Taking photos at an event and posting them to Facebook (or Twitter, etc) has never been easier. Just pull out your phone, snap a photo and upload. But a lot of the photos being posting are just plain uninspiring.
If you really want to increase the engagement of your Facebook post (see Facebook Photo Tips) be sure that the photo you post is worth looking at in the first place.
Here are five quick and simple ways to increase the quality of your mobile photos.
Turn your Phone on its Side
There is a reason why wide screen TV’s are not “tall” screen TV’s. Our eyes are oriented horizontally. And our peripheral vision is better at seeing from side-to-side than it is from top-to-bottom.
Turning your phone on its side (aka landscape) will include more of the scene you are shooting as well as add more depth of field. Shoot in portrait only when the subject you are shooting necessitates it. Make landscape your default shooting orientation.
Use the Rule of Thirds
Nothing can ruin that beautiful sunset photo like centering the sun in the middle of the photo. Use the rule of thirds to help any shot become more dynamic and engaging.
To apply the rule of thirds, just divide your camera screen with two lines evenly spaced apart both horizontally and vertically like a tic-tac-toe board (see example below). Then line up the subject of your photo where the lines intersect.
Most smart phones will have a setting that will turn on-off the rule of thirds grid lines to help you take better photos.
Your mobile phone is not a high quality DSLR camera. If you want a good photo of a child smiling then get the camera close to him/her. Since you most likely don’t have a quality zoom on our phone, use your feet to zoom.
Change your Angle
If every photo you take is at chest level then your photos will all start to look the same. Try changing your point of perspective. If you are taking photos of a puppy get on the ground. If you want a good picture of a room full of people get on a chair or stand in the balcony.
Look at your Background
Light poles, traffic signs, power lines, book shelves, computer cords, etc. can ruin a potentially good shot. Take the time to survey the scene for background problems. Then either remove the problem from the scene or move to another spot.
It doesn’t take much to take better photos. Just a little awareness and time. The investment is worth it.
(Creative commons photo credits: Moore, Jerry Wong, Jessie Hodge, Claudio Vaccaro, Ian Foss, Graham Reznick, Graham and Rick Mn)