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How to take beautiful photos with your phone

What do all the photos below have in common?

They were all taken using my iPhone 5s. While having a high-spec DSLR camera does help when you take photos, many people cannot afford the cost of these cameras.

As Apple says the best camera is the one that you have in your hand. Most mobile phones nowadays have a great camera. I find it is more convenient for me to take photos using my phone as I can easily edit them and post them online. Even though there are better camera phones than the iPhone 5s I am still able to take great photos.  Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the camera on your phone.

Have a think about what you want the main focus of the photo to be

Sometimes if there are too many things is the photo it is distracting for the viewer.  Have a think about what do you want to photograph? For example, this tower I photographed had too many people in it. I waited a few minutes until the people were gone to take a better photo of the tower.

Think of a photograph as a grid. Whatever is in the centre of the photograph is generally the focus of the picture. iPhone cameras also have the option to insert a grid into your camera to help you focus on what you are photographing. It will also give you straighter looking shots and put the item you want to take a photo of in the centre. Have a look at your camera settings to see if your phone has this option. On the iPhone go to Settings>Photos & Camera > Grid to activate this feature


Foreground, middle ground and background

All photos have three points foreground, middle ground and background.  The grid mentioned earlier will also help you with this. Keep this in mind especially when you are taking landscape photos as this gives more structure to the photos. For example in the photo below the sea is in the foreground followed by a piece of land jutting out in the middle ground, with the sky taking up the background of the photo


Turn on the HDR option

On the iPhone, photos won’t be taken automatically in HD quality. Turn on HDR option to get photos in higher definition. To do this on the iPhone turn on your camera, press on the button HDR and you will see an option to turn on/off or Auto mode.


Lighting is very important when it comes to photography. It makes such a difference when you are trying to take photos with your phone. I try to take my photos when the sun it at its brightest in the day. Most phone flashes are not great so try to avoid taking pictures in dark lighting

Do not zoom.

Most phones do not have zoom capabilities. you can technically zoom but all this does is crop the picture and blow up what you are trying to zoom in on. Get as close to the subject as you can before taking the picture rather than zooming. When you take the picture you can always crop it later and at least you have more of the photo to play around with.

Apps to edit your photos

There are many editing apps out there to get the most out of your phone. There are many paid and free apps that I have tried out over the years. Most of which are as complicated as the next or your photos just end up looking over edited.  I always use Snapseed which is the best photo editing app I have used. It allows you to edit the photo yourself as well as apply filters.  I have been surprised how much Snapseed has helped me in making a good photo into a great professional picture.


Sometimes a photo says more when it is in black and white. when you have taken your photo change it to black and white. You will be amazed by the difference it makes to a picture