Whether you run a business and need professional product photos or want to grow your Instagram followers, pro-quality images are essential for your online presence. There was a time when how to be a photography pro meant owning a top-of-the-range camera and spending time and money on intensive training. Thankfully that expensive investment isn’t necessary anymore.
The newest smartphones are changing all that. With professional lenses and a wide range of features, flagship smartphones have made professional-looking photography within reach to more people than ever before. But how can you use the phone in your pocket to take great pictures? Here are some expert tips from photography pros.
6 tips for how to be a photography pro – Sooner rather than later!
Go manual with Pro mode
Just because modern smartphones can take eye-catching pictures on automatic, there’s no reason to stop there. On newer models, Pro mode allows you to experiment with manual settings, including:
- Shutter speed
This function enables you to take more control over your pictures than before and develop your own style. You also have the option of custom settings slots.
All of which means you can adjust everything so that it’s just right for a given situation, such as a sunrise on a lake. And then easily recall those settings when you need them.
Not sure where to start? Photography series New phone, who dis? will give you some good ideas.
Find the right light
Since pinhole cameras, lighting has been fundamental to good photography, but it’s something not everyone considers when out somewhere. If you’re in an environment with a lot of light, increase shutter speed for a detailed and striking image.
In low light or shadow, instead use Night mode, which will let more light into the camera for a much clearer shot. But it’s also a good idea to experiment and learn new things.
Ever wanted to capture the night-time light blur of a passing car? Then use a 1-second shutter speed while keeping ISO low. Learning to use light properly will give you stand out shots.
How to be a photography pro: Try a surprising angle
Great photography makes us look at the world in a way we hadn’t previously considered before, and that’s what a new angle can achieve for your pics. For an ultra-low angle shot, for example, turn your device upside down so that the phone camera is as close to the ground as possible.
One of the benefits of modern smartphones is the large memory size and battery life, meaning you can keep experimenting from different angles and later delete what doesn’t work out. Adding perspective to your shots will also make it a much more compelling image.
For example, a pathway leading up to the focus of your picture will add depth. This technique also helps to tell a story.
Start with the background
When it comes to how to be a photography pro, backgrounds or “negative space” are just as important as the focus of the picture. The key is mastering how to find the right balance in your background.
Too cluttered and it can draw attention away from the subject of the picture. But if the background is dull, you’re adding nothing to the overall composition.
Taking a portrait? Look for natural frames, like windows or doorways. Another popular portrait taught in classes is a focused subject with the background blurred out. It’s also known as bokeh.
You can achieve this effect in Manual mode with a wide aperture or low f-stop number; try 1.8 or 2.8. If you want to get the same effect in automatic, use Portrait mode.
Verticals and horizontals
You no longer need to carry around a tripod to take a level shot. To ensure a professional picture that lines up with the horizon, newer phones comes with an electro-level meter.
This meter acts as a digital spirit level. Another approach is to turn on an overlay grid; not only will the technique help you line up your verticals and horizontals, but it will also separate your image into different areas.
Some phones have Fibonacci sequence grids that will help you raise your composition skills to modern masterpiece. In other words, good composition is now more possible than ever to obtain for pics.
Experiment with zoom
The zoom feature is no longer just about getting close up. On some new phone models, you can actually “zoom out” from a subject without having to move backward.
What this ability does is give you a much wider angled shot while keeping the subject in the same place. Zoom has also radically improved on the latest cell phones. Gone are the days of the pixelated close-up associated with digital photography. Instead, the latest camera phones can deliver a 5x zoom with near-perfect quality.
How to be a photography pro is easier than ever
With these guidelines in mind, you can try still life photography ideas. When you’re ready for photography video tutorials with bona fide pros, check out O2 Sessions.
14 thoughts on “How to be a photography pro: Expert guidelines to get you there”
Thank you for sharing. Very interesting post ☺️
Wishing you well on your photography journey :)
Thank you Christy, I am doing my best ☺️💪
Great ideas. I’ve always believed that awesome photos can be made with any camera, even a phone!
Yes! With phones costing more than a few bucks it’s nice that they can provide double duty as a camera too :)
Thank you so much for your lovely ideas
Great to have the posts appreciated!
Great advice, Christy! I’m hardly an expert at taking photos but I’ll have to try some of these tips.
Everything takes practice… I hope the tips help, Amy!
I try so hard with my pictures, but I’ve never stepped up beyond mediocre. Great post, Christy!
It’s a lot easier with the settings in modern smartphones – they’re so much more than just calling people now, right? Thanks Raimey.
Lovely post… I am horrible at taking pics. Good tips.. One day I will achieve to click a good pic
You’ll get there, yes!!