8 Mobile Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know


Using Readily Available Tools

With mobile devices, there are quite a few tools defining varying devices that often go unused. Proper utility of basic mobile devices puts the user in possession of a pocket film production studio. The technological capability of smartphones is such that full feature-length movies can be made on mobile devices, and in some cases, this has been done.

Well, a film is a bit more of an undertaking than a photo. Still, smartphones have the capability to do both; and many users don’t come within a stone’s throw of such potential. Accordingly, if you’ve got a phone, you don’t need a camera—not for most photo situations. If you’re a photographer on a budget, definitely consider what you could do with what you have.

Following we’ll briefly explore eight mobile photography tips to help you fully maximize the latent potential waiting within your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. Some of these tips are straightforward, others are a bit more complex. Hopefully there’s something here that, at minimum, stimulates you to make the most of what you already have.


1. Backup Picture Or Video, Clear Mobile Hard Drive Space

Smartphones don’t have infinite space. While Samsung has had a 1 TB mobile phone available on the market since 2019, most devices don’t have that much space. Even then, you’ll be surprised how fast your hard drive fills up. One photo tends to be around 3 megabytes (MB), if it has requisite quality.

There are over 1,000 MBs in a gigabyte (GB), there are right at 1,000 GBs in a terabyte (TB). So at an average of 3 MBs per photo, you’re looking at a little more than 333,333.333 photos on such a device. Call it 300k, because operating systems, apps, and other software fill up some of that hard drive space.

That seems like a lot, but it’s only 821 photos a day for a year. Meanwhile, one minute of HD video is about 124 MBs. That’s 134 hours of footage, or a little over twenty minutes of footage a day. If you’re doing a daily podcast that’s twenty minutes long, your phone will fill up quick. If that’s supplemented with photos, the same thing happens.

So what you want to do is backup all your photos to a hard-drive that’s external to your device when you’re done taking them, then delete them from your phone so you’ve got space for more photos or video. This way you’ll always have hours of recording space available, and you won’t have to delete any photos to keep that space.

2. Mobile Lenses Still Need To Be Cleaned For Best Results

This one’s pretty straightforward. Your lens will get dirty. You’ve got to clean it at intervals; preferably before each shooting session, if you’re going for quality. It’s going to get smudged and scuffed up in your pocket, so using a lens protector of some kind—whether improvised or available in the form of an accessory—is certainly to be advised.

3. Know How To Use “Burst” Mode For Action Shots

Burst mode captures numerous photos quickly, and is designed to catch action shots that would otherwise necessitate split-second timing. Practice using burst mode with animals or sports teams; you may be astonished at some of the footage you’re able to capture.

4. Take Lots Of Pictures – With Mobile Devices, You Can

Provided you’re backing up the photos you take externally, you’ve got essentially unlimited “film”. Prior digital photography, you’d be boxed in by how many pictures were on a given role of film. Now, you can take 10k pictures in a day and still have space for 10k more. So take lots of photos when you’re out pursuing photographic excellence.

5. Use Known Best Practices To Overcome Shadows

Shadows can be pretty irritating; especially when you’ve captured the perfect picture except for one detail or other that inhibits the final result. Thankfully, new technological workarounds exist that can help you find exactly the picture you intended even if you were unable to capture it in real time. Here’s a link on how to get rid of shadows in pictures to help you.

6. Assure Devices Are Properly Charged For Full Functionality

Smartphones will not capture live video for the same length of time they’ll retain charge when mostly dormant. Your phone might retain a mild charge for a week if you only interface with it once or twice and turn off the internet. If you’re recording video, it may only retain charge for a few hours. Before doing any photography or videography, assure devices are fully charged.

7. You’ve Got Plenty Of Free Filters, Use Them

Instagram has popularized filters, but professional photographers can make use of them as well. Sepia tones, distortions, effects, black and white, lighting arrangements—there’s a lot to play around with. Explore what you have, and consider downloading some niche filters as well.

8. The Value Of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Settings For Lighting

High Dynamic Range is a mode designed to capture quality photos when available lighting isn’t quite what it could be. Essentially, multiple exposures are combined in one image.

Sometimes results are as you would expect, sometimes they’re not quite how you wanted. You can also choose to keep the unaltered version. It’s a great mode for hard picture situations.

Getting The Most From Mobile Device Photography

Utilizing diverse camera apps, editing photos, making full use of HDR, exploring varying filters, keeping devices charged, using known best practices to overcome shadows, taking lots of pictures, exploring “burst” mode, cleaning lenses, and assuring you’ve got digital space represent some basic mobile photography best practices to consider.

These are the tip of the iceberg; though the truth is, most devices will have the capability for the rudimentary options outlined here. Certainly some devices are more capable than others.

However, it’s almost a certainty that you haven’t fully explored the possibilities of your mobile devices as regards photography or videography. So at minimum, use this writing as a starting point from which to explore the latent potential of your mobile device.

Header Image Source