6 Tips for Creating High Quality Photos – on your smartphone!

Is becoming a better photographer (or an epic photobook-Instagrammer extraordinaire) on your resolution list this year? Maybe you have an upcoming family holiday to Europe and want to know how to capture beautiful photographic memories of your adventure.

Good news! You already have the tools to be a better photographer at your fingertips. You don’t need an expensive camera and lens kit to play in the photography big league.

We’ve put together six tips to help you get the most out of your smartphone – and take the perfect shot:

Don’t forget to focus

You need to be focused when taking photo and your camera does too.

Most smartphones have a selective focus feature that allows you to pick a focus point. To do this, simply tap on the screen at the point that you want to focus. On the iPhone a little yellow box will appear. To change to a new focus area, tap in a different location.

You can also lock the focus point on an iPhone, so you don’t lose it if something else moves in your shot. Once you’ve selected your focus point, press and hold down until the yellow AE/AF LOCK text appears.

Take advantage of the manual settings

Capturing a stunning photo is about more than the camera you’ve chosen to use. Things like lighting and how you position yourself in relation to the photo subject, play an important role in how your photos turn out.

Once you’ve nailed that (you’ll know what looks good – to get it right, you simply need to practice) it’s onto the settings on your phone to help.

Your smartphone has some really cool features that allow you to play around with the setting before you take a shot – to make sure that it’s perfect.

On your iPhone, exposure is one of the key settings to help you get the lighting perfect. Once you’ve found the focus of your photo, you can move the little sun dial up or down to increase or decrease the light in your photo.

If you’re an Android user, you have even more settings to play around with. By selecting the PRO setting on later Samsung models, you can change everything from the ISO (your camera’s sensitivity to light) to shutter speed (the exposure of light in your lens), among other settings.

Not keen for manual setting – your phone has you covered

If you want to keep it basic, the phone’s built in features might be more for you. Both iPhone and Samsung models have great built in features called Portrait and Food (respectively) which automatically focus on one aspect in the shot and give a blur (or depth) to the features outside of that point.

This is especially great for taking photos of your friends or family (portraits) and close ups of food – the settings are helpfully named for their use.


Image: Photo taken with the “food” settings on the Samsung

Don’t use the zoom feature

I know we said we are talking about features on your phone that you can take advantage of – but in this case we want you to leave it alone!

Yes, it’s tempting to use the zoom when taking a photo. But often this takes away from the quality of your shot. Plus, you lose the bigger picture when you do this.\

Where you can, it’s always best to move yourself and the phone to get the right angle and distance. It will make for an even better photo. If you need an even closer shot, you can always crop the image later!

Take advantage of the ‘burst’ feature

You’re going to LOVE this feature – especially if you want to get the perfect action shot. By pressing down and holding on your capture button your phone will take continuous shots. Once you think you’ve captured enough, or the movement has ended, jump into the camera roll and select the photo. You will be given the option to “select” from the group of photos to find the perfect shot.

Don’t be afraid to edit in post

There are so many phone apps that you can take advantage of for editing in post – Snapseed (for both iPhone and Android) is one of our favourites. However, your phone also has some great built-in features that allow you to edit your shots once they’ve been taken.

Adding one of the pre-built filters or playing with lightness, brilliance, saturation and warmth – or maybe even black and white – can really add your own style to the photos you take.

We can’t wait to see what you create!

Don’t forget that by downloading our Snapfish app you can upload photos immediately from your phone and use them to create treasured memories that last forever!

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