How to take great photos with your cheap smartphone

I’m forever encouraging people to take photos, regardless of equipment simply because I’ve always used my smartphone. Nothing flashy, just a cheap £70 Nokia Lumia 520 that came with a free experience day of my choice; Lamborghini ride! It has done me proud, taking some great photos and now I have amassed 2000 followers on Instagram. Happy days! I’ve now upgraded to a £100 Motorola Moto G 3rd Generation – big spender, I know! I’d be worried about getting a £600 Iphone stolen or damaging it but not my crappy Nokia/Motorola! So how do you take great photos with such a cheap phone, here are my 5 rules…

Rule 1: Don’t bother with the zoom

It looks awful and pixelated, that isn’t a good combination. Use your legs to zoom… as in move around!

Rule 2: Compuntitledosition is key

What you should do instead is focus on how you compose your shots, using the rule of thirds comes in very handy here. The screen is split into thirds by a 3×3 grid and you just align your subject (the thing your photographing) into one section. For example, my subject is the windmill and have placed it the middle to right of the shot.

Rule 3: Lighting is very helpful

Grafton beach, Tobago

Golden hour (sunset/sunrise) is notorious for offering the perfect lighting for photographers so use it! I have found apps such as Sun Surveyor Lite and Golden Hour to be very useful. Just search in your app store and you’re sure to find similar apps to these. As you can see the lighting of this photo makes it look a lot more dramatic

 Rule 4: Find those wacky angles

You don’t need to stick to the same conventional angles that everybody uses. Get down low or up high for different perspectives!  To take this one below I had to be crouching down in a puddle


Rule 5: Have fun!


Please share 🙂

27 thoughts on “How to take great photos with your cheap smartphone

  1. It’s nice to know someone else out there focuses on composition over equipment. My phone is generally acknowledged by everyone but me as being crap, but I’ve taken some decent Instagram pics. Thanks for liking my post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your 5 “rules” are the foundation of a good image. I would also suggest including “wide shot-medium shot and close-up”. The diversity is helpful in sharing what your eyes see. Although I am old-school and really prefer DSLR’s, I agree that if people want to use their phones they need to understand the basics of your 5 rules.


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