It can be frustrating enough to try to take a good picture inside, let alone to try to do that with a phone. While we have a decent DSLR, I’m still learning how to use it and let’s face it, our phones take pretty great pictures and are significantly more convenient!
It’s not difficult to take a good picture with your phone. Here are my top tips. (BTW, these tips translate to all amateur phone photography, not just interiors!)
1. USE NATURAL LIGHT
When taking photos indoors especially, natural light is your friend. Turn off all the lights in your house and open up the windows to let natural light in.
Not all natural light is created equal! It can be helpful to wait for a cloudy day to shoot. Sunlight streaming in your windows may look beautiful to the eye, but typically doesn’t make for a great photo. It was a bit too sunny the day this was taken and created shadows and blown out windows. It’s not terrible, but definitely not the best it could be!
2. CLEAN YOUR LENS
I’m baffled by the difference this makes. A quick swipe of the lens will help everything crisp up in your pictures.
3. SHOOT STRAIGHT ON
Generally speaking your pictures will look better from straight on. I’ve yet to meet an interior photo that was taken from a weird angle that I liked. That said, rules were meant to be broken, so play around and if all else fails remember, less is usually more.
A tripod really helps with this! I have this one and it’s great for DSLR’s and Phones.
4. SHOOT FROM THE HIP
Or at least get to the level of your subject. If you’re taking a picture of your kid, get down on their level instead of shooting from above them. When shooting rooms, I like the camera to be waist height. It makes the photos look more natural and typically mimics the way you’d walk into a room.
5. ADD A GRID
Most phones these days allow you to enable a camera grid. It’s incredibly helpful in taking straight pictures and the better photo you take originally, the less you’ll have to edit later! I always like to make sure my most dominant vertical and horizontal lines are perfectly level to the grid. That usually means a wall and a piece of furniture are lined up straight.To turn on this function on an iPhone head to Settings, then Camera, and Grid and turn the toggle “On”.
It doesn’t necessarily apply to interior pictures, but just about any other shot can benefit from using the 1/3rd rule. Using the grid, make sure your subject is off center to one third of the photo to create visual interest.
6. EDIT YOUR APERTURE
Aperture is just a fancy word that refers to the opening that allows light into the camera. You can shrink or enlarge it to allow more or less light to reach your camera. It’s what enables your phone to create that slightly blurred effect in portrait mode. If you want to adjust it, open portrait mode and in the top right corner there’s a small lowercase f. This is called the F-stop. The smaller the number, the more blurred your background will be. The larger the F-stop, the more crisp your photo will be.
Play around with it and have fun! As a general rule I like my interior photos to be really crisp and pretty much all others to have a slightly fuzzy background!
I’ll be back on this subject next week and talking about my process for editing photos! In the meantime, what are your top phone photography tips? Did I miss anything?
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