Smartphone Photography Tips

Lesson Seven

In today’s society, asking someone if they have a smartphone is like asking them if they like bacon; not everyone does, but most people do! You can use the prevalence of smartphones to your advantage. If your yearbook class has only a few nice cameras, using smartphones is a simple solution that will allow more students to contribute. Smartphones have the capability to take high resolution photos that are perfect for your yearbook. We understand that not all students have cellphones, but you may be surprised by how many parents will let their children borrow their phones to take photos at events outside of school for the yearbook.

Since we are recommending using students’ smartphones in your yearbook class, we’ve gathered some cell phone photography tips that may come in handy.

1)  Keep the lens clean. Having a dirty lens will cause your pictures to come out grainy and blurry. Using a microfiber cloth with a little rubbing alcohol on it will clean smudges or dirt.

2)  Don’t take pictures with built-in filters turned on. It can be tempting, but the resolution of pictures taken with a filter on always seems to be lower. A better alternative is to edit after you take the original photo.

3)  Avoid using the flash. The flash on most phones can create uneven light and/or flat pictures. It is better to use natural light when possible.

4)  If the opportunity is there, take multiple pictures. You may think you have captured the perfect shot, but it’s always a good idea to take several photos so your options are not limited.

5)  Take photos from different angles. Use the mobility of your “mobile” phone to your advantage. You may be able to capture some shots that you aren’t able to get with a regular camera.

6)  Pay attention to the background in your photos. In order to get a quality photo, you need to be aware of the whole composition of the photo, not just one aspect.

7)  Keep still. This is sometimes challenging, so you may need to create or buy a phone stabilizer in order to keep it from shaking. Keeping still will prevent you from taking blurry pictures.

8)  Don’t zoom in. Zooming in on your phone will cause the photo to have a lower resolution. Instead, get as close as physically possible. If zooming still seems necessary, crop the photo later.

9)  Edit photos instead of using filters. Most smartphones have photo editing capabilities within the camera. If yours doesn’t, there are many free photo-editing apps at your disposal. Using the editing tools to adjust things like contrast, sharpness and color temperature will give your photos an extra something that filters just can’t do.

10)  Upload photos to the computer regularly. Don’t risk losing your photos by waiting a long time to upload them. Stick to uploading them weekly or after the event in order to avoid mishaps.

Good luck!