Better Photos with Your Mobile Phone


Last week we talked about how to submit cell phone photos directly to your stock agencies via stock agency apps. If you missed it, catch up here.

Now let’s look at five ways to take better stock images with your cell phone:

  1. Check image quality. First, check that you are set to shoot the highest possible resolution. This is located in your settings. There is usually an option to shoot small, medium, or large JPEGs. Choose “large,” or whatever option will give you the biggest file.
  2. Don’t zoom. Did you know that when you zoom in on a cell phone, you’re really just cropping the image? Yep, that means that you’re throwing pixels away, which isn’t good when it comes to selling photos as stock. As much as you can, move your feet instead to get closer to your subject when you need to.
  3. Set your focus. Tap the screen to set the area that you want to focus on in your scene. Focus should be the last thing you do before you take a shot. If you move around after focusing, you’ll need to refocus before you take the photo.

  4. Hold it steady. Another thing that will help you get sharp images is to be aware of holding your phone steady. This is especially important if you’re shooting in low light conditions. It can help to brace yourself against something and hold your breath when you’re taking a photo.
  5. Nail your exposure. If your subject is coming out too light or too dark, use exposure compensation to dial in your brightness to just the right level. Most camera apps have a way to do this. Follow the directions below or look for an icon that looks something like this:

With iPhones, after you touch the screen to focus, it will also let you drag your finger up or down to adjust the exposure.

With Android phones, it will vary by phone, but typically, after you touch the screen, you’ll see a slider appear and can also slide your finger up or down to adjust.

Sometimes shooting with a phone is a great tool to improve your composition skills. Remember that everything that applies to your “big camera” photos also applies to your phone photos – that’s great composition, proper exposure, straight horizons, clean, clutter-free subject, and beyond.

Paying attention to the small details really adds up when it comes to creating the best images possible for stock photography, so be sure to keep these five things in mind whenever you’re out-and-about with your phone!

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