Basic photography tips with your phone that actually work

We all love keeping beautiful memories with us, and taking pictures is the best way of doing it, isn’t it? Therefore, knowing basic photography tips with your phone would indeed a good idea.

Taking a picture from a smartphone is now probably the second top use of the phone after making and receiving calls. For most of us, camera quality is the priority while buying the new one. I am sure even you could have picked your phone after watching so many reviews on the Youtube or searching on the websites. Since you got one, time to enhance your photography qualities.

Taking amazing photos with your phone is really quite simple, provided that you follow a few important rules. So use these guidelines to enhance your photography.

Basic photography tips with your phone to take the quality photo.

1. Stable hands

Practice clicking shutter button with a stable hand. This is very important. If the phone doesn’t have OIS(Optical Image Stabilizer) or EIS(Electronic Image Stabilization) then expect the blurry image if you can’t stable for your hand, especially while taking selfie pictures.


  • Use both hands while taking a picture from the rear camera. See the sample picture below.

  • Hold the phone with four fingers and press the shutter with the thumb while taking selfies. See the sample image below.

2. Sufficient Light

Make sure there is sufficient light and subject is in opposite direction. The problem with the all the budget and mid-range camera phone is that it struggles to take a clear picture in the low light conditions.

Tips: Use HDR mode in bright sunlight.


3. Clean Camera Lens

Keep your phone’s camera lens clean. Avoid touching camera lens especially if they’re missing sapphire glass. Sapphire glass is an extreme scratch resistance but this only comes in premium or mid-range phones like one has in Oneplus 3T or Huawei Ascend P7.

4. Use Flash only in extream lowlight condition

Always try to use environmental lighting as much as possible if the surrounding is really dark then only use flash. Have you not noticed, the picture was taken with a flash, people eyes turn with red/bright eyes? This could have avoided without using flash.

It is common that we think more light is good for photos but sometimes using flash can bring odd colors or lack of natural color. Even professional photographers recommend to reduce flashlight, read more here. Check the below sample, the left is with flash and a right one is without flash. Which one do you think is more clear?

Basic photography tips with your phone

It is obvious that the right side one is a clear photo. The one which is taken with flash is not having same light across the picture, it is lighter in down and getting darker at the top of the image whereas, in right side image, there is equal light across the image.

Also, you can easily absorb two tinny bright spots on the whiteboard which is definitely one would like to avoid, isn’t it?

Do write me in the comment box below of your observations.

5. Use HDR Mode

Once your enable HDR mode, your camera takes a couple of same shots at different exposures, normal, darker, and also lighter and then merges them into a single image to bring a more detailed image. The HDR mode is very useful in outdoor and lowlight photography. So next time when you are taking a picture of landscape scene or in bright sunlight play with your phone’s HDR mode.

6. Tap to Focus

Tab to focus helps to take a clear picture when camera struggle to autofocus. It means simply tap on the screen where you want to get a clear picture, maybe around person’s face or directly on the subject.

Most of the time this happens that due to the low lighting, camera’s auto-focus does not work properly then Tap to focus becomes handy then.

I see many people simply do not use this basic feature. There are many cases(due to lighting condition) when the camera’s auto-focus really struggle and at that moment tap-to-focus becomes important in order to take a clear picture.

Also, this becomes so useful for budget or midrange phones, because it’s camera lens struggle and does not focus quickly, it takes time to focus. Therefore if you are such phone’s owner try tap-to-focus and see if it really makes any difference.

7. Third party Camera app – Google Camera

We have Google camera as the best option probably. You can download the Google camera apk from this link, it is not actually available at google play store. Google camera has a couple of cool features which you may love. It comes with Auto HDR+ mode, Slow motion video, Lens Blur, and Selfie Flash.

The same camera is being used in Google Pixel phones but B-S-G developers made it possible to bring the same app to other smartphones as well but this apk is only supported with 820, 821 and 835 SoCs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset and above.

Read more about it: Improve Android Phone Camera Quality Using Google Camera

8. An Earphone as a Shutter button

For the steady picture, use your earphone’s button as a camera shutter. Your earphone should have a volume buttons. Try it out. It is a very cool way to take a steady picture and even you can take distance snap similar to selfie stick, so you can call it to selfie stick alternative.

Most of the camera by default support it, in case your phone doesn’t support by default, then install mSwitch app from Google play store.

9. Enable Grid Mode – Rule of thirds

Basic photography tips with your phone - enable Grid Mode

Enable your phone’s camera grid mode. Above example is taken from pixel phone. These grid helps to adjust the positioning of the object inside the picture. In many phones, it is not enabled by default. The grid helps to follow the guideline as per Rule of thirds. If you have not heard about Rule of thirds before then read more about it here. For basic, it is a process of composing visual images as such that picture should be divided into 9 parts/visual image.

Learn more from this video.

Okay, that’s all I have right now. Do let us know which tricks you follow.

#Happy Photography

Update - 2018.07.19

  1. “An Earphone as a Shutter button” is awesome tips. It helps to take steady pic.

  2. Shutter button seems to be the perfect issue for iPhone shooting. Thanks for it. I’ll check it obligatory.

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