Taking Photos of Friends on a Smartphone

Smartphone photography isnt a trend; its now the primary way people capture essential (and not-so-important) events in their lives. And the advances and improvements in the quality of smartphone images continue to amaze amateurs and professionals alike.

But regardless of how clever the smartphone is, you can always get a better image when the person with their finger on the shutter puts a bit of extra thought into the process. With a smartphone, you can get impressive shots of your friends if you keep these simple guidelines in mind…

Ignore the Flash

Harsh light from a smartphone flash is never flattering for portraits, as it flattens the features and gives hard shadows. During the day, place your subject near a window; this soft, diffused light will provide a better result. At night ask your subject to stand in the glow of neon lights or cafe doors to give a colorful, modern look. 

Focus on the Eyes

Make sure the eyes are in focus because thats what people are naturally drawn to. Touch the screen to tell the smartphone where to focus.

Get Close, But Not Too Close

Filling the frame is one of the golden rules in photography, as it helps the viewer realize who (or what) the main subject of your image is. Getting close to your subject also means you dont have distracting elements in the background but stay at least an arms length away from the person to avoid distorting their features.


Use horizontal and vertical angles to make the most of the situation. A photo of a standing person fills the frame fully when the phone is upright. If the phone is horizontal, there is too much emptiness on the sides of the individual. But if your friend is standing in front of a stunning landscape, try a horizontal format, so you don’t lose the grandeur of the scene. Make sure the subject isn’t in the middle of the frame, as this looks amateurish. Place them a third of the way in the image for a well-composed landscape shot. 

Use these tips to get better images of friends on your smartphone. And remember to share the results with your subjects. Theyll be thrilled!