Shored Up Digital


Tips and resources to help you grow your brand online

Phone Photography 101: Taking great photos on your phone


When a new client approaches us for a social media consult and wants to start posting immediately, we always ask if they have quality photographs for their business, and typically the answer is no. Using social media isn't just about posting random Google photos or buying stock photography to share on your accounts (although we will discuss stock photography in a future blog post, it does have its positives). If you are going to shine on social media, taking the time to create incredibly visual content is important–whether you do it yourself or outsource it to a photographer. Content is king and good photos are queen. Below we’re sharing our top five tips on how to take a great photo using only your smartphone!

Tip #1: Clean your lens!

It seems like such a silly tip, but the number one reason we see for awful, blurry photos is dirty lenses. A quick wipe with a piece of clothing (your shirt works fine) and you’re halfway there. Clean lens means crisp photos and you’ll have to do much less editing.

Tip #2: Natural light is your friend.

Let’s repeat this aloud, “natural light is your friend!” If you manage social media for a restaurant and it’s dark inside, grab the dish and take it outside. Can’t go outside? Find the nearest window and photograph it there. In retail? Turn the lights up before shooting. Can only shoot at night? Invest in a small tabletop light, easily found on Amazon.

Tip #3: Vertical photos work best on social media.

It’s all about maximizing your real estate on social media and vertical photos take up more “space” on your feed, thus letting those eyes linger longer on your posts. Whenever you’re snapping photos, just leave your phone upright to capture it.

Tip #4: Focus on the subject.

Lightly tap on your phone to focus on the subject you’re looking to photograph. By focusing you’ll achieve a crisp photo that won’t appear blurry and out of focus. Granted, if you’re trying to shoot something in movement, it won’t be as easy, but for non-action shots, a quick tap on the subject on your phone screen makes the shot.

Tip #5: Learn how to do a few key edits.

Your camera application will let you edit your photos, but we recommend downloading an editing application. Our favorite is Snapseed - you can do everything on this app and it’s very simple to learn! Plus, you will get into the habit of doing the same edits for your photos and ultimately create a branded aesthetic.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite tip was! And tag us in your photos on Instagram using #ShoredUpDigital so we can see (and share!) your great photos. Happy snapping!