16+ Tips To Taking Better Pictures And Portraits With Your Camera Phone

Author xlxmarketing 14.9.2009. | 22:49

camera-phone-tips-copy
The camera phone, for a lot of people has become the box brownie, disposable film camera of today’s culture.

Sure professional photographers might scoff at it but it’s ‘on’ people all the time and can be whipped out at a moments’ notice to grab that great candid shot or capture that brilliant portrait.

And it doesn’t have to be something that is big and bulky. Just take a look at some of the models available on our site:

CVSL 106CVSDW-9802
CVDQ-M56CVFW-M24

CVSEM-A4701-whiteCVDQ-M35

CVDQ-M43CVKI-M57

Just some of the different camera phone designs available at Chinavasion.
However, all to often, that great portrait or that ‘wicked’ candid shot turn out to be blurry, pixelated, too small, too dark, or have blotches of ‘stuff’ on them.

So here is how you can get the most out of your camera phone and take better camera phone pictures and portraits.

We have even listed several camera phone photo sharing sites where you can show off your masterpieces once you’ve taken them.

 

Learn About The Camera Function On Your Phone

 
A common piece of advice experts always give novices in any hobby/pastime is to learn about the tools that you are going to work with.

Taking photos with your camera phone is no different.

By getting into, and going through your phone you will be able to learn about picture enhancement settings and other cool little devices you can rely on to improve your photos.

 

Experiment With The White Balance

 
A lot of camera-phones these days allow you to set the white-balance used to take a picture.

It is one of the biggest reasons why you will need to explore your settings before you start.

This can have a big impact on the resulting photo as the photo will feel warmer or colder depending on what color is used.

color-balance-copy
 

Three examples of different white balances, notice how much the green light differs from the red light balance.

Use The Highest Resolution Possible On Your Camera Phone

 
It goes without saying that if you want to get a better picture choose a higher resolution selection.

While some might be tempted to set the resolution to a lower rate, or to leave it on the medium setting to get more pictures in the memory it is often a better idea to put it to the highest setting to maximise the quality of the pictures.

 

Use ‘Night Mode’ In Dull Light

 
Most camera phones will have a setting called ‘night mode’. You would get no prizes for guessing what its function is (taking pictures in low light/outside at night).

Unlike the camera’s zoom function or editing capabilities (more about this later) this is one function which can actually make the difference between a black screen with a dot of color and a great ‘moody’ photograph.

 

Get Lots Of Light

 
The more light you can get onto your subject the better the picture will be.

If you have a flash, use it. If they are in a dark place see if you can’t get them out into a lighter area or turn on a light.

CVDQ-M56
 

Some camera phones like the (CVDQ-M56) come with a flash function

Get Close

 
The disposable camera has never been good at taking photos of the big sweeping scenery. This is very true for the camera phone.

The closer you are, the better the photo will be.

 

Make Your Photo About One Object

 
Camera Cell phone photos of one subject tend to be better than those of two or three things.

But, if you are taking a picture of you and your friend you can still make it look good. Just make sure the two things (or people) that you want to take a picture of are close together horizontally.

two-people-in-the-picture-copy

Keep Your Hands Steady

 
Camera phones are very well known for having slow shutter speeds so you will need to compensate for this.

Hold the phone with both hands when you take the picture and you should get a nice, clear picture with no streaks.

 

Plan For A Shutter Delay

 
If you plan to take a picture of something that’s moving then take into account the shutter delay and press the button a few seconds before you take the picture.

If you’re taking a portrait with the camera phone then hold the same pose and don’t move for at least 10-15 seconds after you’ve taken the picture to ensure that you get the picture you want.

 

Avoid Fast Moving Objects

 
You won’t be able to take pictures of a moving race car for the same reason that you have to use two hands to take a picture.

The shutter speed is just not quick enough.

If you want an abstract, streaky picture then sure. But if you want the picture to be crisp and crystal clear then it might be wiser to take a photo of the racing car standing still.

 

Keep Your Lens Clean

 
Keeping the lens on a camera phone can be easy but it’s not so easy on a cameraphone. You will be always taking it out of your pocket, purse or back and putting it back in there so it’s likely that you’ll get a little bit of dirt on it.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to keep everything clean though as there’s nothing that will ruin a great candid shot more than some random patch of black (or white) somewhere where it shouldn’t be.

 

Turn Off The Fake Shutter Sound

 
While it’s nice to know when you’re taking a picture the fake shutter sound can be distracting and, in some restricted locations, dangerous.

 

Turn Off The Zoom

 
Digital Zooms can give you patchy, pixelated results. Unless you have a camera with optical zoom just try to get close to the subject as you possibly can for the best results.

CVSL-106
 

Cameras like the (CVSL-106) come with an optical image, otherwise don’t bother with the zoom.

Take Lots Of Shots And Experiment

 
With camera phones you aren’t limited to a certain number of photos or a clumsy interface. Therefore it is always a good idea to take many pictures and try lots of different positions to get the best picture possible. Try from different angles, with different phone settings and at different distances.

Before long you will learn what works well in what situation and then be able to get great photos most of the time.

 

Don’t Throw Away Mistakes

 

One good thing to remember is that that phones don’t have screens that are anywhere as good or as big as your computer screen.

As a result you should always hang onto them until you’ve at least downloaded them onto to your PC. They might just find that they come alive on a quality monitor and you might even find out that ‘mistakes’ and ‘blurry’ shots work in an abstract way.

abstract
 

This might have been discarded as a mistake from your phone

Edit Images Later

 
While you might like to use the camera phone’s inbuilt editing and effects, editing pictures later on your computer will give you a much nicer picture.

You can always make it black and white on your computer, but you can’t make it color if you take it in Black and White mode.

While we can’t afford to get the full version of photoshop, there’s lots of other options out there like Gimp.

the-gimp
There are also other free online photo editing options out there including:

  • photoshop.com/
  • picnik.com/
  • fotoflexer.com/
  • pixlr.com/

 

Download And Save Your Pictures Frequently

 
Before you can find out whether or not a photo is worthwhile you will need to take it off your phone.

There are plenty of photo systems and online networks out there to help you file them away including sites like Flickr and Picassa, but more about that later.

 

Share Your Pictures On Photo Sharing Sites

 
Of course you’re going to want to share your great pictures via some photo sharing sites (sending photos by email is sooo 1995) some of the more popular ones are:

  • smugmug.com/
  • snapfish.com
  • flickr.com/
  • shutterfly.com
  • picasa.google.com/ (you can also organize and edit pictures on Picasa)
  • photobucket.com/

So, essentially, if you think about it, taking good pictures is as easy as:

  1. Learning about your equipment
  2. Getting the light right
  3. Taking the shutter speed into account
  4. Getting close to your subject
  5. Taking care of your equipment

Do that and you will are almost guaranteed photos and portraits that you can be proud of.

Author xlxmarketing 14.9.2009. | 22:49
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3 Comments

  1. Computers & Tech September 17, 10:36

    Hey there,
    Nice site, I just found it and I’m already a fan.

  2. adriaan schep October 6, 23:43

    I think, this is a realy good tutorial. I have learned good things to improve the photo qaulity of my mobile phone!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Kiran padival October 14, 16:28

    I guess this is the right way to teach people who are not very familiar with digital cameras.

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