This post is about using any of your smart phones more efficiently, to get better home decor photos. Most of my social media images are taken from my Samsung smart phone, so sharing some of the things that I do.
My content has now started to move towards trying to balance between what I want to create and what is requested. There have been several requests for photography tips for smart phones for home decor enthusiasts, the equipment that I use to shoot professional looking photos and videos and several easy DIYs. In the next few weeks I will try and cover as much as I can.
Most smart phone have good quality back cameras and are capable of taking good decor shots if you keep some of these basics in mind. Lets see what they are:
1. Light: Take photos in good natural day light (Preferably on a bright clear day before 4pm)
Light is the most important factor when it comes to photography. If you are new to photographing, and want to take good photos for yourself or for your social media, I suggest start with taking photos in good day light. Open all curtains, windows, whatever natural light source you have make sure its unobstructed. There is no replacement for natural light. And any basic smart phone has the capability to taking good shots in good natural day light.
Once you are comfortable with doing good light shots, then you can start experimenting with moody and dark shots. Its like learning to balance on a bicycle first before moving to a scooter.
2. Fix your subject
What is it that you want to shoot? What is it that you want people to see in the photo?
If its a chair you are shooting, make sure the whole of the chair is visible in the photo. If its a cushion on the couch, the cushion has to be seen fully with some background to it. I see photos in which there is a flower vase and either the top is cut off or the bottom is cut off, it drives me nuts. Once you’ve decided what it is that you want to shoot, make sure you are capturing all of it in your photo.
In the above photo, the wooden dolls are my subject, so I have made sure they are visible head to toe, and with that comes a little bit of background that is cut off but that’s ok.
In this above photo, lets say my subject is the Buddha statue and the cascading plant. I will take a few steps back and make sure all of it is in my frame without cutting anything off.
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3. CLEAN YOUR LENS! (I am screaming you guys! )
This simple step can fix 99% of your phone photo issues. Irrespective of how clean your phone is, before every shot, take a cotton cloth or a tissue and wipe your phone camera lens thoroughly. It will instantly sharpen up and get rid of the stupid haze you see in your photos.
4. Keep the phone exactly perpendicular to the floor and shoot from waist height
The general tendency for us is to hold the phone at eye level, don’t do that. Keep the phone at waist height, take a few steps back or forward if you need to (DONT ZOOM!) Zoom kills the image quality, so step closer or backwards depending on if you are able to frame the whole subject. And once you have your view set, get down on your knees if you need to, but make sure you shoot from the waist height. Try it, you will be surprised at how beautiful the shots come out.
5. Steady your hands and shoot
Holding your phone absolutely still before you shoot is key. A little shake can give you blurry images. If you have shaky butter fingers, use a tripod, but ensure that the phone is as steady as possible to get good sharp images. Tap on the subject on your phone screen and hit the shoot button.
Take a few more and select the best to post on your social media. Let me know if your photos turned out better, tag me on Instagram here.
Smart phones are good enough to take pictures for your personal use. If you want to know what I use to shoot professional looking photos, I will do a post on my equipment sometime next week.