Step Up Your Cell Phone Photography Game With These Tips

Step Up Your Cell Phone Photography Game With These Tips

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just a beginner, your cell phone will often be your go-to, in-the-moment camera. For most of us, our phone is already in our hand (or pocket), and ready for photographic greatness. While cell phone cameras get better with every phone generation (including iPhone, Galaxy and Pixel), they’re not at the level of DSLR Cameras. But with a little skill and know-how, you can create beautiful, funny, and captivating art with your best digital pal.

And with the awesome photo editing tool chest and tutorials available to us through iPiccy, not only can we adopt the best practices of shooting photos with our smart phones, but we can retouch, tweak and improve these photos such that a layperson could never tell they weren’t taken with the fanciest professional cameras on the market today!


Your first big weapon in the battle to take an amazing picture is technique know-how. You don’t need to take college courses, but keep a few simple principles in mind and you’ll see a big difference.

  • Using zoom on a camera can help you properly frame your picture. However in cell phones, zoom can reduce the quality of the photograph. Where able, move yourself and your cell phone closer rather than use zoom.
  • Make lighting work for you. Indirect lighting will always be the best. If you’re taking pictures outside, try to avoid placing your subject under sunlight. Move them to a bright patch of shade. That said, all bets are off during the golden hours: sunset and sunrise.
  • The rule of thirds is a great way to dynamically place the action in your photograph. Picture a grid, made of two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Place the action of the shot off-center, so that it’s on top of the intersection of lines. Horizons (or other important lines, like a tree or building) should also follow these lines. Some cell phone camera settings use this grid to help you line up your shot.
  • If there’s too much going on in your background, get up close and personal with your subject. Don’t be afraid to fill the frame to keep the focus of your photograph where it needs to be.
  • Break rules. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to get a little wild.


Your photography isn’t limited to the software that comes pre-installed on your phone. Apps can customize what your phone can do, from adding filters to getting DSLR-level control over your shot. You can use apps to adjust ISO or shutter speeds on the fly, and even perform professional-level photo edits (including curves). If you have issues with filling up your phone storage space, grab apps that allow you to upload to cloud storage. Once you’ve created your masterpiece, use apps to share with the world.


Get to know your phone and what it can do. Familiarize yourself with the shutter lag so you don’t have to worry about missing the perfect shot. Make sure everything is working optimally — your battery is charged, and your lens is clean. You can augment your phone’s capabilities with a few helpful accessories — some of which are small enough to fit in your purse or pocket. Snap-on lenses give you wider range of zoom or turn your phone into a wide-angle lense. Bulkier accessories include portable tripods, photo printers and the ubiquitous selfie sticks.


For some, post work is the hardest aspect of photography to master. In the past there was a difficult and/or costly “barrier to entry” for a novice photographer. Looking to edit their photos like a boss was a tall task. It was either shell out the cash to get Photoshop AND master all the complexities that such an advanced tool provides, or try to make do with poorly conceived Adobe imitators.

Those days are over, however.

It’s something that this community knows, and hopefully more amateur photographers will come to recognize: with powerful, easy-to-use tools like iPiccy, a once complicated task like removing red eye is a breeze. And while there are now applications on your phone that will assist you in things like these. I’ve not found them to be as intuitive or as effective in giving me the control I demand than iPiccy’s simple, straightforward tools.

Growing your editing skills is one of the best things you can do to evolve into a better photographer — and now it’s never been easier — no matter what you shoot with!

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