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3 ways to take better mobile photos

Feb 10, 2020


Messy, not straight, no obvious point of action, dark on the right-hand side, top shows edge of the table and floor.


Tidy, straightened, cropped, point of action from hands, tasteful filter applied – Instagram ready!

Taking photos for your company or brand can sometimes seem daunting, it’s sometimes very easy to put it off, or to just take a quick snap and upload it without really thinking much more about it. But all images are a reflection of your company, even quick mobile ones, so it’s worth keeping some simple steps in mind while you do it.

Taking a good photo is actually easier than you might think, and now that many of us have a powerful camera sitting on the back of our phones, there’s never been a better time to develop your photographic skills.

Actually, I’d like to show you three easy steps that will help you find your feet when taking photos on a mobile:

1. Clear up

This might sound simple but if you can, tidy the area you’re planning on taking your photos in. Things like plug sockets, a half-drunk cup of tea, or a bunch of wires can be really unsightly in a photo, and distract from the subject at hand, or the feeling that you’re trying to create. You could also add someone’s hands into the image, just to make your photo look a bit different.

2. Use the grid

Without getting too technical, those lines you sometimes see across the camera are actually there to help you compose a photo. On a basic level, you can use it to ensure that your horizon is straight, but if you line up a point of action or importance where the lines cross, you can suddenly take your photo game up a notch. This little technique is known as the rule of thirds and is a widely used compositional technique in photography and films. If your camera doesn’t have a grid over it – head into your camera settings, it should be hiding in there somewhere!

3. Apply a simple edit with Instagram

There’s more to editing a photo than wacking on a filter, so let’s quickly dive into it. Head over to Instagram, load up your photo, ignore the filters for now and hit the edit button, you’ll be greeted with lots of tools here and I would recommend just using two: adjust and warmth. Adjust will let you straighten up your photo which is really useful – it uses a straight line that’s present in your photo to line things up, a horizon is always a good way to judge it if you have one, you can also pinch on the photo in this tab to crop a little if you need to. Once that looks good, use the warmth button and use the slider to ensure the image looks natural, sometimes phone cameras are a little off on their white balance, and this can make images look too orange or too blue – this is what you’re correcting here!

Next the fun part – applying a filter. My advice here is to not overdo it!
Pick a filter that helps the image stand out but be tasteful, if you tap a filter twice a slider comes up and you can select the intensity of the effect. Personally, I find Instagram filters pretty aggressive so I usually have the slider in a happy medium of 25 – 50% which allows the original colours to still feel ‘real’.

That’s it! Take a look at the example below to see how a simple photo from a mobile phone can be taken and edited to look a lot better.