Smartphone photography has simplified a practice that used to be quite complicated – taking a great photo.  Years ago, you needed a serious knowledge of the rules of photography, and be able to find your way round a set of camera dials and buttons, to make a photo.  Now, you can just pull your phone out of your pocket and click away and, chances are, you’re going to get something decent.  And, with a bit of thought, you can get something a lot better than decent.

While it can’t compete with a pro-level DSLR in terms of overall quality, it’s remarkable what you can achieve with the camera built into your smartphone.  But don’t think that, just because the software is doing a lot of the hard work for you, you can be sloppy and always get good results.  It doesn’t work like that.  But by following a few simple rules and learning a few tips, you can dramatically improve the quality of your photos.  And, whether you’re looking to gain more Instagram followers, or using the photos to promote your business, you need the photos to look as good as possible.

So, here are three very simple tips to get you started.

Firstly, clean the lens every so often.  Your smartphone is handled by you all day long; pushed into pockets, pulled out of bags, grabbed from the table.  And chances are you’re getting fingerprints all over the lens.  You want your photos to look crisp and sharp, so get rid of any smears that make your shots look milky or fuzzy.  Couldn’t be simpler.

Secondly, learn to hold the camera properly.  ‘Properly’ means using two hands.  One hand should be holding the phone steady, the other hand is holding the phone and pressing the shutter button.  And practice pressing the button.  Don’t jab it.  Press it.  Softly.  You want the camera to be as still as possible when you take the photo, or you run the risk of having a shaky, out of focus photo.  And that’s not good.

Thirdly – and this is so simple – hold your breath.  As you’re about to press the shutter button, just hold your breath for a few seconds.  Why?  Because when you breathe in and out your body is moving – okay, ever so slightly, but you want a nice, clear, sharp photo, so this simple action will stop your body making that slight movement and help keep the photo sharp.

I told you they were easy!

Go on, give them a try.  I promise you that you’ll start to see an improvement in the quality of the photos you’re taking just by using those three simple tips.  And please send any photos that you’re especially pleased with as you’re out practising.