Take professional photos with a smartphone

The first photo was taken almost two hundred years ago, by capturing light on a metal plate. In 2019, taking a picture is child’s play.  The metal plate has long been forgotten and hyper-sophisticated devices no longer seem essential; there are ways to perform miracles with the high-tech gadgets that everyone has in their pockets nowadays. But how can we make the most of what the smartphone has to offer? Here are ten tips to get you on the right track towards taking more beautiful pictures than ever!

1. Exposure


Light is a crucial factor. What’s more, light is the very essence of a photo. Always make sure that the object you want to photograph is properly exposed. Although your iPhone digitally corrects an under-exposed object, it will always be at the expense of the final quality of the shot. The photo can, of course, be reworked afterwards, but if the exposure is correct from the beginning, then the result will be even better.

To adjust the exposure, tap on the screen on the object you want to highlight. A yellow square will appear with a small sun next to it. You can lighten or darken your photos by dragging the sun icon from top to bottom.

2. AE/AF lock

You’ve just properly configured the focus and exposure of your photo. So in theory, you are all set to capture the perfect picture, right?  That is, until your iPhone suddenly adjusts the sharpness. This is an annoying problem that is fortunately easy to bypass. Simply tap and hold your screen for a few seconds in order to activate the AE/AF lock to make sure that your focus point and exposure will not change when you move your camera or when someone walks by.

3. Configure the HDR mode

With HDR, or High Dynamic Range, you can increase the dynamic range of your photos. HDR blends several separate images of different intensity levels into one final picture. This allows you to produce perfectly exposed photos that accurately capture both the darks and the lights. For the best results, it is advisable to move your smartphone as little as possible. A tripod is strongly recommended. On the iPhone, the HDR function is enabled by default.

4. Use portrait mode

The iPhone 8, as well as any newer models, features a portrait mode. In portrait mode, you can choose from a number of exposure settings. The great advantage of portrait mode is the low depth of field. Depth of field is the area that appears sharp in the picture. A shallow depth of field will blur the background, which allows you to take jaw-dropping images. DSLR cameras are especially famous for this effect, but your iPhone will also do the trick and help you to capture stunning portrait photos.

5. Avoid zooming in

It is tempting to quickly zoom in when you are too far from the subject. However, it is better to avoid doing this with an iPhone camera, since the zoom on a smartphone is not really a zoom. A real camera with a lens optically zooms in by increasing the focal length. This is not the case for the types of cameras that smartphones are equipped with: they zoom in digitally. Unfortunately, such a zoom results in a loss of quality, because the photo is simply enlarged and cropped.

6. Switch on grid lines

The technical aspect is crucial for capturing beautiful images. But a good composition is what sets an amazing photo apart from an average one. The more creative you are, the better your photos will be, but there are a few rules to follow. One of them is the ‘rule of thirds’. This is a very simple principle that consists of dividing your image both horizontally and vertically into three planes. The subjects of the photo should be placed along the gridlines and at the intersections of these lines in order to achieve a professional-looking composition. To activate this grid, simply open the camera settings.

7. Experiment by trying new points of view

Once the grid is activated, you’ll have a strong base for beautiful compositions. But how can you take those compositions to an even higher level? By changing your point of view. It is easy and quick to take a shot from chest height, but it is far from being creative. Look for new perspectives to make even better pictures.

8. Live photos

The live photo function will bring your photos to life. The only problem is that this functionality isn’t yet supported by social networks, such as Instagram. But live photos have another big advantage; it is possible to convert them into a long exposure image. Simply select the photo in the album and swipe up to see all of the possible effects. Select ‘long exposure’ and you’re done! Remember to use a tripod for best results.

9. Panorama


The panorama mode allows you to capture a wide landscape in a single shot. Simply move your device from left to right. But you can get even more out of this feature. You can also change the orientation of the picture by simply tapping the arrow on the screen. It is also possible to create a vertical panorama by turning the camera in to landscape mode.

10. Burst mode

Photographing fast moving subjects can be challenging. The burst mode will make your life a whole lot easier. Hold down the shutter button to shoot in burst mode. Your iPhone will take continuous pictures until you release the shutter button. Once you’ve finished shooting, you can select your favourite photos from your gallery.