Smartphone camera technology has come a long way and keeps surprising us with the high-quality pictures we can take with the little box in our pocket – sometimes even better than a professional camera. So there is no absolute need to invest in an expensive camera if you want to pimp your website with amazing pictures. Just follow our guide for smartphone photography and your pictures will surprise everyone!
What you should always keep in mind…
Photographing products or people depends on the camera of the phone you use, but even more on how you use it. Take a minute to think about what you want to shoot and what story you want to tell with the photo. Even though it is ‘just a smartphone photo’, never rush it.
1. First of all, the thing we can’t stress enough: in order to create an attractive series of images, you need consistency. Keep the same style to avoid chaos or a messy and unprofessional look.
You can for example always use the same neutral background; use a black-and-white filter; always blur the background; use the same accessory in every picture; etc. The possibilities are endless, but a cohesive element is mandatory if you want to look professional.
2. Shoot with abundant natural light. Smartphones tend to shoot the best shots in bright daylight. Try to avoid using the flash. It’s better to place your subject in front of a window or to simply take the shot outside.
3. Don’t use the zoom! Even if you have a smartphone with amazing camera technology, once you zoom, you lose a lot of quality. There are two simple solutions to this. You can either just get closer to your subject. Or, if that’s impossible, simply crop your picture afterward. Trust us on this one!
4. Turn on the grid to make better compositions. This is a simple, but effective tip for smartphone photography.
5. Keep your phone still. An obvious tip, but oh so important. Avoid unclear photos by holding your phone close to your body. In that way, your hands will be more steady. If you don’t have steady hands, use a tripod or a pile of books.
6. Get the focus right. Focus on a detail of your product or if you photograph a person, focus on one of their eyes. Take your time to let your camera find the right focus and shoot!
7. Take multiple shots. It is just a mathematical thing. The more pictures you take, the more chance one of them is your perfect image. Tip for iPhone-users: just hold your camera button to take multiple pictures in a row. Live photo or Motion photo – a sort of short video of multiple still images – is also a great way to capture the perfect moment on your camera, unfortunately only available on iPhone and the newer versions of Samsung Galaxy.
Choose your subject
Every website is different. Whether you want to shoot portraits of your employees for your ‘meet the team’ page or pictures of your products for your product page, with the right tricks you will do absolutely fine.
Pimp your ‘meet the team’ page to amaze your visitors! Shoot pictures of your employees, your clients or your colleagues to personalize your website – but don’t forget to ask for their approval.
Pictures not only tell the story behind the person in the picture but also the story of your business. The style of the pictures you use shows visitors what kind of company you are. Creative portraits better match young and trendy businesses, while more neutral pictures are common for timeless and stylish companies.
Choose a style that matches the story of your company and stick with it (we are serious about consistency!). Is your team, for example, a crowd of cool, outdoor workers (like farmers, road workers, etc) and you want to stress their robust character? Go for black-and-white or colored pictures with high contrast. Is it a creative one, use accessories to focus on their original thinking, etc. Don’t they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Use it to show others who you are.
Free extra tip for portraits:
Make sure you use the right framing. There are two things you should keep in mind while photographing and editing portraits. Try never to crop at any of the joints of the body. This includes fingers, toes, elbows, wrists, and knees. You don’t want it to look amputated if it’s not. Also, don’t take photos of only ahead. That is never flattering. Instead, include at least the neck, and leave enough space above below the head.
Even more, than in portrait photography, the light in food photography is crucial. Take control of the shadows to make the difference between a food picture and a mouth-watering professional-looking food picture.
In food photography, diffuse light works best. So, other than what most people might think, the perfect day to shoot is not a sunny one, but a cloudy day. Strong sunlight will cast dark shadows that can ruin your picture. You can solve the shadow problem by simply placing a white paper between your subject and the light source.
How to take irresistible shots of food? Think about the colours, composition, and background. Because a food picture is never really just a picture of food. Take your time to think about how you want to capture it before shooting.
Free extra tip for food photography
You’ll want to use negative space. This means that you should avoid zooming in too close to your product. Use a neutral background so your food will stand out. A picture with some negative space is simply more comfortable for the eye.
If you want to learn more about product photography, check out our tips and tricks for product and fashion photography.
Great apps to edit your pictures
Even if you used all these tips and your photos look amazing, editing them afterward really makes the difference between mediocre and professional-looking images.
Experiment with different apps, depending on the features you need for your style.
Once you found the one, stick to it and keep using the same editing process to create a cohesive and good looking collection of pictures.
Here are some apps we find very handy:
VSCO has a limited free version. To unlock more filters and other features, you’ll need the paying version. The app has nice presets, filters and edit tools. VSCO is a great app to create a cohesive look for all of your pictures because it allows you to copy-paste the edits you made.
Snapseeds offers a bunch of edit tools, including a blur function to blur the background of your images. Perfect for portraits as well as product pictures.
Specifically created for foodies. The app has more than 30 filters and edits to turn your food pictures into a work of art.