You can capture amazing photographs using your smartphone. We share 10 tips and tricks to help you get professional-looking photographs.

1 – Lighting is everything!

This applies whether you’re using a professional DSLR, compact camera or your smartphone. Your phone’s camera isn’t capable of handling low light so it’s even more important to think about lighting. The best time of day to shoot using your phone will be during the “Golden Hour”, which is during the hour after sunrise and before sunset. But for those low-light situations, you can use the iBlazr, a fun and easy-to-use external flash for your smart device that lights up your subject even when it’s dark.

2 – Composition.

Next to lighting, composition can make or break a photo. Your horizons should ALWAYS be straight, but don’t be afraid to play with different perspectives and try out unique angles. Use the grids on your phone to apply the rule of thirds when taking a photo.

*Apply the rule of thirds by aligning a subject with the guide lines 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 – Wikipedia.

3 – Crop. Don’t Zoom.

Your phone’s camera doesn’t offer optical zoom, so essentially your camera is guessing the image details. For this reason, never zoom in when taking a photo on your phone. Rather move in closer to take the shot. If that’s not possible, take the shot and crop the image later. Most smartphone’s do, however, offer high-resolution imagery; therefore you can easily crop your image afterwards without losing too much detail.

4 – Stability.

If you’re taking close-up shots or experimenting with video and time-lapse, you’ll quickly learn the importance of stability. Using the MeFoto Sidekick 360 smartphone tripod will keep your camera steady, and if you want to take it a step further, use your smartphone’s earphone volume control as a shutter release.

Mobile Photography by Priscilla du Preez

5 – Take multiple photographs.

There’s nothing worse than taking a photo just to realise that someone walked in front of the camera or pulled a silly face. Take a few photos from different angles and perspectives and then delete the photos that don’t make the cut.

6 – Macro.

If you’re into macro photography, you’ve probably seen a few hacks that can help you get that desired macro shot, but it’s still better to invest in a macro clip-on lens. Something like the award-winning 4-in-1 olloclip photo lens will easily help you get that WOW factor.

7 – Eliminate distracting elements.

When framing your shot, take a quick look at the surrounding area and make sure it’s clear of any distracting elements. You can easily overlook that bright red backpack in the background when taking photos, but once you go through them you’ll soon come to realise what a nuisance it can be.

8 – Edit like a photographer.

Professional photographers don’t always use “out-there” filters or artificial effects; they simply enhance what they’ve captured and remove distractions if needed. Snapseed is a widely used Smartphone editing App that’s really easy-to-use and offers multiple tools to help you tune your image.

9 – Printing.

Even though we share photos online, there’s still something special about printing a special memory to frame. Are you looking to print spontaneous moments on-the-go? The Fuji Instax Share SP-2 Printer is compact enough to travel with. If you’re one for creating albums, then the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Photo Printer might just be the printing solution for you.

Mobile photograph taken by Wouda Mc Micken at Brenton on Sea
Fujifilm Instax Film photographs

10 – Clean your lens.

This is something people tend to forget quite easily. You’re constantly touching your phone; so before taking a photograph, remember to wipe it clean. (Once in a while it’s okay to use your sleeve, but using spectacle wipes are the best.)