Before everyone had smartphones in their pockets, taking a pro-level photo was left up to those with huge cameras that were bulky and hard to carry around. Now, everyone who has access to a smartphone can take the perfect picture. Here are our tips for taking the perfect picture—without the giant camera!
Use gridlines to balance your shot.
There should be a section in your photos and camera settings to turn the grid on. This will create nine boxes on your camera app. Use these lines to adhere to the rule of thirds, a technique to help artists and photographers build drama and interest in their piece. Align your focus with the guide lines and their intersections; the horizon should be on the top or bottom line; linear features should align with the vertical lines; and your focus should fall on the intersections.
Focus on one subject.
Most phones have an autofocus built into the camera app. If you tap it, your phone will automatically adjust the lighting and focus to best frame the subject. Having only one subject in your photo will help you more easily convey what you want your photo to say. You want your viewer’s eye to be drawn to your subject, not flickering around the whole photo, which can happen if your shot is too cluttered.
Embrace negative space.
Negative space is used across a variety of artistic mediums. For photography, negative space is the space that surrounds your subject. This can literally be blank space, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. For example, your negative space could consist of a crowd of people with your subject positioned forward, apart from the crowd; this may communicate a story of being left out. Depending on what you chose to use as your negative space, the mood and or story behind your photo can change. Don’t be afraid to leave negative space in your photographs. Using negative space to your advantage instead of trying to erase it all together can create great pictures.
Find different perspectives.
Changing where or how you’re standing can affect a lot more than you may think. Stand up tall or find something to stand on to shoot downward, creating a sense of scale for your subject. Crouch down or get on your belly to shoot upward, accentuating the height of your subject. Walk around to change the angle at which you view the subject, and shoot wide to show the surrounding environment. Zoom in to convey an intimate feel, highlighting an action or detail. Step behind objects and use them as to make it feel like your viewers are peeking into a private moment. This could be done by taking the shot through a window frame or using natural elements like trees to frame your subject.
Don’t be afraid to edit.
Not even professionals get the perfect shot right off the bat. With so many editing apps, there’s bound to be one for every photographer. Many apps will let you alter the exposure, add filters, and crop images among other edits. Editing your photo can help make up for things that you couldn’t control while you were taking the photo, like the lighting, or can help you enhance your photo by adding filters. These features will take your already great photo to the next level and help you achieve the perfect picture.