7 Tips to Improve the Quality of Content Captured on your Smartphone

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These days, it's very common to depend on social media and marketing photos that are taken from smartphones. After all, we all have a mobile device nearby, and certain events or opportunities need immediate photo-taking or video marketing action! It's pretty common to have one of the marketing team head out with their trusty smartphone to grab some picks of whatever is going on.

The problem is that smartphone photos aren't always easy to snap, and may not be of high enough quality to use online (especially since expectations for great photo quality continue to grow). Thankfully this is getting easier, as the latest smartphone models include ever-better cameras and a bunch of software to help images turn out smooth and clear. However, a lot still depends on the photographer, so let's talk about some of the best tips when taking mobile pics.

1. Clean Before You Start

Smartphones slide in and out of pockets or purses and tend to get dirty very easily. Every time, before you get ready to take a marketing photo, you need to make sure that little lens in the front is clean. Grab the nearest clean cloth and wipe it down before you begin. A little bit of dust or oil can drastically affect the quality of even the best photo. Without this step, all your pics are at risk.


2. Low Light is Poor Light

Sure, professional photographers experiment a lot with low light shots, but they don't do it with smartphones and low light shots are not great for audience engagement. So pause and take a moment to look at all the sources of light in a shot, and always make sure that your subject is well illuminated. As a general rule, the only light you really want to avoid is light coming from below, which makes most subjects look weird. Watch reflections and direct sources of light to make sure there is no annoying glare. If the light is bright but looks weird, experiment with a few different filters to see if you can find a better perspective that makes the picture clearer.


3. When in Doubt, Create a Stand

There's a lot of anti-shake and stabilization technology in smartphone cameras these days. However, in a rush you can still lose a lot of photos by moving around too much, even if you are trying not to. For great marketing photos, take time to grab a nearby chair or table and steady the phone with some extra support. If nothing else, hold the phone with both hands and take a breath to still yourself. The phone should take care of the rest.


4. Panorama Mode is More Useful Than You Think

The panorama mode allows you move your camera around taking a burst of photos that are then automatically stitched together in one broad image that can capture a lot of content. This has some value as unique content now that YouTube and other platforms that support 360-degree video, but it's also a great way to take pictures of large events, work sites, buildings, and activity in a dynamic way. You can use the full image or quickly pick out the best part for your online work – so make sure panorama mode is a well-honed tool in your kit.


5. Stop Zooming In

Just don't do it. The digital zoom that smartphone cameras use are excellent at ruining image quality. It's a fast track to making a pic unusable due to low resolution and other problems. If you want a subject to be larger in the shot, then move closer. Make that your only option.


6. Do a Little Research for Special Cases

If you are going in for a special photoshoot armed only with, say, an iPhone camera, do some quick research on how to get the best shots. There are online resources that give amateur photographers tips on how to take the best pictures in various environments or with tricky subjects. If you are uncertain about conditions, take a moment to look for tips!


7. After Taking Shots, Take Them From a Different Angle

When snapping pictures, take several from one angle, then move to another angle and take several more. Try to do this with every photo you want to take. It's very easy to change your angle just by moving your smartphone camera around, and it's a great way to take more interesting shots, even if it is by chance.


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Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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