How to take cool photos with your smartphone

How to take cool photos with your smartphone

Can you become a photographer without a DSLR?

Taking pictures comes with practice. But there are such talents who can “see” wonderful moments in everyday life and record them on camera. They don’t write about how to learn this in books. Perhaps it is a talent or a daily and painstaking work, but this skill, for sure, has nothing to do with the technique used. I mean, not everyone who is able to buy a DSLR has a sense of beauty or knows how to properly photograph people.

One day a photographer was having dinner at a very nice married couple’s house. Those wishing to make a compliment said: “Your photos are very beautiful. You must have a very good camera. ” The photographer only smiled sweetly in return. After lunch, he approached the hostess and praised her for lunch: “The lunch was very tasty. You must have very good pans. ”

Three types of photographers

Sometimes the rule “press the button – you will get the result” is not in favor of the photographer. The photo itself can be really high quality. But what is in the photo … it already largely depends on the vision of the photographer. You can of course say that “there is nothing to blame on a DSLR if the face is crooked.” But you must admit that two different photographers shooting “the same face” can get completely different results. And it’s not about their cameras.

There is a legend that there are three types of photographers: “techies”, “artists”, and those who combine good artistic vision with technical knowledge. Each of these three types differs in approach and technique.

It’s about their skills and ability to see the final picture. This I smoothly lead you to the fact that you, too, can take cool photos, even on a smartphone. You won’t surprise anyone with good image quality. But catching attention with your skill to see the beautiful and capture it in a photo is something everyone can do. The main thing is to know a few rules and train a lot … Because there is no limit to perfection. Personally, I am not a professional photographer. But this does not prevent me from knowing some axioms that will help you to move to a higher level in order to create a memorable and high-quality photo. Each rule can be delved into and studied in more detail.

Rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is an important photography technique that can be applied to any scene to improve composition and balance in an image. But it is important to understand how it is applied in different directions of photography. And you should never apply the rule blindly, treat the “rule of thirds” as a practical guideline, not a dogma.

Rule of Thirds involves mentally separating an image with two horizontal and two vertical lines, as shown below. In another way, it can be described as dividing the photo into 9 equal parts by four lines spaced at the same distance from each other. Your key elements in the photo should be located either on the lines or at the points of their intersection.

The essence of the rule is that such a composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than photographs in which the subject is located directly in the center. This will automatically focus users’ attention on the right details. The Rule of Thirds is quite versatile and can be applied in most areas of photography.

How to use the rule of thirds?

When taking a photo, divide the composition mentally as described above. Think about which elements of the photo are most important and try to place them along the lines and at their intersections. You will most likely have to move around to find the best composition. Look for the best option where the key points will be, if not accurately written, then at least located nearby. For help, some cameras have a grid of thirds lines. She is also on Instagram itself.

If you are photographing nature, it is better to place the horizon line on one of the grid lines. It is best to photograph sunsets with the horizon on the bottom line. And beautiful landscapes – with the horizon at the top.

A more perfect version of the rule of thirds is the rule of the golden ratio – the arrangement of key objects in a spiral.

Proper lighting

This is a very deep topic to learn. But light is the key to good photography. I know what you are thinking. Well, okay, I will still observe the “rule of thirds”. But when you need to shoot something on a smartphone very quickly, should I also take this nuance into account? Yes, if you want a nice picture. This can be compared to the fact that when it rains outside, you take an umbrella with you. Likewise, your work as a smartphone photographer should depend on the lighting conditions.

Top tip: prefer natural light and don’t use flash unnecessarily . If you need to film something indoors, place the subject near the window. The ability to distinguish between two types of light is also useful to you: directed and diffused. Learning to play with light can take years, including practice, but the Internet is full of information on this topic. The main thing is that now you will know that if the photographer asks you to go into the shade of the house, he knows what he is doing.

Monopods and tripods

Now any market is overwhelmed with this good. You can buy a selfie stick or tripod for any budget. In the modern world, these gadgets will certainly come in handy for you. Using them, you can catch unusual angles that would be very difficult to do without them.

A tripod is generally a necessary thing in the household. This is a smaller analogue of a tripod for “soap dishes” and smartphones. It allows you to take photos hands-free. Both of these devices can be used to increase the distance between the subject and the camera.

The most budget-friendly option for “hands-free shooting” is a bottle of water, which you place on the ground and cloud your smartphone on it. Then set up your camera and turn on time-lapse or hands-free shooting.

Golden hour rule

Professional photographers claim that “golden hour” is the time of day with the best lighting. The “golden hour” is also sometimes called the “magic hour” – it is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. Here’s another reason to make friends with the weather forecast, from which you will find out the times of sunrise and sunset.

At this time, the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light that is much nicer than the harsh midday light. The last light falls “in pieces” on certain areas and spoils the overall impression of the photo.

This rule will require you to get up early. But what can’t you do for the sake of beautiful photos. And if you come on vacation at sea and want to take beautiful photos of nature and yourself, then here’s another reason for you to set an alarm to get up early and go enjoy the early morning and fresh air.


Symmetrical photographs are those photographs that have almost identical elements on either side of the image from an imaginary vertical or horizontal line. But what about the “rule of thirds”? It is also relevant. But the subject decides everything.

Symmetry can be done by placing the main element of the composition in the center of the frame. Thus it is necessary to try to achieve balance along the vertical, or horizontal axis. See for yourself what comes out of this:

Symmetry looks good in both vertical and horizontal photos. Therefore, you can use them for both your feed and Instagram Stories.

A non-standard approach to photography

When you look at a photo, what do you pay attention to first? Most likely, the main reaction is whether you like what you see or not. And only then, if you have special knowledge, you start evaluating lighting, exposure, and so on. Therefore, the main rule for shooting is still a creative approach and imagination. And photo editors will help remove the rest imperfections.

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Natural setting

Can you tell the difference between a staged photo and a natural shot? The difference between them is that in the first case, you purposefully shoot the object, before that you told him: “Pull in your stomach and hide your fourth chin.” And in the second case, the object may not even know that it is being filmed. But at the same time, the photo may turn out to be excellent or not very much – it already depends on the photographer.

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Personally, I like natural photography better. They somehow truly convey emotions and capture the moment. But there are people who have already gotten used to working on the camera that they smile on their face at the sound of its shutter, like Pavlov’s dogs. They are called models.

So that you do not sell on your page, from time to time, live people should appear on it in a natural setting. If these are not models, then someone from your team. This item must be included in your promotion strategy. You don’t have to take a photo of only your products. Ideal when these products are used by people in a photo or when the reader sees a realistic picture of their application. By the way, here’s a great case study of how a simple construction worker from Texas advertises coffee, while you don’t even know that his page is dedicated to this particular product.

Neutral imagery brings life to your brand. For example, suppose you sell clothes. You can beautifully take off your clothes using photography backdrops and decor items. But the best option is to show a picture of a living person in these clothes. They don’t need to be models. The main thing in this case is living people. Then you have a better chance of selling this product.


Reflections and glare

A simple photo can sparkle with other colors if you add reflections or highlights to it, which are so important to be able to catch at the right time in the right place. Check out these two photos here:

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The former would be perfect for advertising taxi services, and the latter for excursions.


You can write about photos indefinitely. And I haven’t told you about the exposition yet. Every day I am convinced that everyone who has any smartphone with a good camera in their pocket can take great photos. The main thing is not to hesitate to share with the world those frames that you managed to capture. Or start capturing your photos for a business page and do it creatively. Happy promotion!

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