Photo Tips Using Your Cell Phone

I have to say I love my “big” cameras and I have bought camera bags that look like purses so that I can have my big camera with me when I am out and about, but I LOVE the convenience of always having a camera with me on my iphone when it is not convenient to bring my big cameras.


Manufacturers are making them better and better with each new model.  For the majority of the population, phone cameras work perfectly for their photo needs on a day to day basis.  You can take some pretty awesome photos with your phone!



Check your settings on your phone to see what settings are available to you to give you the best results.  There may be settings for your camera that you are not even aware of.  One thing that I do is turn my flash off.  I have had the flash on my phone ruin many photos.  Of course at night time you may need the flash on, but try it first without the flash to see how it looks.   Even in low light your photo may turn out fine without the flash on.  This is when editing becomes your friend.  Turning on your grid lines for your camera is a very helpful tool so that you can get your lines straight in your photos.  Also, it helps with composition so you can break your photo up into thirds – Law of Thirds.  Placing your horizon line or subject in the top/bottom third or left/right third gives your photo interest and more pleasing to your eye.


Burst Shot Mode

Do you have a  fast moving subject that you want to capture quickly?  Maybe a pet, a wiggly child, rides at an amusement park, sports, a sunset from a fast moving car…..turn on your burst mode and hold down the shutter button to shoot multiple photos at a fast speed.  You can choose from all of your photos later which one is the best.


Burst mode is great when you are on the highway at a fast speed and want to capture the beauty out the window.


Burst mode for the rainbow you want to remember.


Burst mode when you want to grab a photo of animals or children that you know are not going to stay in sight for long.

Editing App

There are many editing applications out there that you can try for free, so download a few to try them out to get the results you are looking for.  I love to edit my photos!  There are editing features on your phone, but if you are looking for more try them out.  There are also filter apps available as well which can add a new look to your photos.


I added a filter to this one that gave the photo texture because I was shooting from an airplane window and they are not always clean and clear.  The textures disguise any cloudy or blurry photos.


I edited this photo to give it contrast – whites whiter and blacks blacker to add more detail to the photo.

img_1836I added an overlay to this photo to show location of where we were in the photo to share with people at home.

On Screen Adjustments

On some phones if you tap the screen when you are in camera mode it will focus on your subject to give you a sharper image.  Also, there is a brightness adjustment on the screen by dragging your finger up to brighten or down to darken the settings.  Hold your finger on the screen to lock these settings while you take your photos.  A yellow AE/AF LOCK will appear on your screen so you know you have locked your settings.


There are lenses you can purchase that you can attach to your camera on your phone that will allow you to zoom in closer and macro lenses to allow your camera to focus at a closer distance to your subject.  I try not to use the zoom function on my camera as the photos get grainy.  If I can I move closer to my subject instead of zooming.


Search for simple backgrounds when using your camera on your phone as it is difficult sometimes to make your subject pop from the background when you can’t change settings in the camera for depth of field.


Get in as close as you can and still be in focus instead of zooming and be lucky enough like I was in this case that this grasshopper landed on my solid colour towel.

Selfie Stick

Don’t forget your selfie stick when you are out and about or traveling!  They are such a fun gadget for your phone so you can be in the photos too!


No one gets left out of the photo on vacation when you bring your selfie stick along!


Makes for a fun photo op even on prom night!


Phone cameras have a wide angle lens so they are great for getting a group shot even when you don’t have a selfie stick.

Two Hands

Two hands on your phone when taking photos is always better when trying to get crisp photos(not always possible, especially when doing a group selfie).  When using a camera away from your body you are going to get vibration, so try to use two hands to steady it and anchor your arms by your side to steady your hands.


 And when you get a photo you love it is fun to use it for a wallpaper on your phone!


Have fun!


18 thoughts on “Photo Tips Using Your Cell Phone

  1. Great tips, Beth. I use my phone for photos all the time now. It’s just too much of a pain to carry around a big camera– even on vacation. Thanks for the thorough list. :-)

  2. Thank you so much for this article. I have not used my phone camera very much and was debating about buying a new camera. Will try these tips first!

    1. Karen, that is an app that I use. There are many out there that have this capability. Have fun trying them!

    1. Hi Kelly, Just hold your shutter button down when taking a photo and it will take multiple very quickly!

  3. Some places including Disney World do not allow selfie sticks. The rest of your information is very good. Will try some.

    1. Hi Linda, Yes I heard that about Disney. The last time we were there was 2013 and the Selfie stick was not a thing yet!

  4. Thanks for all the great tips! I usually just accidentally take pictures of my shoes or the pavement.

  5. Never thought abut the burst mode!! Great idea!! I’m definitely a sky picture taker.

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