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Ten (NEW) Mobile Photography Tips

Author: The Printique Team

With our phones by our side every second of the day, you would think we’d have discovered everything there is to know about mobile photography; Yet here we are, endlessly surprised by the capabilities of these pocket-sized cameras.

A few months ago, we shared a list of 12 mobile photography tips. Today, we’re sharing ten entirely new tips. Photography is all about innovating, learning, and creating; Explore this fresh list of tips and tricks and you’ll be well on your way to doing exactly that!

Shoot RAW.

While many file types compress your image captures and lose some of their details (such as JPEGs) RAW files capture all of the details.  By shooting in RAW, you keep all of your image details available for editing.  This means you’re able to produce much stronger, more intentional final products.

Most phones default to compressed image captures, but you are able to shoot RAW images from your mobile device by using a third-party app.  With the Lightroom app, for example, you can easily shoot RAW format images.  Learn how here!

Utilize self-timer.

The self-timer feature of our mobile phones usually only comes to mind when we’re trying to take a full group photo, but don’t overlook this feature for other photo ops! 

It can be difficult to hold completely still when taking a photo on a mobile device – especially when taking that photo requires tapping on the device or clicking a side button.  By using self-timer, you can ensure that your phone is completely still when the shutter goes off.  Plus, self-timer is often accompanied by burst photo captures; This can come in handy when photographing something in motion.  One of those frames is bound to be perfect!

Use rapid fire.

Speaking of burst captures, a mobile phone’s rapid-fire capabilities are a huge asset!  We especially love this feature when photographing friends or pets.  The more frames you capture, the better chance you have of capturing those most-precious facial expressions.  You can adjust your phone settings to have burst photos instigated by convenient triggers. 

To take burst photos on an android, hold down the shutter button when taking a photo.  To take burst photos on an iPhone, pull the shutter button to the left; The count of your burst will appear to the right of your shutter button.

Regularly offload your camera roll.

This might not seem like much of a “trick,” but a crowded camera roll can no doubt stand between you and many of a mobile phone’s most unique features.  With low storage, you won’t be able to utilize burst or live photo features.  Low storage will also affect your ability to shoot RAW files and download editing apps.  Not to mention that an overflowing camera roll can make it difficult to find or remember photos you were once extremely proud of.

By regularly offloading and printing your favorite photographs, you get to celebrate your photo-taking wins while making room for all the amazing photographs to come!

Select your favorite live photo frame.

We love live photos!  Not only do they capture sweet vignettes of your most photo-worthy memories, but they maximize the content you collect with every click.  After taking a live photo, you’re able to select that capture’s “key photo.”  On an iPhone, you do this by selecting the “edit” function and tapping the live photo symbol in the bar of editing options.  In there, you’ll be able to view each of that live photo’s individual frames.

Don’t zoom in.

When taking a photograph with your mobile device, don’t zoom in!  On many phones, zooming in on a photo before taking it has the same effect as zooming in on the photo after it has been taken.  It results in a grainier, less detailed image.  Because of this, any zooming or cropping can (and should) always be done after the fact! This way, you will have a much larger background to work with when it comes time to put the image to use. 

Get close!

Still feeling the urge to zoom in on your photo subject? Instead, get close! This tip comes particularly in handy when shooting portraits; It can feel like you’re too far into your subject’s space, but the photos will have a much stronger composition than photos taken from farther away. Turn on portrait mode, take a step in, and snap your greatest mobile photo to date!

Lean towards the film look.

Many of us have the habit to attach a photo’s value to its image quality, which can leave a mobile photograph feeling insufficient despite its strengths.  To combat this, we recommend leaning toward more vintage aesthetics when editing your mobile photographs.  Many creators have released free lightroom presets, designed to give your photograph the appearance of film. You can also find dozens of straightforward tutorials on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram that make it incredibly simple to give your photo a film aesthetic.

Up the grain, play with the filter, and watch as you turn your mobile photos into something truly sentimental.

Turn on grid view.

Many people turn off grid view for the sake of taking simple, quick photographs with nothing to block the view; But grid mode can be the key that unlocks some incredible photographs with flawless composition.  Grid view can help you take stronger portraits, utilize the rule of thirds, and nail natural framing.  You can find the grid view settings in the camera section of your phone’s setting menu.

Clean your lens.

Sometimes the best tips are the simplest tips!  With our phones constantly at our side, they’re bound to pick up things like dust, grease, dirt particles, and so on.  That’s why having a lens cleaner at the ready is so critical when it comes to mobile photography.  Dirty lenses can affect the way light enters your lens, the way your lens focuses on your chosen subject, or – in severe instances – even appear in your image, ruining it entirely. You can grab lens cleaning wipes at a local pharmacy or online for less than $10!