How to take better photos on your phone

For some – such as the on point urban photographers we profiled recently – photography comes easy. However, this is not true for everyone. Despite the fact that everyone now is walking round with a HD camera in their back pocket, most people still don’t know how to get the most from it. Poor framing, lack of focus and thumbs over lenses are still common place, and no amount of Instagram filters will solve those.

To help you nail those perfect shots this summer, we’ve pulled together this quick guide which will have you taking better photographs on your smartphone in no time.


Probably the simplest trick of them all. Using the rule of thirds principle (putting points of interest at the cross-sections of the lines), your image will be more visually stimulating for the viewer. The gridlines also help you to ensure everything is lined up nice and straight, and you aren’t chopping off half of your missus’ head in front of that iconic landmark.


One of the good points about the unpredictability of the British weather is that you almost always have puddles, even in summer, which instantly opens up scope to have some fun with reflections. There’s something instantly appealing about a mirror image, so always keep one eye out for the chance to snap one.


Like reflections discussed above, there’s something deeply satisfying ingrained in the human psyche about symmetry. Symmetrical photos always look great, and if you’ve followed step one and have your gridlines turned on, it’ll be really easy to make sure everything is lined up and looking on point.

Don’t zoom!

It may be tempting to start pinching at that touchscreen to get a little closer in on your subject, but you’ll almost always end up with a blurry, pixelated image which is almost unrecoverable. Instead of zooming, simply move closer to your subject, or embrace the fact it’s going to be smaller in the final shot. Framing it in a lower quadrant, embracing negative space or adopting an irregular angle for the shot can all make a feature of the smaller subject matter.