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10 ways to take your phone photography to the next level

10 ways to take your phone photography to the next level

These days, advances in technology means most phones have better cameras than fancy SLRs. But are you making the most of everything your camera can do?

Here are some easy ways to take your phone photography skills from zero to hero.

1. Set up a shortcut

The perfect moment doesn’t wait for you to fumble around finding the camera app on your phone. Set up a shortcut so you’re ready to shoot as soon as inspiration (or you spot your cat sitting on a Roomba) hits. On iPhones, you can swipe left on a locked screen to open your camera, or tap, hold and swipe the camera icon on your Android.

2. Volume hack!

Did you know you use the volume button on your phone (and headphones) to take a photo? Great for snapping a steady selfie J

3. Clean your lens

It’s disappointing when your seemingly perfect snap ends up with more of an 80s glamour vibe than Nat Geo cover shot. That smudgy Vaseline look comes from a dirty lens, so clean it, often, with a lens-cleaning wipe or microfiber cloth. This will keep your photos looking nice and sharp and way less retro.

4. Enable the grid feature

Go into your cameras settings and turn on the grid function. Do it now. We’ll wait. The grid feature allows you to really focus on your subject, and makes it easier to keep your horizon line straight.

5. Hold it…

Your phone, that is. Hold it with two hands to minimise any movement at a 90-degree angle to the floor, rather than angling your phone up or down. It’ll give you straighter lines, won’t warp your subject and provide a more professional look.

6. Change up the perspective

Get on the ground, stand on a chair, experiment with foreground and frame your shot using a doorway, tree branches, or window to add more interest. 

7. Find your light

Photos, particularly portrait shots, rarely look good when they’re taken on clear, sunny days. Your subject’s likely to be squinting and their face will be cast in all sorts of strange shadows. Instead, shoot on cloudy days, or in the moments before a storm when the sky’s turning on the drama. The best light can be found during ‘magic hour’, shortly after sunrise (and before sunset) when the sky takes on a warm, reddish glow and your subject is bathed in golden light.

8. Avoid flash and zoom

The flash function tends to wash out your subject/blind them and zoom usually pixelates your pics to the point of looking like a magic eye puzzle. Find natural light sources and move closer to your subject instead.

9. Play around with filters

Your phone’s camera has a bunch of in-built filters that you can add to photos to make them moodier, broodier, lighter or brighter. Experiment with different washes and vibrancies, black and white, and mono until you find something you love. If you want to step your editing skills up a notch, download an app like VSCO or Snapseed.

10. Get snap happy!

You’re not paying for film, so you can afford to take multiple shots to get that perfect photo.

Ready to hashtag your snaps all over the ‘gram? Make sure you’re on the right phone plan first. Check out our range of affordable options here.