11 tips for taking incredible photos with your phone

Capture life’s beautiful moments with these simple tips and tricks.

Phone cameras are incredibly convenient and quality these days. Use these tips to improve your photography skills and better preserve life moments and adventures.

1. Know where the light is

Just another average day here in Kauai. #hanalei#sunset#marshandover#iphonephoto#travel

A photo posted by Aaron Marshall (@sa_marshall) on

In most cases, you want the sun behind you or over your shoulder (unless, of course, you’re taking a picture of the sun or a silhouette). This gives your subject the best lighting. Be mindful of your own shadow and shade that adds patches of darkness to the subject.

2. Focus

Most phones allow you to focus on the subject before taking the picture. Simply tap the subject on your phone screen before tapping the snap button. Focusing on the subject will capture more details and color.

3. Notice details

#photobomb ?

A photo posted by Nelly Ortiz (@_nellyortiz_) on

Before you leave and move on, look closely at the picture you’ve taken. Are people’s eyes closed? Are there any objects that look like something is “growing” out of someone’s head? Any photo-bombers?

4. Zoom in naturally

a colourful array of feathers ?

A photo posted by c h l o ë (@chloceans) on

If you want to zoom in on a subject, physically move closer to the subject instead of using the zoom feature. The picture will turn out much better. If it is not possible (like you’re taking a picture of a wild animal) take the picture from far away, focusing on the subject, and zoom in and crop later.

5. Change orientation

Remember to switch the orientation to improve your picture. Some subjects are better photographed horizontally – like landscapes and groups of people. Other subjects like buildings and individual people are better as portrait photos.

6. Place subject in the center

To place the focus of the photograph on the subject, make sure it’s in the center of the frame. This draws the eye to the intended subject and is more aesthetically pleasing.

7. Personalize

#colorful#pretty#flowers#flowersofinstagram#iphonephotography

A photo posted by ⠀❁ ᘻᗋᖆᕦᘙᕱ ᒸᕩᗋ ᒫᓲᘉᘉᕨᕢ ♎️❁ (@groovyrogue) on

You are more likely to keep, use and remember personal pictures, so don’t be afraid to take a selfie, use the self-timer or ask someone to take a picture for you.

8. Change perspective

Want a unique photo? Capture your subject from a different standpoint. The world can be seen, experienced and captured from so many perspectives: above, under, behind, close, far or up-side-down. Look for reflections and silhouettes. Be creative!

9. Frame the subject

Use natural elements to frame the subject like trees, buildings or arches. This is an artistic way to highlight the subject.

10. Filter

Sometimes using black and white, sepia or other filters can better capture a specific mood, emotion or feeling.

11. Don’t limit yourself

Try to capture what you see and feel. Photography is an art and subjective to what you love and experience. Pictures capture specific moments in time and help us remember people, places and events. But photography also enables us to express the way we see and experience life. There are no limits!

Alyssa White

Alyssa graduated with a degree in Middle East Studies & Arabic and continually adds to her list of random life experiences as she faces one adventure after another. With too many hobbies to count she especially loves hip-hop, soccer, and photography.