Tips and Tricks: Better Photos With Your Smartphone for Social Media

Are the photos you are taking for your business blog posts, website and social networks pin-worthy?  Do your pictures convey the professional image of your business’s brand?  Is hiring a professional photographer or purchasing a high-end digital SLR camera out of the question?  Do you own a smartphone?

If you can answer yes to the last question, you are in luck!  As we all know, producing quality images for your business presence on the internet is a must.  You can achieve these results by simply using the following tips to take professional-looking photos using your smartphone.  So breakout your smartphone and let’s get ready to tap that screen for the perfect image!

Never Zoom!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to start zooming in on your target.  Although smartphones are improving, once you start zooming you are going to lose quality.  There are two ways to negate zooming in and avoiding a grainy or blurry picture:

  •         Get closer to your target!
  •         Take the photo and then crop your image later.

Use the Rule of Thirds

If your photo composition is all wrong, it doesn’t matter what type of camera you are using.  One of the first principles you learn in a photography class is the rule of thirds.  This helps to create a photo that is well-balanced as well as intriguing.  The idea is to break down your image and visualize it in thirds, both horizontally and vertically.  This will give you nine imaginary boxes that create a grid.  The four most inner lines of your grid should become the focal point of your photo.  If you have an iPhone, you will notice that the grid lines automatically appear on the camera screen.

Use Camera App to Gain More Control

Since you are using these photos to represent your business image, you want the most control that you can muster.  Instead of taking photos directly from your smartphone camera, try using one of the following apps that will provide you with create shots at a reasonable price:

  •         Camera+ for iPhone users
  •         DSLR Camera Pro is a great choice for Android users

Add a New Lens

Did you realize that you can purchase lenses for your smartphone camera?  And they are reasonably priced as well!  They are magnetic and go over the camera lens of your phone.  This is a nominal investment that will improve the quality of your shot.

Natural Lighting

Smartphones aren’t very good with lighting.  This means that you will have to compensate to make sure that you take your photos near natural lighting. Stepping outside will provide you with the best natural lighting options, but if you must shoot the photo indoors, shoot near a window.  But, you should never shoot directly into a window either or your photo will become too bright.  Your best bet would be to place your product off to an angle and place your back to the window prior to taking the picture.  Also, using the flash of your smartphone camera isn’t wise either.  It isn’t very good and will more than likely cast an unflattering yellow light or shadow over your product.

Online Editing Tools

After you have your shot, try using a photo-editing app or tool.  This will allow you to crop, straighten or enhance your photo with filters.  The following tools are free and easy for first time editors to use:

  •         Pixlr Editor
  •         GIMP
  •         Adobe Photoshop Express


Get Creative

Now that you have the basics of using your smartphone camera to capture awesome shots, get creative!

  •         Background – The background of your photo matters!  Try finding backgrounds that are clear, colorful or bright such as a brick building or a wooden table.
  •         Props – These can spice up your picture, but make sure it makes sense!  Adding a comfy chair with a blanket draped over it to showcase a book makes sense and draws attention to your picture.
  •         Variety – Practice makes perfect!  So, take two or three shots of the same product in different settings.  You will eventually end up with a stockpile of good photos that showcase your products to choose from.