5 Ways to Improve Your Camera Phone Portrait Photography


Taking decent portraits with a camera phone is actually a very good opportunity to get cell phone photography right. In general, portrait photography is one of the types of photography where you control the vast majority of variables (unlike wildlife or action photography). Here are a few things you that you can control:

Self Portrait with Sunflower by Mr Jaded.

  1. Control the Light – If you are set up to take portrait shots of an acquanitance, then you probably have time to think about the light that you have to work with. If you are outside then consider where the natural light is going to come from and whther you need to reflect it. Inide, you have complete control.
  2. Stay Still – If you are taking traditional portrait shots, then you have the ability to make sure the camera phone is as stable as possible. Camera shake is one of the biggest factors that ruins shots with camera phone photography and in the situation of a portrait setup, you have the chance to minimise or eliminate this irritation.
  3. Consider a Macro – If you want to get really close, then you might like to invest in one of the phones that offers a macro lens. The Nokia even has an extra macro fitting you might like to invest in.
  4. Change the Angle – If you want to get something more than just the head and shoulders portrait shot, then an easy way to do that is simply change the angle you are shooting from. Shoot from above the subject or shoot from down low looking up.
  5. Don't Forget Post Production – If you get the composition right, then a graphics program like GIMP (free) or Photoshop (not free) will probably be able to help you get the image to that next level. These programs generally won't save a poor shot, but they can enhance an average or good one.

it's go-time! by [phil h].

Online Guides to Portrait Photography

7 Techniques to Add Awesomeness to Portrait Photography – Ok, so we're doing a little self promo on this one, but the tips we covered in that article apply every bit as much to camera phone portraits. In fact these suggestions are probably even more important with a camera phone as you simply don't have the control over the photography process that you have with an SLR or DSLR.

Cell Self Portrait Flickr Group – There are a lot of surprising good self portraits in this Flickr group as well as some reasonable discussion. The great thing about Flickr groups too is that you can ask questions in the forum. Flickr is also an awesome place to find out which camera phones are the most popular and effective for photography.

Using Your Camera Phone – A general guide that echoes a lot of what was said in the guides above, but has a bit of useful information specific to portrait photography regarding colours, backgrounds and lighting.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see from the few examples above, getting a good image with camera phone photography is not impossible. The key is to remove as many random variables from the setup of the shot as you can and then, if necessary, don't be afraid of getting to work in post production with Photoshop or Gimp. As you can see, the images can be well worth the extra time invested and boasting that you are able to take such great shots on a camera phone could be fun!

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

I think that the “low” (not that low anymore) quality of phone photography is a feature. For example your photo of that guy with the white + on his chest.
The smudgy, grungy outcome is special and not THAT easily achieved in a good SLR. So why fight it ? Be creative 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *