There once was a time when taking amazing photos required a cupboard full of expensive fancy-pants equipment, and enough technical know-how to make your eyes glaze over.
These days, though, most of us have professional standard photographic equipment built right into our phones, and a large choice of social media platforms where we can share our best shots.
Here’s how you can make the best use of your phone to up your photography game:
Be photo ready
The most jaw-dropping photos are never ones that are staged. They are a fleeting look of happiness on the face of a friend; the colour of leaves when the sunlight hits them; the first time your dog sees a mirror. To capture these moments, you need your phone to always be at the ready.
If you have an iPhone, you can swipe left on a locked screen to open your camera, or if you’re working with an Android, simply tap, hold and swipe.
Keep your phone clean
If you have a regular camera, you’re probably pretty good at keeping the lens clean. After all, you don’t want that perfect shot ruined by a smudge or speck of dirt. But what about the lens on your phone? Stay camera ready by regularly cleaning it with a lens-cleaning wipe or microfiber cloth.
Make the most of the grid
Turning on the grid function on your phone will help you keep horizon lines straight, creatively position people and objects, and focus on what you want to draw attention to.
Take a different perspective
Most of us take photos of people as we see them from our own eyes–but it’s amazing how different and new things look from a different perspective. Get down low and look up or stand on a stool and observe a scene from up high.
Sometimes what makes a photo really pop isn’t the subject, but what surrounds it–so take some time to think about what comes between you and the subject, and how it can improve the shot.
Photos framed by trees, branches or bushes can add warmth and life to a shot, and structures like buildings or posts can add a bit of drama.
Dull days are great days
Photos actually look better in soft light, so spend bright sunny days at the beach, and the cloudier days taking photos. According to professionals, the best light happens shortly after sunrise and before sunset when the sun creates a warm glow, and your subject is bathed in golden light.
Have fun with filters
Your phone is packed with heaps of fun filters that can be applied after you have taken a shot. Want a brighter look? A moodier feel? Or you fancy the black and white or sepia tones that give your images an old-world feel. There’s a filter for that, and many more – so spend time getting to know them and what they do.
Professional photographers take hundreds of photos just to find that one perfect one, so make like a pro and take many photos, you can always delete the rejects!