How to take powerful images for PR with a smartphone


18th May 2021


Georgia Christley

Reading time

5 minutes

Adapting our everyday

The last 12 months have needed an adaptation from us all, to say the least. We have had to learn to change our everyday lifestyles to fit within the restricted limits of the new ‘normal’ way of life. 

Some of us have learnt new skills, hobbies and interests to ensure our minds were kept active and others have simply had to learn new skills to ensure the day-to-day duties within our roles didn’t slip! 

One element that we were unable to continue with whilst restrictions were in place was the use of professional photography and my goodness, did we notice this!

Capturing images when professional photography isn’t possible

A professional image works hand-in-hand with telling a visual story to our audience. We always advocate using a professional if you can.

However, we’ve all had to temporarily adapt our technique in taking the perfect snap and by learning the amazing capabilities on offer to us all within our smartphone technology, researching the best methods and practicing, we are now able to share with you our handy guide to taking and editing the perfect images on your smartphone.

Below are 10 top tips to get you snapping like a pro!

1. Get to know your camera’s capabilities

Before anything else, in order to take the most effective images, you need to get to know the power of your tools so that you really can get the best from it.

Have a play with your phone and the powerful in-built functions it allows. Most phones these days come with high spec functionalities – but lots of people fail to know their capabilities.

2. Capture multiple shots

Gone are the days of taking one photo only to find when you get to editing that it’s actually blurred. The great thing about smartphone cameras is that they allow you to take multiple shots, ‘bursts’ of images without the need to save or use them all. Better still they allow for movement and will capture fine details without the dreaded blurriness. Try taking a range and choosing the best one afterwards.

3. Avoid zoom if you can

Digital zoom reduces the resolution of an image- simply move closer to get the crystal-clear end result you are after. Or use optical zoom if you can as this does not affect the overall quality of an image and most smartphones come with this functionality in-built to the camera.

4. Use natural light where possible

Thankfully, one thing we have all still been able to do during the pandemic is be outside and that really is the best place to get the perfect snap! Using natural daylight is one of the simplest yet most effective tools for capturing a great image. Lighting plays a key part in creating the brightness, mood and tone of an image.

5. Apply the rule of thirds to images

Many people don’t realise how effective using the rule of thirds can be when taking a great photo. Rather than having the focus on the image dead-centre, this approach gives a more natural feeling and allows the eye to see the image more easily. A win-win all round. 

To use this technique, imagine your photo is split into nine equal blocks that are formed in a three-by-three grid and then aim to put the most interesting/ eye catching parts of the image into the corners of these grids.

The rule of thirds in practice

6. Use HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range which in simple terms means it balances and defines the image for you! For example, if you are snapping a bright sunset in the evening and the sky behind seems darker – using HDR allows the image to align more clearly in terms of lighting/ crispness. 

7. Use editing tools on offer such as apps

These days there are so many photo editing tools on offer for us to use and enhance an image.  From in-built editing tools within the camera – to the use of add-on apps such as Photoshop – we really are spoilt for choice so why not take advantage of these! Editing an image can really help sharpen the tones or crop to size in a few quick taps.

8. Focus

Taking control of your camera’s focus is a really easy way of capturing more interesting and clear photographs. Simply tap on the area of the image where you wish for it to be in focus, the camera does the rest for you! 

9. Play with different angles/perspectives

Not only are smartphones easy to transport with you wherever you go, but they also usually have lenses that are positioned towards the top of corners of the device which allows us to play with fun and quirky angles that other ‘larger’ cameras just don’t. Have a play with turning your device upside down or lay it on its side so that the camera is closer to the image subject. 

10. Practice – Practice – Practice!

They say practice makes perfect and that works seamlessly in this case! If you are new to taking great snaps on your phone or if you do not feel confident in taking a great image – follow the above steps and practice! The more photos you take using the above pointers, the better they will get with practice! 

Did you like this post? Learn more about great photography and its importance in PR here.

You can also read about tips on getting a great image without a photographer here.