Mobile Photography: Mega-Guide with Tips, Tricks, Inspiration (and Much More!)

The mobile photography has become one more tool for the current photographer and, despite the fact that there are many debates about whether or not mobile photography is photography, you will know, dear reader, if you have been following us for a while, that for us the answer is a capital YES.

Mobile photography is here to stay not only because it is probably the most used camera by photographers of all levels, but also because cameras are getting better and better. Its versatility, portability and immediacy has us trapped and it will continue to be so for at least a long time.

That is why we wanted to dedicate our mega guide format to photography with a mobile phone, or cell phone, compiling and expanding absolutely all the information you may need to improve your photographs taken with a mobile phone. Inspiration, tricks, tips, composition or technique. You have everything here.


Important, before continuing I recommend that you save this article in favorites so that you can retrieve it whenever you have a question, need inspiration or simply want to take a look at it again. Make yourself comfortable, here I come.

What is mobile photography?

Mobile photography is a photographic genre focused on using the camera of the mobile phone, or cell phone, as the main tool to capture photos. Unlike other photographic genres, mobile photography is mainly defined by the type of camera used for its execution.

To take advantage of it, it is convenient to dismantle the typical myths that are associated with this type of photography: mobile photography does have merit, it can become professional, it is creative, it does have technique, and yes, it requires effort and knowledge. Anyone can press a button, but not every image is photography as we photographers understand it, right?

How to take good photos with your mobile (mobile photography tricks):

Sometimes the seemingly simplest tricks are the ones that can make a big difference in the quality of your images. For this reason, we have prepared some tricks very simple with which you will learn quickly how to take better photos with the mobile.

  1. Keep the optics in perfect condition. We must not forget that our camera is also a phone and a powerful computer 😉 and that we often accidentally touch the lens or carry it in our pocket in any way. So clean the optics before taking any photos. This is a small detail that we do not always take into account but that will take away a lot of sharpness from your photos.
  2. Holds the phone well. Ideally, you should hold it with both hands and press the shutter using the button on the screen. Generates less vibration than other options such as the sides.
  3. Be aware of sensor size of the mobile camera. Be aware of the camera’s limitations. smartphone, allows you to get ahead of problems. We know that sensor size of mobile phones is very small, that is why we must try to make things easy for them. You will see that many of the tips are related to this fact.
  4. Light, lots of light. If you want your Smartphone to perform at the highest quality, you should look for environments with a good lighting, and to be able to be that this is uniform, not much contrast between lights and shadows. I’ll tell you more about this soon.
  5. Never use digital zoom. The best zoom is your feet 😉 .
  6. Turn off the flash. It is not one of the strong points of smartphones, so better find a place with more light before using the flash.
  7. Turn off HDR mode default. Activate it only when you think your image needs it.
  8. It is preferable the night mode before the built-in flash. If your phone has this function, it is a better option.
  9. compose correctly so you don’t have to crop the image. Take care of the background and activate the grid to help you.
  10. Learn to work with manual settings of your mobile.
  11. Do not take photos using a filter. Think that, normally, there is no going back. It is preferable that you add it later.
  12. Take a look at the worst mistakes we make in mobile photography and run like hell from them.
  13. Edition. You can improve your image with small adjustments editing, lights, shadows, contrast or saturation, but remember that the more you touch up, the greater the loss of quality.
  14. Download our infographic where we prepare the best tricks for mobile photography

Have you been wanting more? I explain them to you face to face 😉

Master the light in mobile photography

Light is always our obsession as photographers. Mastering light in mobile photography, It is even more important due to the size of the sensor of our Smartphones, much smaller than that of a SLR or mirrorless camera.

However, all is not lost, far from it, here are some very simple tricks to master the light in your mobile phone photos:

  • The homogeneous lights They are the ones that work best. Remember that the sensor of our phone is small and does not have a good dynamic range.
  • the soft lights they cast fewer shadows and are easier for the sensor to process as well.
  • Play with the possibilities of hard light:
    • The backlights and their silhouettes.
    • Shadows are a very powerful visual resource.
  • Measure punctually in the area you want to expose correctly to avoid correcting the exposure in processing.
  • Take into account the directionality of the light to play with the textures.
  • Experiment in high and low key (I’ll let you in on the secret shortly).

