Phone photography: How to take great photos with your phone – including action shots

September 11, 2018

Phone Photography Tips

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know I’m a lover of photos. I love taking photos and capturing moments in time. I adore my Canon 200D and the photos myself and Dann manage to capture. However it isn’t always easy or practical to carry around a big camera, but we still want to grab those special moments when we’re out and about so we need to do a bit of phone photography.

Being a blogger means I’m a bit particular about my photos. Bit of a glutton for punishment when it comes to photos to be honest.

But it means I’ve found ways to get the best possible images out of my phone. And I’m going to share a few of them with you today. (All tips are based off my Google Pixel 2 so there may be differences between phone types on what you can do)

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Portrait mode

I’m a huge fan of this setting. It basically takes two images at once, one in full normal focus, and the other with a blurred background. It puts the focus on the person in the frame. I’ve managed to get some great photos in this setting. Plus it’s always handy to have two of the same image if you’re choosey like me.

Phone Photography Tips Phone Photography Tips

Burst button

This is pretty much essential for anyone with a toddler because they are ALWAYS on the move. Some of my favourite shots happen to be action shots, usually of Henry running, or my “throwing in the air” shots with Dann. Burst mode means pressing and holding the shutter button and it takes lots of photos in very quick succession. To get the absolute best of this mode you’re best to be outside, and preferably in good light, as the brighter it is, the more focused the individual images are going to be.

Our “in the air” shots are taken with me basically on the floor, with the phone angled upwards. Count 1,2,3, hold the button, and then throw. We’ve cut it close before, only just capturing the height of the throw so it’s always a good idea to start shooting before the throw starts, you can then pick the particular image you want.

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Get down to their level

This is more of a general photography technique to be honest, but I always find that photos of my kids look better when shot low down, around their height, and not from my standing position. You’ll usually find Dann or I crouching or kneeling to take photos.

Phone Photography Tips

Shoot from below

One of my new favourite kids of shot, shooting from below the subject. It makes for a really unique photo and we’ve had some pretty great results. This also works really well on the “throwing in the air” shot as it makes it look like the throw is even higher than it is!

Phone Photography Tips

Take a “human flat lay”

My “human flat lay” is one of my most popular style of photos on my Instagram grid (alongside that “in the air” shot) and realistically is easiest taken on a phone. I have yet to work out how to take the same shot easily on my DSLR, especially as I use a fixed 50mm lens on it. But these shots are great on a phone, usually taken with either me standing over the boys, or with my arm stretched up. I do generally taken at least a dozen photos from slightly different positions for the latter as obviously I can’t actually see what I’m photographing, but with a bit of practice you do get the right photo quicker.

I’m also a big fan of the top-down shots above a bed that are taken from the ceiling. I really need to get the set up for this as I love them so much, and it’s either taken on a self timer or remote, which is super simple, but so effective!

Phone Photography Tips

So that’s my top tips for phone photography, particularly with kids.

What’s your top tip?

Phone photography: How to take great photos with your phone - including action shots

2 responses to “Phone photography: How to take great photos with your phone – including action shots”

  1. So many great tips here Rachel! Your ‘in the air’ shots are fab! Megan x

  2. Hels says:

    Love this post!! Your “in the air” shots are brilliant, and your baby flatlays are amazing, I wish I’d done some when Doug was smaller! I’ll definitely try getting down lower for photos, my current issue is though when I crouch down to get a photo, Dougie copies me and crouches down too!
    Hels XX

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