May is just around the corner and so is National Photography Month. To help get you photo ready, Cricket has compiled a list of 10 camera phone tips that will have you smiling and snapping with ease.
TIP #1: AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT. It might surprise you to know that an overcast day is one of the best outdoor lighting situations for taking photos, especially pics of people. If the sun happens to be shining bright, no worries—simply ask your subject to stand in the brightest patch of shade you can find. Or, if you’re taking a pic of an inanimate object and the sun is in front of you, go ahead and walk to the opposite side so that the sun is behind you.
TIP #2: GET CLOSER. Well, avoid zooming in. I know it’s tempting, especially when photographing a subject from a distance, but zooming in can make the photo appear grainy or blurry. Instead, move in closer to your subject when possible. You can also crop it later (see tip on editing below).
TIP #3: CAPTURE THE DETAILS. Sometimes the most interesting pics are those of small, intricate details—like the delicate markings on a butterfly’s wings or the colorful, textured stones along a creek bed. Close-up images make for interesting content so, as we just mentioned in the tip above, get closer to your subject. Another great tip for capturing the details is to place the object on a black background to make it stand out. The black will absorb light and won’t allow shadows or reflections to appear in your picture.
TIP #4: DO A BACKGROUND CHECK. Before taking a picture of your subject, check to make sure the background is clear of clutter or anything else that you might not want in the shot. If you’re unable to remove said items, you can easily fill the frame of your camera phone by physically moving closer to your subject.
TIP #5: COP A SQUAT. When taking pics of children, animals or anything low to the ground, try to get down to their level. In fact, match the level of your subject whenever possible—whether they’re taller or smaller than you.
TIP #6: TRY A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. Not all shots have to be head on, front and center. Play around with different angles or, for inanimate objects, you can also try different depths and heights to make the photo interesting and memorable. The key is to have fun and play around with what works best.
TIP #7: STAY FOCUSED. This is particularly important when taking pics of smaller objects. The idea is to blur everything in the background, so viewers’ eyes are on the subject. This can be accomplished by touching the object on your phone’s screen that you want to focus on. With a simple tap, the rest of the object/background becomes blurry and what you touched will spring to life.
TIP #8: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. Snapping pics is fun but to ensure your images are their most visually appealing, take advantage of your camera phone’s editing tools. From cropping an image (cutting out things in the background you don’t want to keep) to applying filters that remove blemishes or add the right amount of brightness, editing your pics can really make the subject pop. If you want more editing options, there are lots of editing apps out there you can try—some are even free.
TIP #9: KEEP IT CLEAN. Since your camera phone is always with you, it’s safe to assume that the phone’s lens often gets dusty and dirty from being toted around in our pockets or purses. Just wipe the lens with a soft cloth or handkerchief before snapping your photos.
TIP #10: REMEMBER TO SMILE. Remember, taking pics is meant to be fun. If you get photo bombed every now and then or don’t take the perfect selfie—don’t worry. Just smile and carry on until the next photo-worthy moment.