“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” - Paul Caponigro

Nowadays, everyone is taking photos of practically everything. But, why? That is mainly due to the fact there is a camera on every single smartphone produced. While professional photography using high-quality cameras from brands such as Canon and Nikon is still an essential medium for special events such as weddings and engagement shoots, everyone can now express their creativity through the art of photography on their smartphone.

It's worth stating that most photos taken around the world and those posted on social media websites are taken on smartphones!

In a way, now that everyone has access to taking pictures, we all have the same tools at our disposal to take better photos. However, taking fantastic shots that are "post-worthy" is much easier said than done. There are many components and specific details that amateur photographers need to bear in mind. Such as? For instance, some aspects such as white balance, shutter speed, and aperture need to be analysed and perfected.

So, do you want to up your photography skills and take pictures that viewers marvel at? If so, we highly recommend reading today's article since we will focus on ten photography tips and tricks to take better photos with your smartphone.

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Why Be Interested in Photography

Ever heard the expression, a picture is worth a thousand words? If so, you've come to realise that images are vital to our learning process, and they make us feel different emotions and understand things that words cannot simply express.

So, before we start discussing all of the ten steps to improving your photo-taking abilities, it's essential to mention why photography is such a vital medium and why you should be interested in honing your skills.

Without further delay, the following are some brilliant reasons as to why all of us should be interested in photography:

  • Anyone Can Participate: regardless of the level, the age of the photographer, or the camera equipment, anyone can take pictures since it is a deeply personal experience. You don't have to be known as a "creative" type to start taking photos since you can develop your style and learn the skills as you go.
  • Documents Important Moments: by taking pictures and videos, we remember essential moments from our life that we don't soon wish to forget. A photo helps us visualise an event from the past, but we also recognise the feelings, the smells, and the sounds. So photography is essential for capturing moments that your mind might forget.
  • Feel Connected to Others: when photographing people, the photographer can't help but feel connected to their subjects. Also, sharing your pictures with others about things you are passionate about makes you feel closer to your friends to whom you are showing your photos. An interchange of images allows us to catch a glimpse inside the lives of others.
  • Quickly See Your Improvement: one of the most beautiful things about having photography as a hobby is that you can easily see your improvement after a few weeks, months, or years of taking pictures. We remarkably suggest keeping photos from when you first started so that you can continually be motivated by the progress you have made.

If the four previously mentioned motives aren't enough to motivate you to start learning photography and improve your camera skills on your smartphone, we don't know what will!

Smartphones With the Best Cameras

before buying a phone
Buying a phone that has a great camera is a fantastic way to kickstart your photography skills. (Source: Unsplash)

If you don't have the money to invest in high-performing cameras that include DSLR features such as specific shooting modes, focusing modes, back focus, and exposure composition, you probably should stick with taking pictures with your smartphone.

Nonetheless, if having a brilliant camera is extremely important to you, you should probably have it as the #1 feature of importance on your next smartphone. However, since there are so many smartphones on the market today that boast that they have the best camera, it can become a difficult choice to purchase a smartphone for its camera. So, which smartphones in 2021 are known for having the best, all-around cameras?

Without further delay, according to the experts at Tech Radar, the following are the phones currently on sale at a retailer near you with the best cameras:

  1. iPhone 13 Pro/iPhone 13 Pro Max: taking the number one spot this year is the universally adored iPhone 13. While all its version has above-average cameras, the 13 Pro Max is extraordinary for its low-light performance and optical zoom.
  2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: taking the second spot on the list is the excellent smartphone known as the S21 Ultra produced by the geniuses at Samsung. The S21 Ultra has the best camera zoom, and the different modes allow experienced photographers to customise their shots.
  3. Google Pixel 6 Pro: known by various persons in the tech world as Google's best smartphone camera, the Pixel 6 Pro has a multitalented camera that performs well under any circumstances. In addition, the Magic Eraser option and the Motion mode are brilliant aspects of the software that make the Google Pixel 6 a smartphone worth buying.

