Point and shoot getting a little boring for you, aye? Are you looking for some new smartphone photography tricks of the trade to make your photos stand out?

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade


We figured you would be, so we found the best seven tips to upgrade your skills.

Read on to find out what we think is both easy to do and worth a little practice to master.

Defining a Trick of the Trade

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

Joe Monk

At this point, even your dad can competently snap selfies and capture panoramas on his phone.

So, if you want to be relevant in a world of competent photographers and standout in a world of great ones, you have to have some secrets up your sleeves.

Enter PhotosWithPhones and our patented tricks of the trade.

By tricks of the trade, we mean namely things that the average person doesn’t know.

Definitely, something selfie dad isn’t using…

Photography Wisdom versus Smartphone Photography Tips of the Trade

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

Expert Reviews

There are a set of certain staple rules within the photography business that everyone adheres to – things like the rule of thirds and the golden/blue hour.

While these are photography hacks, they aren’t smartphone photography hacks.

So, for the purpose of this post, they’ll be considered photography wisdom and not smartphone photography tricks of the trade.

The Seven Best Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

It may seem like cheating, but these tricks were created for a reason – to make your photos better!

So, you might as well as them.

1. Phone Specific Features

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

DxOMark (Benoit Pepicq)

So, go figure – each brand of smartphone has its own features.

While every phone is going to have a grid, a flash, and an exposure feature some allow more or less control. We’ve already broken down the best of 2018.

Do your research regarding what it is you require before investing hundreds on a new smartphone. You’ll find some good reads below.

  1. Apple
  2. Samsung
  3. Google
  4. Huawei

It can be the difference between slightly above average and mind-bending photos!

2. Go With the Grid

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

LinkedIn Learning

We’ver said it before and we’ll say it again, using the grid when taking photos will make them better.

Ever heard of the rule of thirds?

It’s so much easier to make sure everything in your photos is in the right place with the grid.

Not to mention, by utilizing the grid you can see how the eye is drawn through the photo easier.

It’s a win-win.

3. Adjust that Exposure

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade


Exposure is a fancy way of saying how much light is being allowed into the lens when the photo is taken. There’s more to it, but there’s some writing we’ve already done on the subject

Some phones allow you to manually adjust the exposure, which is a nifty feature to have in your tool belt.

Even phones that don’t allow manual exposure control usually have an auto exposure control feature that does pretty well.

Messing with exposure and learning the pros and cons of under and overexposing will teach you how to do some pretty awesome things in your photos.

Things that’ll certainly help you stand out from the pack…

4. Finding Good Lighting versus Manufacturing Your Own

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade


So, if you’re following the age-old adage of only doing photo shoots during the golden and blue hour, then these smartphone photography tricks of the trade won’t apply to you.

If, on the other hand, you struggle to drag yourself out of bed early in the morning or you work until the sun goes down, then you’re options are limited.

Sometimes you have to struggle to get good lighting.

Obviously, your phone’s camera can flash.

Don’t use it.

There are other ways to get good lighting! Taking photos indoors, for instance, allows natural shadows to occur.

We like that idea much better…

5. Don’t Zoom – Just Get Close and Focus!

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

So, you may be under the impression that zooming doesn’t compromise the integrity of the photo’s pixels.

If this is the case, then you’re woefully mistaken.

There are differences between digital and optical zoom – they can be explored here – and when you try to enhance a zoomed image problems arise.

Big problems.

Just do yourself a favor and crouch down and get all up in your subjects business.

Your camera will certainly thank you…

6. Get Yourself Some Gear

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

Robert Rittmuller

So, you’ve invested in a new smartphone with a dope camera. You’re ready to get out there and take some photos.

Now you’re reading you need extra gear. Not cool man…

Actually, you don’t need gear to be an above average smartphone photographer. It may even be better to start with just the phone in an effort to develop your skills.

Like Keith Richards, guitarist for the Rolling Stones, argues it’s better to start with shit and learn to make it work. Then when someone hands you something great you yourself are great enough to use it.

You can certainly check out some tripods, lenses, and apps though if you’re already well on your journey to great photography!

7. Take Lots of Photos and Do Lots of Editing

Smartphone Photography Tricks of the Trade

Clark Howard

It may seem an obvious strategy, but simply taking loads of photos increases the likelihood that a great one comes out.

With the new editing tools available for smartphones, you should also do lots of image manipulation.

You can turn average images into mind-boggling ones with some practice – you may even do it by accident.

So, this strategy seems kind of like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks, right?


By practicing both photographing and editing you’ll subconsciously be learning and developing your own skills and style.

Maybe you’ll even learn enough to point out your own smartphone photography tricks of the trade.