Snap Happy

Five dos and don'ts of smartphone photography


Once thought of as a gimmick, a camera on a smartphone has now become essential, with most smartphones offering at least a 5MP unit and often a secondary 2MP front-facing device too for those keen on selfies. Here are our top 5 dos and don’ts for getting the most from your smartphone camera.


1. Set your resolution as high as you can – it goes without saying that the better the resolution, the higher the photo quality. Sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many don’t bother and miss out on a relatively simple way to improve their pics!

2. Clean you lens. Again, obvious but often neglected. A quick clean can make all the difference and avoid a random dot ruining an otherwise fine photo.

3. Make use of HDR mode. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and basically takes three different pictures instead of one (one overexposed, one underexposed, and one balanced). This will come in particularly useful if you want to optimise your results when editing afterwards, especially if the photo was taken in less than perfect lighting conditions.

4. Invest in a memory card. Photos take up more room than you think – and may quickly stretch the limits of your devices internal storage.

5. Test, test, test! Practise on anything, trees, flowers, your car, pet… the more you practise the better feel you’ll get for what works and what doesn’t. Try different settings and see how different modes and effects work.



1. Use zoom if you can avoid it at all. Try moving closer if you can at all. Digital zoom can produce a particularly pixilated image.

2. Use flash. This often results in over-exposed images. Even if you’re shooting in dark conditions, try use a secondary light source. If you must use flash consider toning it down a little by placing a white sheet over the flash.

3. Ignore your lighting conditions. Try to make sure the light is coming from behind you, and not the subject.

4. Shake about. Keep still, and this will help you avoid blurry, out-of-focus shots. Practise holding with a heady stand. If circumstances allow, make use of your surroundings to act as impromptu tripods. Perhaps you can position your camera on a wall or bench?

5. Rely on default settings. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ setting when it comes to photography, be it on a phone or SLR camera. Experiment with different settings for different conditions and have fun in doing so!


Niall Kelly – Marketing Executive, Totterdells