Technology has come a long way since Nokia. We thought we were cool in the 2000's because we could change the face covers of our cellular devices. The decade before thought they were cool because they had a giant bag phone in their cars. Now we have Apple iPhone 11 with 12 ready for pre-orders. Whatever your phone model is, the key to great photos has little to do with your device.
Follow these 5 simple rules to improve your photography and get more engagement on social media.
1. Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds was the first rule I learned about photography, once I learned how to keep the camera steady. It divides the image field into 9 parts: 3 columns and 3 rows. These are divided by grid lines, which are sometimes imaginary, that have 4 key points. These lines and points are what our eyes are naturally drawn to in an image, so keep important details along these lines.
In the sample photo, the jack-o-lantern's eyes and mouth are on these key points, and the image is divided into thirds vertically. There is background space on the left, the face in the center, and the rest of the jack-o-lantern to the right.
Not all phones have gridlines but many apps do. Instagram and Snapseed are my favorites.
2. Rule of Space
The Rule of Space helps indicate movement and is great for action photos like the one below. Look at the images on the left. They've both been cropped close, and while they're cool, they're not nearly as impressive as when you allow space to show the direction of movement. Cropping makes a huge difference. Allowing space sparks curiosity in your audience.
3. Leading Lines
Leading lines can be straight or curvy. They lead the viewers eyes on a journey through the photo.
The viewpoint from which you take your photo has the potential to tell a unique story and to leave a lasting impression. Rather than taking photos with your phone directly in front of you, try kneeling or take a photo from the ground. Then try taking photos from above. If you want to make a person appear large and in-charge, take the image from a lower point, looking up. This creates the illusion that the person is bigger than the viewer. The opposite is true if you want a person or object to appear small; think of how we look down at children.
When taking portraits, it's important that your background doesn't distract from your subject. Plain, dark, or blurry backgrounds prevent your subjects from being lost in the noise.
There are so many more things that you can do to improve your phone photography. I'll post more how-to's for photography in the future that cover app tutorials but practice these tricks in the meantime. I'd love to see your photos! You can drop them in the comments or email them to me to be featured in a guest blog.