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7 tips to take professional photos using your mobile by Gabi Bucker

23 Jul 2018

I’ll start today’s post by asking you a basic question: in your opinion, what does it take to take professional photos?

I asked this question on my stories this week and most people said that you need quality equipment to take quality photos. However, not everyone can afford expensive equipment. So I’ll ask you another question: do you have a smartphone? If your answer is yes, then you already have what it takes to take shoot stunning pictures, and I assure you that you will not have to buy any other ultra-modern equipment or mobile. All you have to do is learn about the tools your device offers you.

So, to help you with this, I’ll give you 7 basic tips to learn about the best tools your device has to offer you. If you have any further tips, please share them with me on Instagram @gabibucker.

Clean your mobile lens

This may sound silly, but it’s very important. In our daily routines we just throw our phones anywhere, touch the camera lens with dirty hands, put our phones in our pockets, etc. This causes dirt to accumulate in our phones, which may result in blurred images or small particles showing in the picture, which gives that low quality or blurred aspect to the picture. You may clean your mobile lens using a cotton cloth or even your own shirt.!
Want a practical example? The first image shows a picture taken with dirty lens, and the second image shows a picture taken with clean lens.

Focus

Focus is the spot of greater clarity in your picture. In other words, focus is the main element of your picture. In a flower picture, where the flower stands out in full definition and the image at the back is blurry, the flower is the object of focus.
This detail is extremely important, and you’ll have to do some quick research on how focus works on your device. Usually, you just have to touch the screen on the object you wish to focus on. However, you may go further and alternate between the automatic and manual focus, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Use your rear camera

Unless you wish to take a selfie, use and abuse your rear camera. Although some mobiles have excellent front cameras, they are usually not as good as rear cameras, because they have been designed for video conferences, not pictures. That being said, now that selfies are getting more and more popular, mobile companies are investing heavily in front camera technologies. At the moment, rear cameras still have a lot more Megapixels, which means greater quality and resolution in your photos.

Lightings! (I believe that this is one of the most important elements).

Lighting is key for quality photos, and you have to check the lightings and shadows of the place where you are taking your pictures, regardless of the theme of your photo. For instance, backlighting may be an interesting element if you wish to photograph silhouettes. However, if you wish to photograph details, backlighting is a big villain because when you place an object against the light, the camera will reduce clarity, and the object will be shaded.

Use the natural zoom

Have you heard of the natural zoom? It’s our secret trick to “get closer” to a subject.
When taking photographs, we tend to use the zoom on our cameras, but we should avoid doing this because instead of bringing the subject closer, it cuts a portion of the original area of the picture, which reduces quality and resolution. So, if you want to bring the subject closer, try to get closer to the subject instead of using the “fake” zoom tool on your phone.

Use the timer

This is another important element to taking great pictures, especially when we are using our phones. We usually shake a little bit when taking a picture because our arms have no stability, and this is why we should use a tripod or something else to stabilize our phones. However, these resources are not always available to us. So, my little secret is to use the timer on my phone, so that I can use both of my arms to stabilize, thus eliminating the risk of blurry photo.

Use good editing tools

Last, but not least, we have the icing on the cake: editing apps. Everyone knows that many companies launch new editing tools with elaborate effects, but you have to evaluate them first because some of them reduce the quality of pictures.
Photo editing is very important for the final result of your photo because that’s when you can correct any mistakes, adjust the light, contrast, temperature, clarity, shadows, use filters and make several other adjustments. Investing in a good editing app is essential for you to have professional quality photos. After all, even the greatest photographers in the world use “image treatment”.

My favorite photo editing apps are AirBrush, BeautyPlus, Lightroom and SnapSeed, and they are all free on Android and iOS.

Did you like these tips? Now, leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite photo editing apps are.