Say cheese, ’cause we’re about to flash the 10 tips guaranteed to help you style, shoot and share cell phone pics like a pro!

We’re gonna walk you through 10 simple steps that will help you step up your photography game! 


1. BE SURE YOUR PHONE IS SMART

  • Most modern smart phones have a mini DSLR built right in – yay!
  • Any model will work – it doesn’t have to be an iPhone.
  • Be sure that your phone has autofocus and the highest amount of megapixels possible.

2. PROP UP WHAT YOU’VE GOT…

  • Determine a “look” for your photos.
  • Your backdrop can be a table against a wall, a sheet, a paper roll, a piece
    of fabric, the floor, a canvas – use your imagination!
  • Find a place in your business to designate for photos every time.
  • Use props to give photos some life!

3. TRI USING AN EXTRA HAND

  • Although fancy schmancy newer phone cameras have image stabilization, hand holding may still result in a shaky, blurry image.
  • Small, tabletop tripods are inexpensive and easy to use.

4. LENS IS MORE

  • Ready for your close up?? If you want to capture a detail pic of a product, you’re going to need a macro snap-on lens.
  • Your smartphone can only focus from a certain distance away.
  • Cost will vary from $10 to over $100 but you do get what you pay for.

5. BEWARE OF POSERS

  • Composition is key – angles and subject matter matters!
  • Shooting from a low angle can cause distortion – it can make someone’s hips appear wider than they actually are or create double chins – yikes! Whatever is closet to the camera will appear largest.
  • Be red carpet ready! Avoid photographing models straight on. Shoulders are the widest part of the body and straight-on face shots are the most unflattering as well. Turn subjects slightly to the side and have them angle their feet.
  • Have models stick out their chin – aka “turtleneck” – to create an elongated look.

6. GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT

  • As a general rule, photography should look as natural as possible so natural light would be the first choice.
  • Turn off any interior light that might interfere with your natural light source. A bulb’s light will put a yellow-ish cast on your photo.
  • Use a white board to “bounce” window light onto a product or a subject’s face.

7. STEP OUT OF THE SHADOWS

  • Easily create a DIY Lightbox for your smart phone pics using a 3 light set up with 100 watt ‘daylight’ bulbs and foam core or poster board.
  • Don’t place the subject too close to the background to avoid heavy shadows.
  • Be sure to edit the photo to correct any unnatural casts or to further brighten the background.

8. VSC-OH YEAH

  • Create, shoot and edit your images with VSCO’s superior mobile presets and advanced camera controls.
  • VSCO also allows you to view your images in a grid similar to your Instagram feed so you can see what your profile will look like before you upload to Instagram.

9. APP-PROPRIATE EDITING

  • There are many apps you can use but we love Afterlight.
  • Using Afterlight you can edit colors, brightness, sharpness, add a filter and even add a border. We use Afterlight to create our circular borders for Instagram.

10. FILTER OUT THE BAD

  • Go easy on the filters. You want your photo to look like real life.
  • Remember presets you like and be consistent with any go-to steps for editing.
  • Use a critical eye on your photos. If you don’t love it, don’t use it.

The more you shoot and edit, the more comfortable you will be capturing amazing images. Just by making a few little tweaks you too can take your photos from nooooo to pro!


This article originally appeared in the June issue of WORK//BOOK™, our monthly e-magazine for WORK//SHOP™ members. WORK//SHOPAHOLICS™ can read the entire edition in the members’ area of www.retailerworkshop.com.

Not a member yet? We’d love to work hard with you so your customers shop harder. Join free for a month >>