Whether you’re taking photos to promote a business or brand or just making portraits of your dog (to be clear– we find both equally important), there are a few simple things to know that can take your images from blah to yee-haw! In the digital age, we’re basically all photographers on some level. We carry around in our pockets pretty powerful tools for making great images, but for some folks that’s much easier said than done. Below are a few photography tips for creating better images with your mobile phone that our team here at Riverworks Marketing hopes you’ll find helpful!

  1. Find That Good Light
    Lighting is absolutely critical when it comes to all things photography. If the lighting is bad, your photo will be bad too. It’s that simple. So be aware of this when you set up your next shot. Have you ever taken a group photo of your friends only to realize after you smash that shutter the picture looks like total garbage? Next time, have your subjects face a different direction and shoot the photo from the opposite side. This can work wonders. If the light is wrong, try moving the subject, moving yourself/the camera, or sometimes just moving EVERYTHING to a totally different spot. You can also adjust exposure pretty easily with most mobile phones. See how to easily adjust exposure on an iPhone camera here.

  2. Simplify the Background
    The most striking photos are often the simplest ones. If there’s too much going on within an image, the eye doesn’t quite know where to go. Always consider how you can declutter the background when you’re curating your shot. First, think about what the subject is, then figure out how you can make sure the background isn’t too busy or distracting. Maybe you need a new angle to simplify the shot? Maybe you need to move things that detract more than they add to the image? Trust us! Try it!

  3. Rule of Thirds
    Practice the Rule of Thirds, aka: the golden rule of imagery. This rule is a basic guideline of composition that proposes that an image should be imagined to be divided equally by 3 horizontal lines and 3 vertical lines, sectioning it off into 9 equal parts, and that critical elements of the image should fall along these imaginary lines or their intersections. It is believed that following this rule creates more intrigue, energy, and tension within a composed image. Wes Anderson may disagree, but it’s certainly something to understand and bear in mind while you curate your photos.

  4. Experiment With Angles
    Perspective is everything. Anyone can aim a cell phone camera in the direction of something interesting, but creating a compelling image takes a little more effort than just point and shoot. The best advice about perspective is glaringly simple: move your bod! Especially since cell phone camera zoom GREATLY decreases image quality, just pretend zoom doesn’t exist. Zoom can actually really cramp creativity. Get low. Get up high. Stand on something. Move-in tight. Try putting some distance between yourself and the subject. Roll around on the ground. Seriously! Don’t be afraid to get weird if it means you can capture a more interesting image. Try things! The beauty of digital photography is that you can snap 100 images, and keep one. Which leads right into the next tip…

  5. Take Several Shots
    It’s just basic math, y’all! If you shoot one image, maybe it will magically be the one, but what if it’s not very good and you quickly critique it to make sure? Often times, images are kinda like pancakes in that the first one is a throwaway (just kidding, ugly pancakes are pancakes too). Shoot a photo, then take a moment to look at it and consider how you could make it stronger or more effective. Experiment. This part actually carries over into editing as well. If you’re someone who edits images, try different things! Crop it in different ways. Play with exposure, contrast, and temperature in “post” (photography lingo for post-production editing) to figure out what looks the best to you.

All of us here at Riverworks Marketing Group believe that strong, intentional imagery makes the world go round. No matter what you’re shooting pictures of, taking these straightforward suggestions into account can really help you level-up your iphoneography game. Create stronger images to print and hang in your home, to help expand your business or brand, or just to show the world how cute your dog is via social media. Regardless of the application, we hope these tips help you in all your photography endeavors.