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Subtle phone photography tips that add more oomph!

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We all love a good group photo during an outing or even getting a friend to take a solo shot of ourselves! Photos are timeless and can bring lots of nostalgic value when looking back, so why not take more of them! There are a few things we can tweak when taking a photo that will help us capture some better shots. The following are just examples of what can be done and are by no means absolute rules. However, understanding these general principles can make a huge difference in getting that timeless shot 🙂


Pay attention to the lighting conditions of your scene. A nice sunny day can sometimes mean harsh lighting which can cause your subject to squint and also blow out the highlights. If this is the case, try placing the sun behind your subject. This creates a nice backlighting effect which gives a flattering outer glow around your subject. Don’t forget to focus on your subjects face (tap on their face on the screen) when framing the shot. This focuses on the correct area as well as adjusting to the desired exposure. For a silhouette effect, expose for the background (this effect however, will depend on the overall lighting conditions of the scene).




rule of thirds

Your subject doesn’t always have to be dead centre. Divide your frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically. For wide shots, try experimenting with moving them to either side of the frame. For close-up portraits of people, try getting their eyes lined up with the upper third line.




Be aware of the perspective of your shot. You can shoot from a low-angle or high-angle and a general safe go-to is to take the shot at your subjects eye-level. Another tip, for that neat “everything just fits into place” look and feeling of satisfaction is to use parallel lines – shoot things face on rather than at an angle.




editing and filters

The VSCO app is amazing for filters and editing if you want to try something else. Sometimes a few simple tweaks in brightness/contrast and shadows/highlights can look much better than a strong creative filter. In addition, play around with the white balance to achieve a cooler or warmer colour cast.

avoid the digital zoom 

If you need to zoom in, it’s almost always going to be better to step forward towards your subject instead (where possible). This is because when zoomed in, you’ll notice things get a bit more shaky and the shots usually turn out blurry. You can always take the shot and crop-in afterwards in post.

phone flash

There’s no right or wrong with using the led flash from your phone. I’ve been out in some low light conditions where the group shot actually looked better without the flash and visa versa. Don’t be afraid to take two separate shots (with/without flash).

That’s about it for now! Have fun out there and post some cool photos to your Village’s facebook page!

– Michael

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