How to take professional-quality photos with your smartphone

Your smartphone is always with you and, let’s be honest, you don’t always have the space for or the time to use a reflex camera.  A device that fits in your pocket just needs a good eye that knows how to use it in order to get quality results.

Not convinced? Let’s talk about the architecture and design category recognised as part of the Mobile Photo Awards, the biggest international prize dedicated to photos taken with mobile phones, and which has been held every year since 2011.  You can see example after example of great images on their website and social media.

So don’t worry, it’s possible to take a professional-quality photo with your phone, although we always recommend doing so only when there is no other option. Let’s take a look and reveal those ten tricks so that you can use them to get your work out there.

Ten tricks for taking professional-quality photos with your smartphone

  • Think before you shoot: before taking a photo, ask yourself a few questions. What is it that I want to transmit with this photo? Will it be an individual photo or part of a series? Will I share it on social media and therefore should I take specific formats into account, like Instagram stories (9:16)?
  • Frame the shot: whether it’s a horizontal or vertical shot, aim for harmony. Be guided by the rule of thirds in order to focus the viewer’s attention. Divide the image into nine equal parts and see the points of intersection between the parts as the essential spaces for crucial elements. Although, all rules can be broken in the name of a good creative cause.

  • Formats: you can go out into the street to capture reality, show your studio work, or on mood boards. Flatlays are very popular right now and provide many attractive composition options.  They consist of photos of objects, such as your sketchbook, taken from above.

  • Creativity: the details, focusing on a specific type of composition, images of people…find your leitmotif and reflect its essence in your work.

  • Lighting: the light must always be working in your favour.  Choose the time of day that is most appropriate for the sensation that you want to transmit in the photo.  Take into account what comes into play in terms of colour perception and creating shadows.
  • Colour and linearity: think about this carefully, especially if you are thinking about sharing your work on social media. Are you crazy about pastels? Metallics? Textures? Find them in your compositions and work that linearity.

  • Clean the lens to make the photo shine: this is perhaps the most obvious piece of advice, but it is essential for achieving a good result. A dirty mobile phone camera lens can ruin an image.  Before taking a shot, make sure that the lens is impeccably clean, with no fingerprints or anything else visible. Use a cotton or microfibre cloth so as not to scratch it.
  • Shoot! But hold your breath: to make sure the image doesn’t come out blurry, hold the phone with both hands, with one on the bottom part of the phone and the other on the side, and hold your breath while you’re shooting.
  • Developing: photo editing is essential. We recommend apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and A Color Story.  However, we will say that versions for IOS devices are more developed.
  • Design: sometimes photography is more than just photography. Let us explain. Instagram stories are a great example of the use of visual elements like GIFs or text bringing images and design together.

Now that you know the tricks, can you show us your work? Share it, FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM, and be inspired and informed about the latest trends.