ArchiSnapper - simple punch list app

6 Tips For Taking Beautiful Pictures With Your Smartphone

Did you know that with a few handy settings and an App you can take professional pictures with your smartphone? Because you always carry your phone, you can easily take a quick picture, for example of an end result of a project for your portfolio. We give you 6 practical tips!

Tip 1: Clean lens

Would you like to take professional pictures with your cellphone? Then the first thing to do is to clean the lens properly before taking the picture. A dusty lens always shows on the picture. In spite of the app that lets you correct a few things, it is better to prevent it. And remember to always turn off the flash! 

ArchiSnapper - lens

Tip 2: Grid

Turn on the grid/guideline at the settings for the camera on your smartphone. With IOS you can find this under settings, pictures and camera, with Android you can do this under camera settings. You can use the grid to photograph buildings and/or the horizon straight.  

Tip 3: Rule of Thirds 

Use the “Rule of Thirds” for better compositions. This is also a camera setting on your cellphone. The “rule of thirds” divides your image viewer in nine planes. The grid consists of two horizontal and two vertical lines, each on 1/3 part. When you decide the composition by looking through your viewer, you have to line up the main subjects approximately on one of the intersections: You place the horizon on one of the horizontal lines, depending on where you want to place the emphasis. A picture with the horizon exactly in the center is usually rather dull. That is why you place your main subject on an intersection and your other subjects as much as possible on the other intersections. 

ArchiSnapper - rule of thirds

Tip 4: Focus

One of the most common errors is a picture that is out of focus. Not the camera, but you have to focus! But how do you do that? Determine with your finger on the lens which aspect you wish to focus on, create a minimum focus distance and look for contrast. With your smartphone, you can beautifully take a picture of an object or a detail from real up close, then the background will become unfocussed automatically and the focus will be drawn immediately to the aspect you wish to draw the attention to.   

ArchiSnapper - focus

Tip 5: Lighting

Always check the lighting. Are there no overexposed areas in your picture? Are you not taking a picture against the sun? By tapping your finger on the focus window of your screen, a sun will appear. By sliding this up or down you can make the image darker or brighter.  

ArchiSnapper - lighting

Tip 6: Zooming

Zooming you do not with your camera, but by using your legs! So, don’t zoom in, but move closer to the object you wish to take a picture of — or take the photo from a default distance, and crop it later on. That way, you won’t compromise quality, and it’s easier to play around.

ArchiSnapper: crop photo

Most frequent mistakes in photography

  • Weird or busy background
  • “Skewed” or “crooked” picture
  • Funny cut off image
  • Over- or underexposed objects
  • Pictures out of focus
  • Framework too wide

Snapseed: a free super app!

Actually, every picture taken by a professional photographer is processed for publication. Why would you not enhance your own pictures that you have taken with your smartphone? You could download the app Snapseed for this via the app store or play store. To edit a picture, it is important to execute the following steps:

  1. If the picture is crooked, you can make it straight with the tool ‘transform’
  2. If there is empty space in the picture, you use the ‘cutting’ tool to bring the object in the picture more forward
  3. Then adjust the light, the color and the contrast with the tool ‘adjust’
  4. You could use the tool ‘filter’ if you wanted to. There are a number of possibilities. In case you use the focus effect, make sure the fading sharpness is about 70.
  5. Finally, you use the tool ‘details’ to sharpen the picture, but never go higher than 10-15. Here you can also sharpen the structure a little more. 
  6. The picture is now ready. Next choose ‘save’ and post it on the media desired. 

With these simple smartphone photography tips, you’ll be taking pictures like a pro in no time!