Let’s face it: even if you have a professional quality camera with all the specialty lenses, your smart phone is always an easy reach away in your pocket. It’s one thing to come prepared when you know you’re on a photography mission, but so often the best shots present themselves to use when we least expect it. Whether you look up to find your friend perfectly framed in the window, or you happen upon a drew-drenched spider web in just the right light, sometimes you just need to work with what you have before the moment is gone. Make sure you’re prepared so that your iPhone photographs can rival even the most carefully framed studio shot and you never miss out when the universe hands you the perfect picture.
Get Creative with Angles
Remember that you can still play with angle! When you’re shooting with a phone, the natural instinct is to take everything from chest height. In fact, the small, light design of your phone means even more versatility for interesting angles and creative framing. Your arms won’t get tired when you raise the lense above your head, and it won’t be awkward and bulky if you need to get down on your hands and knees, so take full advantage!
Love the Grid
Sometimes, a phone can actually be an advantage. If you have an iPhone, you can actually turn on a grid feature that makes it easier than ever before to frame your photos according to the rule of thirds, even on the go.
Be Familiar with the Features
Most smartphones today can actually simulate many of the features that you rely on with your usual camera. Many phone cameras have options to manually adjust the exposure, play with the focus, and use different kinds of contrast settings. It might not be the same as a real camera, but don’t scoff at these features before you try them! Take the time to familiarize yourself with the digital buttons and sliders now, so that when you need to act fast you’re already in the know.
With these light, finicky devices, it becomes more important than ever to stabilize the camera. Break the habit of using your phone with one hand. Instead hold it steady with both hands and prop your arms and upper body against something solid.
Care for Your Equipment
This one is obvious when you’re using a real camera, but the lens on your smartphone travels with you everywhere and rubs up against your pocket, the restaurant table, even your fingers. Clean the lens regularly, and not just on your shirt. Carry a microfiber glasses cleaning cloth in your wallet and wipe the lens periodically.
Break Out of the Ordinary
Most of all, make sure you are using the newfound freedom of technology to play with your art. Having a high quality camera in your pocket at all times opens up a world of possibilities and means that there is virtually no cost, no risk, and no commitment to trying new shots and breaking out of your comfort zone. So go ahead and try something you normally wouldn’t. Look for patterns in unusual places. If it doesn’t work, a quick tap of your finger will clear it away for the next experiment!