have the time to set up your camera, here are five sure-fire tips to shooting better smartphone photos. 

Tip 1: Clean your lens!

It might sound simple but you’d be surprised how much of a difference this one, tiny trick makes.

Think about it, your phone goes with you everywhere; to work, to the shops, to the gym, to that bakery on the corner that sells perfectly crisp croissants. So naturally, the lens is going to get a little smudged, like, have you seen the way croissants crumble?

Get in the habit of wiping your lens EVERY time you get your phone out to take a photo and it will completely change the quality of your photos. Trust us on this, ok?

Note: this is a favourite of our resident photography PRO, Lauren Bath. No one’s photos will be anything but CRYSTAL CLEAR when she’s about!


Tip 2. Take sharper shots with the volume button

Hitting the digital shutter button on your phone screen can easily cause the camera to shake/move and lose focus. Counteract this by using the volume buttons (up or down) when you have the camera app open to take photos.

Pro tip: you can even use the volume buttons on your headphones to snap your shots when you have the camera app open. Come to think of it, you could also use this trick to get a sneaky shot of that cute waiter at dinner – we wouldn’t know though, we haven’t tried this.

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“There are few rules for good photographs, only good photographs.” – Ansel Adams

Tip 3: Turn on your grid settings

You know all about the rule of thirds, right? You should! The rule of thirds refers to breaking your image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically), to divide your shot into nine small squares. The theory is that if you place your subject along these lines, at the top, bottom, left or right, your image will become more balanced and well-composed.

Using the grid function on your phone to visually divide your image into thirds, with nine parts, will help you to easily abide by this rule.

How to:

iPhone users – go to Settings > camera > grid (tap or swipe to turn on/off)

Android users – open the camera app > settings > grid lines


Tip 4: Shoot action shots with burst mode

If you’re chasing a bunch of kids around or attempting to photograph the annual round of beach cricket, this tip will ensure you get those action shots. Burst mode allows you to take multiple shots at once in a burst of images.

Plus, if you have an iPhone, live photo settings allow you to record everything 1.5 seconds before and after your shot. With live photos on, you can go into the edit function in your camera roll and actually choose which still you’d like to use for your image. So if you thought you’d missed great shot by mere seconds – think again, and check that live shot!

How to:

iPhone – Simply hold down the shutter button to take a burst of images. To turn on live photos > open camera app > tap live icon at top of the screen to turn on/off

Android –  Simply hold down the shutter button to take a burst of images.


Tip 5: Bribe the kids

So it’s Christmas and you’re having trouble getting the whole family in the shot? Bribe the kids with hot chips – works every time. And remember: always add chicken salt.

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