From food to family, sunsets to pets, there may be no greater use of mobile devices these days than posting FOMO-inducing photos. Note to non-millennials, FOMO means fear of missing out.
If your phone has a camera (and almost all do these days), you can be a photographer. All it takes is some practice and some basic tips to turn your photos from cute snapshots into social media sensations. T-Mobile has rounded up 10 important lessons that will make your photos cleaner, better and more “like”-able.
1. Focus, Focus, Focus
No one likes a blurry picture! When you’re taking a photo, keep your hands steady and make sure you focus on your subject so that you get the clearest shot. On most smartphone cameras, you can focus on an object by tapping on it on the screen. Some phones can even auto-focus and turn on auto-exposure for that object or person.
2. Grab a Friend
Instead of using your own phone’s light to capture images in dark spaces, get a friend to help. Ask them to turn on their phone’s flashlight and light the scene for you. A phone’s flashlight is less harsh and more pleasing to the eye than your phone and camera’s built-in flash.
3. Keep your Distance
Always put some distance between your subject and the background. For example, if you’re taking a photo of your family, never make them stand flat against a wall or they’ll look stiff or wooden. Also, don’t stand too close or too far away from your subject — look at the phone’s screen while you move to make sure you’re at the right distance.
4. Play the Angles
If you’re taking a selfie, never hold the camera straight out at arm’s length. To get a softer-looking photo, tilt the phone to the right or left. Play around with this and you might find the perfect pose that captures you at your best. If you really want to experiment, consider picking up a selfie stick, which can capture you at all angles.
5. Don’t Just Take One
No matter what kind of picture you’re taking, take several. You can always delete pictures later. It’s better to get the shot the first time than to have to go back and stage the photo again. But, if you know you didn’t get the shot, try again until you get it right. It might be annoying in the moment, but your friends will appreciate a perfect picture later.
6. Create a Tripod
You don’t need to lay out extra cash for a fancy piece of equipment. Use household objects to make a steady stand when you want to get the entire family — and yourself — in the shot. Use books to prop up your phone and utilize the timer feature to run in at the last second and join the gang.
7. Harness the Power of the Sun
Take advantage of that golden hour! At sunrise and sunset, the light is at its most dramatic and will give you the most beautiful pictures possible. Sunsets remind people of love and reflection, and that’s the kind of instant emotional response you want your photos to have.
8. But Keep the Sun in its Place
Always try to take your pictures with the sun behind you. When you’re forced to shoot in the sun, use the flash and get closer to your subjects to increase the flash’s brightness and offset the sun’s harsh rays. Bonus tip: Put your hand above the camera lens on a sunny day to stop lens flares.
9. Burst for Action
If you want to capture a photo of that shining championship moment or your pet’s special trick, try out “burst mode.” This will take several photos in quick succession with one click, and you can scroll through later to pick out the exact one you want.
10. Have Fun with Editing
Download editing apps on your phone and go wild! You can pick different filters, finishes and special effects for your photos. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find a unique editing style that’s all your own.
No matter where you go or what you do, these smartphone photo tips can help you capture all of life’s best experiences. With a little practice, you’ll have more interesting and beautiful photos to share — and maybe even feel like you can do a little humblebragging about them.