Tips for taking great photos with your phone

Posted by (RetiredModerator)
29th Aug 2018, 4:44pm

Professional photographers will probably take umbrage at the idea that the best camera is the one you’ve got with you, but the truth is that the world has changed since photography as we know it was born in the 1820s. We now take far more photos, and our camera is most likely the smartphone we keep in our pockets or bags.

We take so many photos and capture so many memories, but do you ever scroll through your gallery and realise that there are very few photos you’d actually want to print out and display?

Here are some tips we’ve gathered together so you’re taking great photos with your smartphone.

Understand the basics

There are basic principles that underline what makes a good photo, and applying them to your happy snaps can make all the difference.

The rule of thirds – that is, dividing your photo up into a grid and making sure the elements of your photograph flow and fit within that grid of those 9 squares – is the best place to start.

You should also consider what is in the background. Is it too fussy and distracting? Then consider aspect ratio – in other words, if your phone is vertical or horizontal. Are you capturing a photo of a person? Get nice and close so they fill the frame. You should also take the photo where the lighting is good.

Planning a little is a good idea. The worst photos are often the result of a point and shoot approach.

s9 sunset.png

(check out this beautiful sunset snap from Lucy taken on the Samsung Galaxy S9)

Get to know your phone

Just like a traditional camera has lots of dials and switches, the camera in your phone has lots of settings that will make your photos better.

Have a dig in your phone’s settings. In the settings app on iPhones, for example, you can switch the Grid option on to help you use the Rule of Thirds.

As smartphone cameras get more and more sophisticated, lots of phones come with amazing features, for example the Samsung S9+ has focusing features that allow you to add depth of field, plus a slow motion camera that takes 960 frames-per-second. Check out our review for a demonstration of these features.

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(Sydney Harbour looks stunning in this snap by Lucy using the Oppo R11s)


Use an app

Downloading an app can also help you capture great images. There are many apps to help you improve your images by cropping, applying filters, improving tone, and improving composition – just like a photographer used to do in the darkroom.


What is your favourite smartphone to take photos with? Comment below Smiley Happy


by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-08-29 05:43 PM



I think that many professionals now wouldn't take umbrage that a high end smart phone can produce results up there with an expensive camera.

My son-in-law is a cinematographer and has filmed using an iPhone for scenes for feature films where where there has been a confined space or difficultly in carrying a large camera.

Also look at the number of drone scenes that are used, can you tell the difference between helicopter shots using expensive video cameras and where drones have been used?

His view is for the amateur photographer a good smart phone camera will produce great photos with practice.






by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC
‎2018-08-29 06:06 PM

There are lots of great photographers who have done amazing things with smartphone cameras, Brooks Kraft shooting the White House in 2014, for example. Lucy's photos are brilliant too, smartphones can capture beautiful images @Davelew



by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC
‎2018-08-29 03:17 PM

Hey @Yeldarb - aren't you a bit of a whizz with your smartphone camera?

by Moderator Dan_C
‎2018-08-29 03:49 PM

I guess a main disadvantage is the fixed lens on Smart phone camera's. There are cool little phone lens kits out there. 

I have a friend with tiny death lens/fish eye attachment for his phone. 



by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-08-30 12:19 PM

I wouldn't say I’m a whizz but I do like taking pictures. My old iPhone 4 took great pictures with a minimum of fuss and its a pity I never purchased any of the newer iPhone versions. The water resistant range of Android Galaxy phones have taken me many places I normally would go. The Microsoft Lumia I did a review on probably took the best quality images I have seen taken from a phone.



by Moderator Alistar
‎2018-08-30 03:03 PM

Is that a work in progress Yeldarb? Would you recommend any editing apps to use with your camera? 

by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-08-30 04:45 PM

Naa that’s the owner of the Mansfield Zoo showing me the correct way to build a redneck motorhome. I did use Microsoft PhotoSyth on my iPhone to create panoramas like the one below however given I have Adobe CS5 on my pc I really have no need for apps.





by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-08-31 05:18 PM

I was thinking, sat in a restaurant in Bowen overlooking the Coral Sea,  it is not just the quality if the photo.   It's that reminder of a perefect day.

My photo of the last day of winter in North Queensland.


by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-08-31 10:34 AM

That looks like a nice spot dave.

by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-09-01 05:20 PM

It is @Yeldarb and these are the views from the Thai restaurant at the Cove apartments in Bowen. I would recommend anyone visiting Bowen to enjoy a leisurely lunch there.

by RetiredModerator Felicity_YC
‎2018-09-02 08:52 AM

flower image 2 resize2.jpg

That's an image I took just to test out my Samsung s9, I really need to take more photos with my new phone. 

by Crowd Champion Davelew
‎2018-09-02 08:55 AM

Somebody is spoiling you @Felicity_YC

by Esteemed Contributor
‎2018-09-02 03:12 PM

It really is staggering the quality you can get from a mobile phone camera. The picture below is from my S5 taken on a windy overcast day. The detail is terrific so just image what your S9 can do.