In 2017, it was estimated the amount of Australians using a smartphone was over 16 million people, and the number of users worldwide exceeded 2 billion. With stats like that, its no wonder smartphone manufacturers have spent the time to improve their cameras as they know users don’t want to carry around a camera as well as a phone. As a result, we are starting to see more and more users now creating works of art simply using their smartphones.

Taking great photos on your smartphone generally requires the same things as taking photos on a camera – an eye for creating a scene, good lighting, and an understanding of photographic depth. However, these handy tips will help you to create impressive photos on your smartphone in no time.

Know Your Auto Mode

Taking the time to learn how the automatic shooting mode on your smartphone camera works is the best place to start. Knowing when it uses high ISOs or long shutter speeds will help you to adjust how you take your photos. If you know how the auto mode works, it means you can create your own settings when required.

Override the Defaults

Most smartphones have the ability to adjust the white balance and exposure by simply using a slider to achieve, this will mean you should be able to capture photos that aren’t too bright or too dark. Other manual modes can help you to adjust the ISO and shutter speed which will allow you to choose how much motion blur and grain will be visible in your photos.

Use Good Posture

Smartphone photography experts are now using tripods to ensure perfect stability to take their photos. If you don’t want to go that extreme, then holding your elbows into the sides of your body will give you more stability than holding your arms outstretched or at a distance from your body.

Never use the Digital Zoom

Using the digital zoom feature on your smartphone simply enlarges your photo and crops the output, which reduces the quality of the image and limits your editing capabilities. It’s a much better idea to take the photo without zooming and crop it afterwards.

Don’t Just Take One Shot

With smartphones now having a tonne of storage, you have the ability to take multiple shots of the same thing. This is especially worthwhile when taking photos of moving objects such as cars and people. By taking multiple photos, you don’t have to worry about getting the ‘perfect’ shot. A lot of smartphones also have the ability to capture a burst shot sequence of the one photo allowing you to be able to select which one is the best for you.


Advancements in smartphones has also resulted in more editing programs for creating professional-looking photos just by using your phone. You can also use editing software on your computer if you want to take it that one step further. Don’t be afraid to play around with different programs to achieve your desired result.

Capture in RAW

If you’re really keen on editing your smartphone photos, capture your images in RAW (unprocessed) instead of JPG capture. Capturing your photos in RAW format, enables you to adjust more details of the image. Just keep in mind that capturing images in RAW are generally large in file size.

Light it Right

If you remember any of our tips on this list, make sure it’s this one. Using the right lighting is the key to successful smartphone photography. Strong artificial lights are the ideal way to achieve better lighting, however as that is not always possible natural light is the next best thing. As with taking a photo on a camera, you should have the sun behind you with the light on the subject. You can transfer this concept to indoors with the subject facing a window and taking the photo with your back to the window.

Install the Google Camera App

If you own an Android smartphone, this tip is for you. Google’s Pixel smartphones have very impressive cameras, so now is your chance to add similar software to your device. The Google Camera app can give you image quality improvements including good performance in low lights.

Use Portrait Mode at the Right Time

Using portrait mode on your smartphone can really enhance the subject of your photos, however it is vital that the conditions are right or you may have blurred areas where you shouldn’t have.  So if you’re looking to take the perfect selfie, make sure you have ideal lighting conditions and your subject is in the right spot for best results.

Hayden McMaster