While there are many other smartphones on the market, the previously mentioned options are guaranteed to take amazing photos and satisfy your desire to improve your photography skills since you'll have a great tool at your disposal.

Now, please take a look at the following subheading to find out how you can utilise your new smartphone functions effectively with our carefully researched suggestions.

The Top Ten Tips to Take Brilliant Photos With Your Smartphone

When it comes to taking photos and improving the quality of pictures, it's essential to seek out the assistance of more experienced ones and pay close attention to their advice. Therefore, without further ado, we'll examine ten of the most universally suggested tips and tricks to ameliorate smartphone photography drastically.

1. Avoid Backlighting

Backlighting is every amateur photographer's worst enemy. While backlighting can sometimes be used adequately by professionals, backlighting will probably ruin most of a beginner's photos. Similarly, since smartphones have digital cameras, it's not as easy to account for backlighting and use it effectively.

So, to avoid backlighting, you want your subjects lit by a light source that isn't directly pointed at your lens. In short, no matter what equipment you're using, that perfect shot will be ruined by direct light into the camera. Therefore, the advice is simple: AVOID BACKLIGHTING AT ALL COSTS!

Find out smartphone photo editing tips here.

2: Clean the Lens

If there's one thing you should always do before taking photos, ensure that the lens is clean and without any dust particles or water stains. Cleaning the lens usually does the trick to avoid blurry images; however, if your pictures are still blurry after multiple attempts, there might be something wrong with the lens.

So, to avoid any blurry photos, clean the lens before shooting. Don't forget that when you're taking pictures with your smartphone, you're also taking photos with a device that's with you everywhere you go, and the camera isn't always protected as a DSLR camera would be.

It's worth stating that camera lenses may have grubby fingerprints, bits of food, or even makeup on them; clean it up!

3: Use Accessories

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” - Gilles Peress

Many smartphone photographers forget about just how valuable some accessories can be for their phone camera lenses. There are plenty of devices and accessories that persons can clip onto their smartphone and turn into something far more powerful. Such as?

The following list highlights some worthwhile phone accessories for stellar photography:

  • Clip-on fisheye,
  • Wide-angle,
  • Telephoto lenses.

You'd be surprised at just how close to professional-grade lenses you can get with some of the previously mentioned lenses and accessories. Also, if you want to take "high-quality selfies", we recommend purchasing a selfie-light that will improve your shots and make you look more luminous.

Find out more about the smartphones with the best cameras.

4: Edit Your Photos

The functions of smartphone cameras are designed to be versatile; however, did you know that there is software to fix photos afterwards? In many cases, the editing options available post-capture is essential to making the picture even more impressive.

You don't always need expensive photo editing software since many smartphones include the most common tools that are necessary.

It's important to state that every photo can be improved in some way. For example, you can alter the white balance, add a filter, or remove certain imperfections from the shot.

The editing process should never be scoffed at since it is indispensable. Find out how to edit your smartphone photos.

5: Think About the Final Result

One of the most extraordinary things about smartphones is that you can take photos with them anywhere you want and at any time of the day. There genuinely aren't any limits since you don't have to carry around bulky camera equipment. However, it's important to state that one drawback of easily accessible photography is that we tend to take photos without thinking about why habitually; this can result in disappointing images.

The first thing you need to do when taking a photo is to think about why you got your smartphone out in the first place. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is this subject or place worthy of a photo?
  • Is the depth of field right?
  • Will I be posting this picture on social networks?

If you're taking a photo for Instagram, why not take it in the app or use the square photo mode built into your smartphone's camera? This guides your purpose and makes you take pictures that matter.

Most smartphones that have been released in the last few years have a mode designed with Instagram in mind; so, if taking pictures for social media is of prime importance, you're set!

6: Take Several Photos

Did you read tip six and wonder why you should take several photos of just one thing? The advice is valid because taking a few pictures at once allows you to get the right angle and a greater chance of the photo turning out well. For example, the first few shots might have been lacklustre, but the last ones might be more "post-worthy."

