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How to take professional looking photos on your phone

Not everyone has access to a DSLR camera, but we still want to take website worthy photos. That’s okay! In this guide we look at embracing what you DO have access to – and that’s your phone’s camera. It is possible to create fantastic usable photographs for your blog, so follow these tips to get started:

Lighting up your subject

Artificial flash is made to complement natural light. It’s not a replacement for natural light and should never be relied upon. In addition to that, your phone’s flash will fire a very harsh, very flat light that will almost definitely remove detail and cause unintended shadowing. Always find a great source of natural light.

Indoors lighting

Dos
Don’ts

 

Outdoors lighting

Dos
Stranger Things used a fill in light to brighten up the darker portion of Will’s face
Don’ts

 

Frame your subject

Don’t be afraid to move your subject around and make your surroundings work for you. A wall, a doorway, or a set of trees; use these to your advantage. Certain backgrounds detract from the subject and won’t work unless you are purposefully going for that style.

Dos
Courtesy of ultimate-photo-tips.com
Don’ts

 

Don’t look at your phone between photos

It’s really easy snap a shot and then look at it on your phone especially when you are trying to get the right one. It’s also really easy to get a few photos and delete the ones on your phone that don’t look good. DON’T do that. When you are taking photos on your phone treat it as you would an old film camera. Take photos, try different things and just keep snapping away. No matter how good your phone screen is, your photos will display slightly differently than they will on a desktop. The photo you like on your phone may look different when you transfer it over.

Colour correct

The colours on your phone tend to be more vibrant than a desktop. Whilst I quite like Instagram filters they come last in the editing process. Don’t edit your photos on your phone, take them off and colour correct them somewhere else. If you can’t afford Adobe Photoshop there are FREE photo editors you can use like Pixlr (web), Pixelmator (Mac) or Paint.net (Windows & Mac).

Never miss an opportunity

Every minute wasted looking at the photos on your phone is another shot you’ve missed. Whether it’s a small smile or laugh or random facial expression, it could be the perfect shot!

 

Are my photos on my phone good enough?

In terms of quality, the bigger the image the better which is where your camera phone can be quite lacking. For blog posts it’s more than fine and even as a small photo in print. For the hero image on your website or a cover photo it is best to choose something else instead like a graphic, or try and get access to a better camera for the important stuff!

Why do I tell you to resort to a graphic over buying a stock photograph? One word: Personality. It’s easy to buy a professional looking stock photograph and it will look smart, but is it really you? Is it your brand? Using stock photography takes away from the personality your website has and generalises it. In an online world saturated with blogs and stores how will you stand out without personality? Even if the photos you take aren’t perfect, that’s okay. Your photos relate more to your reader than a stock image ever could.

Are there any apps or free photo editing software that you use? Share them in the comments and help your fellow readers 🙂

-Siobhan @SiobhanLHancock