How to Capture Photos like a Pro

Before the popularity of smartphones, taking professional photos was a time-consuming process. You would need a high-end camera and photo editing software, both requiring time and money. Fortunately, smartphones have brought about a variety of digital apps that can enhance the functionality of most smartphones. With the use of photo editing apps, you can turn a simple image into an amazing piece of art.

Don’t assume that taking a great image with your cell phone is easy, for there are many low-quality images on the Internet. Everybody has seen at least one or two of them. However, there are a few great secrets to taking amazing photos with your smartphone. Once you have mastered these secrets, you are well on your way to creating beautiful and memorable images that can be adored for many years to come.

Use gridlines

The use of gridlines is a great asset to any photographer. Gridlines allow you to balance your subject and improve the quality of your image. When you activate the gridlines, lines will appear on your screen according to the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds divides up your image by using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Like a traditional camera that has an optical viewfinder, the gridlines offer a comparative feature.

Use natural light

Unfortunately, the flash on cell phones doesn’t produce the same lighting quality as natural light. Cell phone flashes tend to overexpose with varying colors and present a washed-out appearance. Natural outdoor sunlight is your best option; however, indoor lighting can also produce positive results. If you decide to use your flash, you’re better off using it at night than in the day. Flash gives a sharper contrast to an image at night as opposed to the day. For photographing at night, place your subject near a well-lit area to minimise the negative effects of your flash. Meanwhile, the darkness presents an opportunity to work with shadows, silhouettes, and various outdoor lightings (i.e., car lights, streetlights, and traffic lights). The usage of flash in a well-lit area can minimise the appearance of dark shadows. This is one of the best techniques for eliminating protrusive shadows.

Focus on a single subject

As you’re preparing to take your photo, take a few moments, and prepare for the shoot. Hone in on your subject, allowing it to be the focal point of the image. Some of the best images have only one subject. Too many subjects in an image can adversely affect its presentation. After all, the background should occupy two-thirds of the image while the subject remains in the center.

Rarely does a professional photographer have their subject occupy the entire image. The negative space (also known as the background) offers a natural balance that mimics what we see every day. The negative space can significantly impact your image. Too much negative space can draw the viewer away from the subject, while too little negative space can... 

For the full article on how to become a better photographer, check out the article originally published in CROWD magazine vol.2 at Crowd1.