Improving Phone Photography

Wildly passionate about her family, Ashley Ann Campbell captures the beautiful details of her life through a collection of powerful images and words called Under the Sycamore. If you’re looking to take incredible photos like the ones you see below, register for SnapShop, a workshop created by Ashley that is aimed to improve phone photography.

Change your angle: Just like every character in a story has a different viewpoint….with photography, changing your angle, even on the same subject, will give you an entirely new viewpoint to the story you want to communicate. Every angle has something different to say. Phones are so lightweight and small, it makes changing angles so easy! Instead of simply aiming your camera at the subject….challenge yourself. MOVE. Get low, get high – change it up a bit. Or a lot!

Camera lens location: Unlike most cameras where the lens is located in the middle, on phones the camera lens is often located near the top, either in a corner or in the middle. Keep this in mind as you are shooting – there are times you will want to rotate your phone to get the lens closer or farther from your subject. If your camera records the shot upside down, you can always flip it right side up when you edit it. (The following four photos demonstrate the minor change caused by rotating your phone if the lens is not located in the center)

Capture your details: So much of life happens in the details. Most of us do a pretty good job at capturing the big picture – the graduate holding her diploma or the four year old blowing out his birthday candles. However, the details often get overlooked. Slow down to notice the details of your days and capture them. Many smartphones record close up details with incredible clarity, use this to your advantage.

Take notice of your available light: Capturing beautiful light, whether natural or artificial, can make all the difference in your photos and their stories- especially with smartphones. Begin studying the light around you and the way it falls on your subjects during different times of the day. As you take time to notice and study light, you will begin photographing it in interesting ways.

You need light to ‘freeze’ action: The brighter the light, the more likely you can sharply capture action without using your in-camera flash. Phone cameras respond wonderfully to bright light, so keep that in mind when you are trying to ‘freeze’ fast moving action.

Finally, one of the huge things phone cameras have in their favor is their size. I keep my dslr in an easy to access place, but it sure doesn’t fit in my pocket. My phone, on the other hand, is usually very close and easy to whip out to photograph a moment. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures that I could not have captured with my dslr, simply because they happened in a split second and either my phone was in my pocket or my dslr would have been too intrusive.

For more photography tips from Ashley, check out her post Phone Photography Tips for KidsTo see more of Ashley’s work, check out Under the Sycamore & SnapShop workshops and follow her on Instagram & Facebook.

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