Tips for Better Photos from Your Phone from Charlotte Photographers

The second in our series with tips from local photographers on how you can make the most of the hundreds of summertime photos we know you are taking, probably even as we speak!

This time we asked for tips on how to take better photos from your phone. Whether you are posting to IG or Facebook, or just capturing the wonderful memories in the moment, to be shared later in photobooks and family group accounts, your phone is the camera of choice in summer. Why not learn some easy tips to make your pics the best they can be?

Read on, and remember, if your photos don’t turn out to meet your Holiday Card standards, reach out to any of these photographers to schedule a session ~ you literally can’t go wrong. Just pick the one whose style most appeals to you, and call or email them today for pricing and availability.



1. Bump up your exposure on the filter to allow for more light, airy images. To do: Click Edit, then brightness, then bump it up to about 30! This is a great trick for making your skin look amazing. It gives you that fresh-faced glow!


2. Zoom in and fill the frame with your subject’s face. Think about the fact that the image will be displayed on the small screen of an iPhone. When scrolling through Instagram the images that always stand out are the ones that show up-close features.


3. Hold your phone horizontally instead of vertically. When taking photos with your camera, you don’t always hold it vertically so use the same principal with your phone. This makes it easier to crop your image into a square later.


4. Light in a photo is everything and the cool thing about shooting with a phone is that you can control the amount of light you let in. When you are shooting tap the areas of light on your screen. This will outline exposure and contrast making your image more interesting.



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Laura Frederick Tompkins


Laurel Belle Photography
Be sure to “Like” Laurel Belle Photography on Facebook & Follow on  Instagram & Twitter (@LaurelBelleCLT)



1.       Try to create symmetry in your photos. Small details can make a big difference. For example, when snapping a photo of a subject, pay attention to your horizon in the background. Is it level? If not, try to adjust your phone/camera until it is. Surprisingly, these little details can make a drastic difference in the overall quality and interest of your photos.

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2.       Take multiple shots at various angles. Not every shot turns out as flattering or pleasing to the eye as we may think when snapping the photo behind the camera/phone. By taking a variety of shots from different angles, you not only help to ensure that you have a couple of dynamite images, but you also open up the door to capturing a shot that is entirely unique just by taking a few steps toward your subject or by getting down on the ground, up above or even moving around your subject in a 360 degree circle snapping as you go.

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3.       Tell a story. In this day and age with it being so easy to snap and upload photos, often times we log into Instagram or facebook, for example, and are overwhelmed with image overload. Rather than just snapping shots, try to think about why you are taking a photo for a moment. Is there something particularly beautiful about that summer sky or maybe it is a precious moment of your little guy or girl and his/her adorable smile that you want to document. Maybe there is something sentimental about the location you are in and you want to capture that. Whatever the reason may be, have a reason for the photo and focus in on that. Don’t be afraid to get up close or zoom in and focus on the story you are trying to tell so everything else in the frame disappears. If there is a story behind it for you, it will translate emotion to those viewing your image and be far more interesting.

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~Jamie Shook~
Owner and Photographer
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 803.820.9838

Find Vintage Daisy Photography on FACEBOOK here.



1.     Use a different app to take your photos rather than the native instagram camera or camera app that came with your phone. There are tons of picture taking apps out there that can do various levels of editing to your images from basic to very in-depth editing. At the very least you want and app that lets you adjust focus and exposure. My favorites are VSCO and Afterlight. Your  mobile phone photography and thus your instagram pictures will greatly improve once you start learning and using a better app.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

2.     Once you have your app the biggest thing that will improve your pictures to learn to separate your focus and exposure. Most native camera apps don’t allow you to do this and the result is often underexposed images because the camera is attempting to average out the scene around your focus point. Separating these two functions will allow you to tell your phone what you want in focus and how you want your picture exposed.

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Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

3.     Use filters sparingly and subtly. The color filters in your apps and on your phone are fun to use but sometimes the best pictures only need a hint of the filter versus using it full whack. Read the apps help guides or just experiment with dialing down the intensity of your filters or even layering filters (which some apps can easily do) to get a more pleasing look.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset



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