Top ten tips for mobile phone photography

Our top ten tips for mobile phone photography!  Brought to you from the good people at www.photographymadesimple.co.uk, helping you take better pictures with the camera you already have:

 

Even with the most basic camera, your pictures can be improved with a bit of thinking – don’t just snap!

 

1.Who’s the picture for?

Think about who’s going to see it – is it for everyone or just a select few?  Could it shock or embarrass people, even if it goes a bit viral?  Is this ok?

 

2. Is it clear?  

Does your picture make sense even when seen on a tiny screen?  Most mobile photos are never printed out or seen on a large screen, so they need to be really easy to understand even when they are small.  Fill the frame with what you want us to see by getting in close – don’t be shy!

 

3.   Is there a story?

Can we figure it out without much effort?  People are going to see this who weren’t there – will they get it anyway? Confusing pictures are usually just boring.

 

4.  Is there irrelevant stuff in the background?  

Your camera sees things differently to how they look visually, and things in the background suddenly become important – can you move a little and get rid of them, or put them out of sight behind the subject?

 

5. Is there irrelevant stuff in the foreground?  

We tend to ignore things close up when we take view, but the camera faithfully records them.  Watch out for manholes, drains or dog poo that is at the front of your picture.  They will look mighty big to the viewer!

6.  Does the scene look ok with one eye closed?  

Weird one this..  but your camera sees things in a flat 2D way, and your brunette friend blends in with the mahogany furniture.  Can you separate them in the picture? It’ll look much better if you can.

 7.  Are there brightly coloured things that will grab the viewer’s attention?  

Humans evolved to eat berries and avoid wasps, and our vision is really sensitive to bright reds and yellows – watch out for bright colours in your pictures – people will look straight at it.

8.  Is there any writing in the picture that isn’t a big deal?  

People will read text right away even if it’s cropped or in a foreign language – can you move around and get rid of it?  Clocks and watches are bad too – does the time really matter in the picture?

9.  Can you get a more interesting angle?  

Just because your eyes are 5’ 6” off the ground, it doesn’t mean your camera needs to be that tall.  Can you get more drama and interest with the camera at a low angle, bigging up the subject?  Your dog looks a lot better from doggie eye level!  Even buildings can look better from low down, try it!  Look down on that cake, or across that dish, not just from boring eye level.

 10.  And most importantly……  is it unique?   

No-one wants to see the same old pictures over and over – what have you seen that everyone else has missed?  How can you make that thing really obvious and clear so that everyone else gets it?  Does it move people, or change their state of mind?  If so, you have made a work of art – you are an artist and the camera is your paintbrush!