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How to Improve Cell Phone Photography

The majority of people walk around every day with professional cameras in their pockets. I’m talking about your cell phone! Cell phones of today can take stunning photos. Anyone can do it. Keep reading to learn about how to maximize the quality of your cell phone photography.

How to use your cell phone camera to the best of its ability

If you want to know how to improve cell phone photography, it is good to start with the basics. Use your cell phone camera’s best features and perfect your camera operating skills. You will be off to a great start.

Make the most out of your cell phone's camera!

How to improve cell phone photography: make the most out of your cell phone’s camera!

Cell phone camera features

Cell phone cameras these days have so many great features. Many people don’t know about some of these features that can make your cell phone photography look professional. If you use one or all of the camera features below, you will improve your cell phone photography.

  • Focus: Make sure your camera is focused on the subject of the photo. For most smartphones, tap on the subject of the photo on your screen. This indicates to the phone’s camera where it should focus.
  • Exposure: The best photos are not too light or too dark. When you are taking photos in varying lighting, adjust the exposure on your camera. When you tap the screen to focus, an exposure slide will appear. This adjustable symbol is usually a sun. Makes sense! Slide the sun symbol to your desired exposure level. Find an exposure where the subject and background are just right.
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR): Smartphones offer this awesome feature on their cameras. To improve cell phone photography, turn HDR on. HDR automatically defines details and balances colors in your photos. Using HDR is one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your cell phone photography.
  • Self-timer: Want to be in the photo? Use your phone’s self-timer feature instead of taking a selfie on the front camera. Often, the phone’s main camera will take a better photo. Plus, the overall photo will look better. Press the clock or timer icon, set your duration, and press the camera button. Then, safely run into the photo and strike a pose!

Operating a cell phone camera to improve photography

To improve your cell phone photography, follow these best practices. Some might seem simple, but even the most experienced photographers need a reminder of these sometimes. 

  • Clean your lens: We touch our phones constantly. It is likely your camera gets some oil from your fingers on it every once in a while. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any smudges from your camera lens. This makes a world of difference.
  • Steady your hands: When taking a cell phone photo, keep your hands steady. Small movements may not be obvious, but they can diminish the quality of your photo. 

There are dozens of more ways to use your cell phone camera to the best of your ability. Check out this article for more tips and tricks to help you take better smartphone photos.

The importance of lighting

Lighting will make or break photo quality. A perfect balance of light and dark makes cell phone photos look more professional. Follow these tips to improve the lighting in your cell phone photography.

  • Go natural: If possible, use natural lighting over artificial. Even if you are inside, try taking a photo by a window. Natural lighting will make your photo quality better. No editing or fake lighting can replace great sunlight.
  • Face the subject: Lighting should be in front of the subject, not behind it. Sometimes that means the sun shines in your eyes for a moment. If you are aiming for higher-quality photos, that might be worth it. The sun naturally illuminates the entire photo.
  • Get in the shade: On a sunny day, you can find great lighting in the shade. Sunlight still enters the photo, but it is diffused by whatever casts shade. 
  • Use flash: Use your flash whenever it is dark out and whenever you are inside–yes, even during the day.  Take one photo without flash and one with flash. Choose the best-looking photo. Don’t be surprised if you like the flash photo better.
  • Use a ring light: A ring light from the likes of Auxiwa can dramatically enhance your photo quality. Professional content creators use ring lights, and so can you.

How to edit your cell phone photography

You have already set up your camera and lighting to take the best photos possible. Editing your photos after that can make your photos even better. If you have followed the tips above, minimal editing is the way to go. Over-editing a photo can distract from its brilliance. 

Cell phones offer editing tools within your photos app. These tools include the basics like clarity, exposure, contrast, saturation, and more. Sometimes these will be enough to bring your photos to the next level. 

If you want more features, tools, and filters, try a third-party editing app. There are thousands out there, but here are a few to start with.

Remember that less is more with editing. Take a look at some photographers whose work you enjoy. Try to match their editing styles to start!

Try using a photo editing app to improve your cell phone photography.

Try using a photo editing app to improve your cell phone photography.

Conclusion: How can you improve your cell phone photography?

Learning about your cell phone camera’s features and how to best capture photos will improve your cell phone photography. Editing your photos in moderation enhances your photography even more. 

Just compare a smartphone photo of today with a flip phone photo of 2010. You’ll be shocked at how easy it is for the average person to capture stunning photos. Anyone can be a great cell phone photographer!

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