Smartphone Photography Tips

April 27, 2019

As built-in smartphone cameras continue to become more technologically advanced and better able to capture professional-looking, high-quality photos, more and more people are using them to preserve their memories. 

We've rounded up some of the very best tips we could find to help you take killer photos that you'd be proud to show off (like on your smartphone case!) and preserve for years to come.

iPhone X Photography Tips


#1: Keep Your Lens Clean

Wipe you lens off each time you go to make a photograph. That lens is tiny, and you need it as clean as can be to maintain sharpness. A finger print will substantially soften the image and lower contrast... Use your t-shirt, a tissue, or whatever you have handy. Of course a micro fiber is the best choice...

#2: Be Touchy

Your phone does have auto-focus and auto-exposure, but it can get fooled. Compose your image first, and then tap on the subject of your photo. Once you have a focus and exposure lock, you can then drag your finger up or down to adjust exposure. Very useful for backlit subjects and in that case, touch up for + exposure...

#3: Shoot Standard

Capture with the standard camera setting. Don’t bother with the HDR mode, it’s better to adjust your image later in a post-processing app which we will talk about later. The standard photo is a 4:3 ratio which will give you a standard image... 

#4: Avoid Flash

Turn the flash off. Yup, unless it is really dark, like the inside of club or outside at night and you are shooting a subject less than 7 feet away, the flash (which is really a LED light and not a flash at all) will make a crappy photo. There are three settings, off, on, and auto. By default it’s on auto out of the box, you will want to set that to off. I never ever use the flash function, I hate the way it looks...

#5: Avoid Zoom

Use minimal if any zoom. Any zooming you do by pinching the image will digitally zoom it, and it’s better to just do that in a post app...

Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10E Photography Tips



There was a time when HDR (High Dynamic Range) modes on phones were slow and for most purposes unusable. That time is long gone on high-end devices like the Galaxy S10 and S10E, and there really is no reason to not switch HDR on (or at least on Auto) by default...

Volume controls as shutter key

Another feature usually enabled out of the box, but not often used by Galaxy owners, is the option to use the volume controls as physical shutter keys. There’s no need to actually tap the on-screen shutter key (causing the phone to shake at the ‘moment suprême’). When holding the phone in landscape mode, the volume buttons are either under your thumb or index finger, which is ideal for subtly pressing them...

Quickly adjust exposure

The fast autofocus of the Galaxy S10′s dual pixel camera often makes sure you don’t have to focus manually. Still, tapping the display in the camera app brings up one other feature that is very useful: the exposure slider. Once you’ve tapped the screen, you don’t actually have to slide your finger on the slider. Swiping up or down anywhere on the screen will adjust the exposure of the picture...

Review pictures

...After taking a picture, you now get the opportunity to review it. If you’re very happy with the result, there’s a share button to send it straight to your friends and family. If the opposite is true, the trashcan is there to get rid of the picture before it becomes one more storage-eating, dust-gathering file in your Galaxy S10's gallery.

We're sure you've uncovered other smartphone photography tips that help you shoot like a pro, and we'd love to hear them! What else would you add to the list?

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