Camera phones have come a long way. Below are some of basic rules that I use to get the best images out of mine:
In general, food looks better when it appears ‘clean’. Don’t let it get contaminated with dark shadows, orangey tungsten, or green-y fluorescent lights. Remove these unwanted colorings by discovering the white balance settings on your camera, or use natural (sun) light instead of the common manufactured light sources (lightbulbs).
2: Getting Level
Though not a strict rule, objects tend to become more interesting when photographed from an unusual angle, which means anything but eye-level is an improvement. It is, however, easier to lower yourself than to float into the air for the sake of a good shot, so getting lower, or at least level with the object adds interest.
Nothing has ruined more of my photos than hurriedly snapping a picture which looks fine on my pocket-sized phone screen, only to later give it a closer look and find that has morphed into a blurry and smeared abomination. Dark lighting is frequently the culprit of such pictures, so take special care to take your time, hold the phone steady, and give it a chance to focus properly before snapping the picture.
4: Get Closer
Here is an
excuse to include my dog in this post example of how a closer-cropped picture can up the impact of your photo. Like all the others, this isn’t a strict rule. There are many striking wide-angle images out there, but I find that creating a closer-cropped picture simplifies things by making it obvious what the focal point is, and not having to worry about what to do with background objects.
5: Make Them Smile
The focal point of any photo of a person is their eyes, so make them light up. On the left you have what any warm-blooded American citizen does when you point a camera at their face and say ‘1, 2, 3…smile’. On the right is what happens when you don’t tell them when you’re taking the picture and tell them a joke instead. We can all subconsciously tell the difference between a smile that is forced and one that is genuine, because of the eyes.
That’s it. Happy snapping!