How to compose a photograph with a mobile (cell) phone

many times you ask how to take beautiful photos with the mobile. To that question we always answer: with a good composition. Composition in mobile photography is a very important aspect, since many times we lack other functions such as depth of field or lighting as narrative elements.

These are my tips as to composition with mobile photography to achieve more visually appealing images:

  1. defines a center of interest. It is key for any type of photography.
  2. Try not to focus. Use rules such as the thirds to place the protagonist in a strong point of the image where the eye is directed more naturally).
  3. Use the lines as a compositional element. They give a lot of play when composing with your mobile phone.
  4. Activate the grid to help you compose and keep the horizon straight.
  5. Less is more. Simple layouts are easier to read and perform better.
  6. Add a human element to increase the interest of the image.
  7. Play with the scale.
  8. He uses color as one more compositional element.
  9. Use natural frames to frame your image: doors, windows, bridges, arches…

To go deeper, I recommend our article on how to compose in mobile photography and then go through this other one with 17 tips to achieve better photographs with your smartphone.

How to take good portraits with a mobile or cell phone?

One of the star themes in mobile photography is, without a doubt, the portrait. Whether yours is to portray others or delve into the depths of your own soul (what they now call selfie 😉 ), what is certain is that a good part of your photographs contain a portrait.

Let’s see how to make a good portrait with your mobile phone:

  • Come closer: Take advantage of the fact that the mobile is not a camera that imposes too much on the people portrayed and obtain images and expressions that with another camera would not be so easy to achieve.
  • take care of the backgroundno unwanted elements in the frame.
  • Yes the eyes they reflect some kind of light, you will fill them with life and always remember to make sure they are well focused.
  • Always try to have enough light so your image doesn’t come out blurred or underexposed.
  • try to approach a window indoor.
  • Experiment with the shadows on the face, I already told you before that they are a very interesting compositional resource.
  • Play with the different planes in the image.
  • Also try the portrait format. For portraits it is very grateful.

How to take good photos for Instagram?

If there is a social network that has helped the rise of mobile telephony, that is, without a doubt, Instagram. The immediacy of the publications, the stories and now also the video format, they have positioned it as the most used social network by photographers of all kinds.

To take good photos for Instagram with your mobile phone:

  • Learn to compose in square format.
  • Minimalist images tend to work best.
  • Take good care of the background.
  • Don’t abuse filters.
  • Try to have a consistent line of sight.
  • Look for original frames, unique points of view.
  • Upload photos that you feel proud of, without getting into a perfectionist loop ;).
  • Get inspired by photographers brimming with authenticity, like these must-have portrait photographers, most of whom you can follow on Instagram.

And of course, try to avoid these mistakes in your profile portraits. Better follow these tips for your profile photos on social networks.

Oh, and if you still don’t follow us on Instagram maybe it’s a good time to do it, we’d love to see you there 🙂

Instagram profile of Blog del Fotografo @blogfotografo

Street photography with mobile phone

If there is a star theme in mobile photography, it is street photography, street Photography, streetphotographyor whatever you want to call it.

The size, discretion, portability and speed of a mobile phone make it one of the best options for lovers of this discipline. I’m sure you’re looking forward to some mobile street photography tips:

  1. The human element is vital, try to include it directly or indirectly in your compositions.
  2. Take advantage of every moment of the day. Every light and every hour tell different stories in street photography.
  3. Just like rainy, foggy or windy days. In bad weather, good photos 😉 .
  4. Always carry an extra battery to charge your mobile.
  5. Make sure you have enough space on your device before you start shooting.
  6. Locate places where you anticipate that interesting situations may occur (subway exits, crowded places…).
  7. Work on lines, shape and geometry.
  8. It uses the architectural elements as possible natural frames.
  9. Be discreet and respectful.
  10. Always have your mobile handy and ready to take pictures.
  11. Black and white is a great ally of this type of photography. Do not miss our complete guide to black and white photography if you are passionate about the subject.
  12. Tell a story, make your image speak.

Be sure to take a look at our article with 15 tips to improve your mobile street photography for more information, as well as our 100 express tips for street photography. You can apply and practice many of them with your mobile phone.

Night photography with mobile phone

A few years ago it would have seemed impossible to do night photography with a mobile phone,…