10 tips for taking perfect holiday snaps on your smartphone
There’s no denying that the quality of smartphone cameras has increased over the last few years. In fact, the market for point-and-shoot cameras is decreasing as more and more people would rather just carry their smartphone around for impromptu photos.
And while smartphones are definitely more convenient, they do come with a lot fewer features. But with these ten tips, you’ll have beautiful smartphone photos that rival camera-taken photos – and one attractive Instagram feed.
1. Shoot horizontally
There are times when a photo is best taken in portrait mode (to be uploaded later to your Instagram story, for example) but generally landscape/horizontal works best (and is easier to crop if need be).
2. The rule of thirds still apply
Some photographers argue that composition is more important than camera quality – and we are inclined to believe them. If you’re unfamiliar with this golden rule of perfect photography, it’s the idea that your photos will look better if the subject is one third in (from any side) rather than right in the middle. Many smartphones now have a grid overlay to make it easier to follow this rule of thumb.
3. Use bursts for action shots
If you’re trying to capture some cute snaps of your little ones, or photograph your friend bungee jumping, turn on the burst feature. Not all phones have this feature but if you do have it, it will take lots of consecutive snaps that you can pick your favourite from later.
4. Take a few shots
Even when your friend isn’t skydiving or your kids aren’t frolicking in the sand – it’s always a good idea to get a few shots, no matter what you’re doing. Even if it’s a holiday selfie against a famous landmark, take a few different shots, from different angles with different facial expressions – and then decide later which one you want to upload.
5. Extra make-up
If it’s an Instagram-perfect selfie you’re looking for, remember that make-up is less noticeable on camera than it is in real life. If you’re wanting to look glammed up in photos apply a little extra product so the details don’t get lost.
6. Remember to focus
Many modern smartphones allow you to touch the screen in order to focus in on your subject. Doing so prevents fuzzy images and adds depth to the most basic image.
7. Try and not zoom
While zoom can be a handy feature, it also reduces camera quality. If you can get physically close to your subject, do so. But if your subject is far away, take one image zoomed in and another without the zoom that you can crop later, and then decide which is best.
8. Think about lighting
Natural lighting is almost always the best option, so if you want some great shots of the kids it’s best to play outside. However, the midday sun can be harsh in photos and many photographers only shoot in the morning or late evening. If rounding up your children at these times is an impossible feat then opt for some gently shaded areas (ever noticed how fashion bloggers are always taking photos in alleyways and small streets? That’s because these places are the perfect balance between sunny and shaded).
9. Edit it afterwards
Even the most experienced of professional photographers edit their photos afterwards. Whether it’s adding some contrast, adjusting the clarity or creating a hue – apps such as Instagram, VSCO and Snapseed are your best friend.
10. And keep the lens clean
We know this sounds like the most simple of tips – but is important. A dirty lens can create blurs or even marks on your photo. Take a soft lens cloth on holiday and wipe your camera lens each morning before you head out.
If you use your smartphone abroad for photos, what are your top tips?
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel