On How To: Shoot On Your Mobile Phone.

Written by Awelewa.

If you have a passion for photography, wish to be a photographer but can’t afford a professional camera yet or you simply wish to sharpen your mobile photography skills, let’s make your dreams come true.

The fact that you can’t afford a professional camera yet should not be a limitation to your dreams. You’ll be amazed at what the mobile phone camera in your hands can do. Using a mobile phone for photography can be quite challenging. However, the challenges that come with it are what you need to sharpen your basic photography skills.

Here are some of the steps you should follow to take the perfect picture on your mobile phone:

Watch out for the lighting:

The first thing you should put into consideration before taking clicks is the lighting. One hundred percent of the time I take pictures, I make use of a natural light source. Don’t get me wrong. This does not rule out artificial light sources. However, in a case where no artificial light source is available, we have no choice but to make use of the natural light source. Before you take a picture, play around with your smartphone camera to see which direction would give a good image exposure. If you observe these two pictures below, you would notice that the model was standing in the same position but the picture was taken from different directions and the picture on the right side gives a better exposure.


Make use of gridlines:

This is one of the most convenient means to improve the composition of your picture. Gridline is a feature that comes with virtually all phone cameras. This feature overlays a series of lines on the screen of your mobile phone's camera that are based on the "Rule of Thirds". The "rule of thirds" is a photographic composition principle showing two vertical lines and two horizontal lines which basically breaks any image you want to photograph into thirds, horizontally and vertically, so that you have nine equal parts as shown in the image below.

The main advantage of the rule of thirds is to make sure that the object is at the centre, a horizon is perfectly aligned, or the picture you're getting is exactly one-third of the screen. It helps to capture the subject of a photo in a way that it is more pleasing to look at.

To switch on the grid:

iPhone: Go to "Settings," choose "Photos & Camera," and switch "Grid" on.

Android: Launch the camera app, go to "Settings," scroll down and switch the "grid lines" option to "on."

Take pictures from unique perspectives:

To make your pictures stand out, there has to be something unique about it. When you go to shoot a subject, think about all the ways that you have never seen it before. Instead of taking a straight-on shot of a nice looking subject, take it from a different angle. Take it in a way that is different from the normal human perspective. A good example is shown in the picture below.

Note that they are the same object but the latter was taken from a unique perspective. It makes your viewer find the picture interesting. Beauty is all around you only if you'd open your mind to see it. That is what differentiates the average human eye from the artistic eye. The “thick line” between normal and paranormal. This leads us to tip number four

Get low and get close to the subject:

Getting close to the subject, makes you capture intricate details of a photo. Get in really close to the subject and play with the focus until it focuses as close as it possibly can then take a shot.

Paying attention to details is very important as a mobile phone photographer because nobody ever walks around to bend around admiring roots of a tree for example. Seeing the picture makes your audience wonder how they never noticed that something as insignificant as that could be beautiful.

An example is the picture of a tree root below

Find inspiration in your immediate surroundings:

Art is beautiful and is judged by creativity. For me, if it isn't creative, then it is nothing. Ironically, seemingly useless things around the house can give you the best creative shoots you could ever think of. Reflective shadows from kitchen utensils and sieve could help in giving you an epic portrait picture. Shooting through objects around could also give your picture the creative spice that it needs. Examples are pictures below taken with an oven tray and the cover of an air freshener.


After getting the nice shot you wanted, you can give it a perfect icing on the cake by editing. Some prefer to use normal Instagram filters for editing. However, there are more recommended mobile phone apps that could enhance a photo and give it a magical touch . Personally I use Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom. Editing your photo is a very critical aspect in mobile phone photography.

Snapseed app is a google made professional editing app. It has a good number of exciting tools to tweak your images. It also allows for selective editing where you can edit different areas of a photo without any interference. Most times I use snapseed to enhance the quality of my photo. I'll strongly recommend this app for every beginner.

Adobe Lightroom app on the other hand has everything I need to get a good picture look and it is also my most preferred app for color grading.