Ditch Your DSLR ~ Tips for Taking Awesome Pictures with Your Smartphone

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Tips for Taking Awesome Pictures with Your Smartphone

Ditch Your DSLR Tips for Taking Awesome Pictures with Your Smartphone from cupcakesandcrinoline.com #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

When you read, 'Ditch your DSLR' did you want to scream? I don't really mean it but the truth of the matter is I don't take my DSLR everywhere with me (even though I love it) but my smartphone....yep, that's pretty much always within arm's reach.  I must admit that I have been snooty in the past thinking that smartphone photographs just couldn't cut it when it came to quality photography but that's not true.  My most recent phone, the Motorola Droid Turbo, takes amazing pictures and is what changed my mind.

Illuminated Reglogle Globe Photo Taken with Droid Turbo #VZWBuzz #MoreVA cupcakesandcrinoline.com

I took this photo of an antique-store find, an illuminated Replogle Globe, just playing around and was absolutely thrilled with the photo.  I took it on a black background at night in my living room and couldn't believe how crisp and detailed the shot turned out.  I shared it on instagram and much to my surprise, the official Droid by Motorola account reposted it (I get super thrilled over things like that) my point here being that I played and took a risk.  My first thought was not even to try to take this picture but I did....and I'm glad.  

Ditch your DSLR Tips for taking awesome pictures with your smartphone from cupcakesandcrinoline.com #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

  • The key to getting great photos is to get familiar with your smartphone.  Snap away....take lots and lots of photos and make mental notes when taking them of what works....and what doesn't.  This isn't the days of film and having to get pictures developed before you can see what they look like.  The world we live in now is instant.  If something works note the details so you can repeat them.  I wanted a picture of my son jumping in the snow while we were in Boston with the Fairmont Copley behind him....the trip was such a happy one for us and I wanted to capture the moment.  The first try I counted to 3...he jumped and by the time I got the shot he was on the ground. It took two more tries but I got the shot I wanted and I love it! 
  • Natural lighting is almost always the better choice.  Using the flash can be the destroyer of an otherwise good picture so use your flash wisely and rarely.  
  • Don't use the zoom feature; this can cause your pictures to have a grainy texture.  Instead, take the photo and crop it afterward.  
  • Take a deep breath in and hold it....now push the button.  This will help to minimize shaking which can cause picture blur.  You can also use a timer and/or a tripod but when you're on the go holding your breath is a great alternative.  
  • Play with angles.  I'm short which really is annoying 😉 so I don't have many overhead angle choices and I've been known to put a white or light-colored surface on the floor and then place the object I want to photograph on top of it before snapping.  I've also used lower tables such as coffee tables and stools as the base for my photos.  

Smartphone Photography using Motorla Droid Turbo ~ styling tips cupcakesandcrinoline.com #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

  • Add smaller points of interest to your photos ~ seeds, flowers, beads, scissors, pencils, string, berries, confetti ~ you get the idea.  These things help to fill out the space and add to the style of the photograph.  They don't need to be anything dramatic ~ oftentimes the most common and mundane items add the most bang.  
  • Go for the unique.  One of the best tips I've ever been given regarding photography in general is that you don't always have to show the full picture.  Give a clue so that people want to see more or can make up their own story regarding the picture.  

Smartphone photography Do's and Don'ts from cupcakesandcrinoline.com #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

  • Just snap! I took this picture while flying and my seat wasn't the window seat...I held the camera at what I perceived to be a strange angle but the shot is another of my favorites.  It wasn't until I got home and was showing the pictures to my family that I realized the bottom corner of the wing was in the clouds.  

[Tweet "How to Take Awesome Pictures with Your Smartphone #VZWBuzz "]

Did you know that Verizon offers workshops for free so that you can get familiar with not only your smartphone but learn how to take better photos with it?  Well, they do! 

Verizon Wireless Main Page #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

To find a workshop near you and to find out all the classes they have to offer go to the Verizon Wireless main page and scroll to the bottom...... click on Wireless Workshops --->

Verizon Wireless Workshops Lifestyle #VZWBuzz #MoreVA

Enter your zip code and then choose Lifestyle (or any other workshops that interest you).

If you reside in Virginia and were or are a customer of nTelos you may find yourself looking for a wireless carrier of your choosing (not the one that was chosen for you).  If so, check out this wonderful offer for YOU only from Verizon Wireless ~ make the switch now and get a $150.00 Bill credit! ----> https://more.vzw.com/switchtosave/

What are some of your favorite smartphone photography tips? 

* All photos in this post were taken with the Motorola Droid Turbo 



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  1. Thanks for sharing these tips! I recently broke our DSLR and need to send it in to get fixed. I have been panicking about pictures.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your DSLR, Kim. I hope you get it back quickly. Hugs, mb

  2. Thanks for the top tips, I am not the best photographer, it must run in the genes, in most of my childhood pictures my Dad had chopped everyone's heads off... You have took some beautiful pictures, the airplane picture is truly stunning. Lucy x

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Oh, Lucy! You made me chuckle. In my family every picture my Mom took had a picture of her thumb in it! When my Dad took the pictures we usually had to NOT make eye contact with the camera....my pictures growing up were interesting to say the least. Have a lovely weekend and thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment ~ I appreciate you. hugs, mb

  3. TwoPlusCute says:

    Thank you for the tips! I am using a pocket camera for my blog and perhaps I can take better pictures using your tips and our smartphone. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Top 5 Reasons that I love my new Droid Turbo!