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Photography 101

Most people these days have cell phones with cameras that take decent pictures. Common questions people ask are:

    • How do we utilize our cell phones to take something worth keeping?
    • Do I need a DSLR to take a good picture?

Bottom line, you can take great pictures with your cell phone. Here are a few tips:

1. Read the manual. We know. No one reads the manual. But knowing your camera and the functions is incredibly beneficial when using it correctly.

2. Understand lighting. It sounds silly, but go outside and put your arm out. Look at how the light is on your arm. Watch for shadows. See when the light is “harsh” vs when it is “soft”. Take pictures of your arm and look at the difference. Take a mirror or use your cell phone camera. Stand in one place with the mirror/cell phone in front of you (cell phone pointing at you as if you’re taking a selfie) and turn around in a circle slowly. Look at how the light is on your face in regards to the sun.

3. Rule of thirds. When you take a picture, line it up so that you could cut your picture in 3 and the “focal point” of your picture would be in one of those sections. For example, if you take a picture of a road as your main subject, line it up so the road is on the left, centered, or on the right but in one of the 3 areas.

4. BONUS: You can use a cell phone tripod or set your phone on something and do a “timed shot”. This will help the exposure if you do not have a steady hand, if it is a bit darker, or if your cell phone does not have image stability. If you have taken a picture and notice it is blurry, this can help.

*Did you know that we also do prints at Print and Mail? Check out or email or call for more info.

Top image by Maksym Tymchyk on Unsplash