With different placements and points of view, you'll be able to see something completely different that can significantly enhance and change the shot. In the end, pick the photo you like the most and remember that it doesn't cost anything to take several images.

7: Avoid Using the Zoom Function

taking pictures
When taking pictures with your smartphone, you want to ensure that you don't use the zoom function too much; unless your phone has a high-performing zoom lens. (Source: Unsplash)

“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” - Ralph Hattersley

Whether it's an Instagram photo or a holiday snap, try to avoid using the zoom on your camera. But, why? For the simple reason that the zoom will pixelate the image and lead to low-quality photos. If you want to capture a subject closely, we recommend getting closer to your issue if you can.

It's important to state that although smartphone cameras have significantly improved their zoom functions in recent years, if you want to take many pictures that are zoomed in, you'd be better off purchasing a DSLR camera with a zoom lens.

8: Don't Rush

Similarly, while taking a photo with your smartphone doesn't cost anything, you don't need to race and hurriedly take pictures. Instead, if you can, take your time and try not to rush anything.

Don't stress out; study your subject, and plan out your photo. Look at the lighting and pay attention to unfavourable details that you might not want in your photo.

Learn more about the different photo modes on your smartphones.

9: Use HDR Mode

When possible, try to use the High Dynamic Range (HDR) Mode available on most smartphone cameras. The HDR mode can improve the lighting and exposure of photos by taking several at once and compiling them into one image that is of supreme quality.

Using different images allows your smartphone to choose the proper lighting and exposure for other photo parts. The most important thing to remember when using HDR mode is staying still for a specific period because you don't want your image blurry.

Click for photography courses here.

10: Avoid Using Flash

low light and night time
There are specific modes on a smartphone camera that improve the quality of pictures during moments in the evening or at night. (Source: Unsplash)

To take better photos of where you are and the subjects you are accompanied by, you should adapt to your surroundings. For example, you may be tempted to use your flash; however, this is often a big mistake as the moment will remove the background and ruin your subjects' eyes on the final picture.

Ideally, you want to take the photo using night mode and adjust the lighting after you've taken the picture. But, unfortunately, this isn't always possible depending on the smartphone camera that you have. So, it's essential to change your methods based on the time of day.

To capture the best shots, make sure you think carefully before you press that shutter button. If your photos are blurry, set your camera or smartphone up on a tripod before taking a picture. Natural light can also help to get the best images possible.

Are you ready to give it a try? Are you ready to up your game in the sector of smartphone photography? By applying the ten previously mentioned tips, you'll soon see that taking decent photos with your smartphone isn't that complicated; say cheese!

Hiring a Photographer on Superprof

If you'd like more help with photography, there are many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof who'd be willing to assist you and provide you with practical suggestions. There are three main types of tutorials, and you can choose the one which best suits your preferred learning style and your budget. Such as?

First and foremost, group tutorials tend to be the cheapest and best for those on a budget as all the tutorial students share the cost of the tutor's time and expertise. However, this does mean you'll get less one-on-one time with your tutor, and the lessons won't be tailored to you and your specific needs.

The second method of receiving photography classes is through online tutorials. Virtual sessions tend to be slightly more expensive than group tutorials because you are with the tutor. However, online lessons are fantastic because you don't have to leave the comfort of your own home, and you can benefit from tailored lessons and learning programmes in a relaxed manner with the tutor's undivided attention. However, without the tutor physically being there with you, it can make certain hands-on aspects of learning a little bit more complicated.

Thirdly and finally, private face-to-face tutorials benefit from the two types mentioned above without the drawbacks of sharing the instructor with other learners. However, if you want to learn photography through private in-person lessons, it's worth mentioning that you will have to pay more than the different types of tutoring; that doesn't include travel costs.

Please think carefully about which type is best for you and discuss all this with potential tutors before hiring them. Learning photography is a great idea, and professional instructors are prepared to answer any of your questions about taking pictures with your smartphone.

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Daniel

A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.