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How to Take a Photo on Your Phone

Young woman using her cell phone to capture images of the path and cherry blossoms tree at park
Credit: Storyblocks

By knowing the right techniques, you can shoot a quality photo with just your cellphone. Follow the tips below and send VPM your photos at [email protected].

TOPICS

We want to hear from you! Below are a few topics to get you started on your recordings. Your videos could be shared on VPM television, radio or social media. Details in the links below.

RESOLUTION
Go into your camera settings and change your resolution to the highest settings you can. The aspect ratio for photos is typically 4:3 and for video is 16:9. Either works, but 4:3 typically has a higher resolution. 

LANDSCAPE
Landscape photos are ideal for use VPM to share on social and television. 

LIGHTING 
If inside, utilize natural light from a window or turn on lamps. Remember to never take a photo facing a window, this will often make the background too bright and the subject too dark. When outside, aviod taking a photo in the middle of the day when the light is very intense. 

Many phones allow you to adjust the brightness of a photo or "exposure." Here is how on an iPhone.

RULE OF THIRDS
The "Rule of Thirds" is a photography principle that places the subject off center in the photo rather than directly in the middle in order for viewers' eyes to travel around the photo and take in more information.  Many people do this instinctively and it often creates photos that are visually much more interesting than straight subject centered photos. Below is an example of photo utilizing the "rule of thirds."

DON'T ZOOM
Most phones lose quality, sharpness, and resolution when zooming. If you need to get closer to your subject step closer.

FOCUS
With many phones, you can actually tap on the subject and the phone will automatically put them into focus. For portraits, if you phone has the option, utilize the Portrait Mode. This mode blurs the background behind the subject and creates a more professional looking shot.

TURN OFF FLASH
Using the flash often "over exposes" the subject and creates a dark background. If the light is dim or the photo looks grainy, move to a place with better lighting or (when possible) turn on lamps.

If your phone has the option, turn HDR on. This allows the camera to capture your darks and your lights in more detail, often capturing a better photo.

FORMAT
Most phones allow you to save your images as different file types. The best file type for photos are JPEG.

For iPhones, go to Settings > Camera > Formats. Change the format to "Most Compatible." Photos will now save as a JPEG.

SEND
Send us your photo to [email protected] with your name, where you are from and the topic. We will reach out to you directly if you photo is shared on VPM!