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5 Simple Smartphone Habits That Will Improve Your Photography Now

by Gary McBrine 2 months ago in how to

Better pictures begin today

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Most of us carry a smartphone in our pocket and when we see a once-in-a-lifetime event, we grab for our smartphone. Frantically, we try to put the phone into camera mode and capture the moment before it’s gone.

We look at the results after the moment’s gone, only to discover we that we cut off the head of our subject, or it’s blurry because we didn’t hold the camera still.

Have you experienced that?

Most of us have, so here is a simple checklist that will help you take better smartphone pictures.

When you develop the right habits, your photography will look better than a smartphone. Your friends will think you bought a new camera.

1) Hold your smartphone with two hands

Most people try to hold the phone with one hand and touch the screen button with their thumb. This habit makes it very easy to move the camera as you press the button. This can cause poor composition because the camera moves away from where you’re aiming it. And you can cut off the head or limbs of the subject.

To solve this problem, hold the phone like a camera. Use two hands. Your left hand has the thumb on the bottom and index (pointer) finger on the top. Your right-hand holds it similarly until you’re ready to shoot. Then use your right thumb to shoot the picture.

Bonus tip: Hold your breath as you take the picture. That will prevent you from moving.

2) Don’t cut off body parts

Have you done this? Most of us have taken a picture of someone only to notice later that we cut off their hand or foot by the frame of the picture. Here’s a new habit for you that will help you avoid that.

As you hold the camera with two hands (see above), look at the complete frame of the picture. Quickly scan your eyes around the frame to make sure you’re not cutting off a foot or hand.

There are a lot of things you can fix with editing afterward, but you can’t add a hand or foot that wasn’t there in the picture. Well, I guess you can with a lot of tricks in Photoshop, but that’s another topic.

It’s easier if you don’t amputate your subject’s limbs.

3) Use touch focus

Your smartphone is pretty smart, most of the time. But sometimes it doesn’t see what you see. You need to tell the camera what you want in focus. Most smartphone cameras use the touch-screen to tell the camera where you want the focus to be.

When you aim the camera, using two hands as mentioned above, use your right hand to touch the part of the screen that needs to be in focus. Usually, that’s your subject, if it’s a people picture.

Your camera also adjusts the exposure where you touch the screen. This way both focus and exposure will be right.

4) Shoot from a different angle

It’s natural to see the subject, point and shoot, and you feel that you’re done. But when you see your images later, they’re boring.

How can you spice up your pictures? Choose a different angle.

When you crouch down and shoot up from below, the picture looks different. Or you can reach high and shoot down from above. That’s another way to see your subject differently.

You can see this same method used by professional photographers. Watch for it. By shooting from a different angle, the picture looks fresh and creative.

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

5) Edit on your computer

Have you ever heard a friend comment about a picture, “I have an app for that?” It’s easy to have the habit of fixing your pictures with an app on your phone. The advantage is, it’s quick and easy. And sometimes you can get good results.

There are 2 limitations to using that method.

1) Your phone is small and difficult to see detail in the picture

2) Most apps offer limited control over their settings.

A better way to improve your pictures is to download them into Adobe Lightroom and work on them there. It’s easier than you think.

With Lightroom open on your computer, attach your smartphone with a USB cable. Then press the “Import” button in Lightroom (bottom left). Make sure you select the Source (top left in Lightroom) to be your phone.

This will open the images from your phone and you can see them in Lightroom. Press “Import” and you’ll import them into Lightroom and save them to your computer.

Now you can crop and edit your pictures like a professional. You can also organize your pictures and find them easily when you need to.

After you’ve imported them into Lightroom, you can delete them from your phone and that will give you more room on your phone too.

Use these 5 simple habits to improve your photography with any camera.

  1. Hold smartphone with two hands
  2. Don’t cut off body parts
  3. Use touch focus
  4. Shoot from a different angle
  5. Edit on your computer

By applying these suggestions, you’ll enjoy your photography more, and you’ll impress your friends with your magnificent smartphone pictures.

how to
Gary McBrine
Gary McBrine
Read next: 4 Ways To Find Inspiration As A Beginner Photographer
Gary McBrine

I'm a writer, a photographer, a musician and an ESL English teacher. I have three decades of sales and management experience and run my own Audio Video home technology business. Check out my other articles: https://medium.com/@garymcbrine

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