10 tips on how to take better photos with your smartphone

6. Block out lens flare

There’s no telling when a good photo opportunity might present itself, and with the smartphone being the camera you’re almost guaranteed to always have on you, it’s likely you’ll snap a picture in less than favourable lighting conditions. 

For example, a setting sun might provide you with a lot of lens flare. The solution? Simply block this light with your hand placed alongside the lens – just be careful not to get your fingers in the shot. 

A little recomposing might be necessary to allow your hand to block the light without getting in the frame, but this is a sure-fire way to eliminate flare and glare at a moment’s notice. 

7. Put your selfie technique to better use

Don’t just rely on that front-facing lens to make your new profile picture – it’s extremely handy for shooting a variety of hard-to-reach places too.

Read more: 6 quick tips to improve your composition

Trying to capture an image of a ceiling or something else from ground level, for example, can be awkward when using the standard rear-facing camera, as it can often require you to crouch down to an uncomfortable position. With the front-facing camera, however, you can view such a composition clearly and make whatever adjustments are necessary, with all controls easily accessible. 

8. Shoot through windows

It’s probably not a good idea to start snapping images through the neighbour’s windows, but shooting through your own can reveal an otherwise-hidden opportunity for some fantastic photos. 

Use reflections from outside to frame a portrait or provide a mirror-like reflection for a distorted view on the world. If you happen to come across some stained glass, or windows that are bevelled, even better. Use this distortion to your advantage – just try to keep it minimal around your subject so that it’s still clear what you’re photographing.  

9. Give it a wipe

Smartphone manufacturers design their products to be scratch-resistant and fairly hardy over their lifetime, and this is especially true of the camera lens. One small scratch will ruin any and all photos, so it’s no wonder that this is particularly hard wearing. 

However, although scratch-resistant, you will need to occasionally clean these. A quick blast of hot breath and a wipe with the shirt usually does the trick, but glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth will do a better job of cleaning the dirt off of the lens. Oh, and don’t forget to do both front- and rear-facing lenses.

10. Search for emptiness

With wide-angle lenses it’s easy to capture everything in the scene, which is precisely why you should seek out areas with large negative space – that is, simple, frame-filling backgrounds. For example: by making a big expanse of blue sky the priority, you’re making your subject more apparent when framed at the bottom of the image.

All images were taken on the following smartphones: iPhone 5C, Google Pixel 2 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Read more: Why do some phones have two cameras on one side? Dual-camera designs explained