[Photography] 5 Tips for Better Smartphone Photography

Do you find it challenging to take good photos with your smartphone? If so, this post is for you.

This week I heard about Aura Frames, a company that makes next-generation smart digital picture frames that automatically show you the best photos of the people you love.

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They are working to start a conversation about tips to take good photos with your phone(or in my case, iPod). I love taking photos with my iPod because it’s so easy to whip out of my pocket and snap away. I tend to use it around the house to take a quick pic of the kids, or when I’m going out in public. Especially here in Brazil, I am more careful about taking my Nikon DSLR camera out of the house.

So here are my 5 tips and some of my favourite photos that I’ve taken with my iPod.

  1. Light

Light is absolutely the most important thing whether you are taking photos with a DSLR, film camera or your phone. If you are taking a nature/landscape type of photo, morning/evening light is soft and lovely. I took this photo in the morning:

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This one was in the afternoon, which created lovely contrast and shadows:

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When taking selfies, I always face a window or other light source. This one is in my bedroom, facing a window(and don’t you love the blue wall? I do.):

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And this one is in my garage, which is my go-to place for good light(you can read more about that in this post).

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2. Make it interesting.

The photo quality on my iPod isn’t nearly as good as what my camera produces, so I try to compensate by making the photos interesting. Reflections in water and windows are a good place to start:

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I liked the “You are Beautiful” sign in this window. I could have taken a shot of just the card, but I knew that including my reflection would make it a more interesting photo.

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3. Tap on the screen

I’m not sure if this works for all phones, but on my iPod, I can open up the camera and tap on different parts of the screen to make it lighter/darker. For example, if I’m taking a picture of the sunset, I’ll tap on the brightest part of the sky and that will set the exposure correctly(make sure it’s not too bright or dark).

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4. Real emotion

Obviously this is just for people photos… but you just can’t beat a photo with some real emotion there. That’s why photographing kids is so fun. They express themselves so freely and aren’t afraid of looking silly.

Whether it’s being happy…

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Or grumpy…

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Do you know why this photo is so great? Real emotion + awesome light. Yes, it was right in front of a window.

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5. Keep it simple

Some of my favourite iPod photos are ones with a lot of negative space:

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Simple yet lovely:

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That’s it for my tips!

Aura Frames put together this nice infographic that I found helpful:

Aura Frames Photo Tips

Do you take photos on your phone/iPod/device? What’s your best tip?

Learn more about Aura Frames here, or order one here!

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