As mobile technology and design improves over time, anyone with a smartphone in their pocket has access to a higher quality camera than many talented photographers of days past could have ever dreamt of. Now, with the right accessories, apps, and a bit of practice, anyone can try their hand at the art of photography and produce beautiful images with no need to invest in heavy-duty equipment and expensive cameras.
Whether you need striking photos to complement your business, you dream of cultivating a thriving online following, or you simply want to upgrade your family portraits, the tools you need to get started with mobile photography are well within reach.
Most professional photographers would agree that lighting is everything when it comes to capturing the perfect shot. With good lighting on your side, the shutters of your camera won’t need to stay open too long, which results in a crisper, cleaner shot.
There is a lot to be said for natural lighting, but when that’s just not an option, there is equipment available to help you strike just the right balance. For many projects, an LED panel light and some well placed white sheets can make a huge difference in a dimly lit room. Aspiring influencers might find their needs met with a simple ring light; you can go all out with an adjustable rigged lamp, or go for a portable option like the eBoot clip-on LED light for the perfect selfie on the go. Even a white phone case can make a huge difference, as they reflect the light available against your face for much more flattering shots.
A tripod is a photographer’s best friend; investing in a stand for your phone will save you the motion blur of shaky hands and a sore back from twisting yourself into awkward positions to get the perfect angle. This is particularly important if you find yourself working outdoors a lot; the absence of solid ground can make for some uneven shots when the phone is held in your hands. In the comfort of your home, makeshift stands like shelves and tables might work in a pinch, but if you want a beautiful backdrop in the great outdoors, a tripod will keep your camera steady while protecting your phone from any damage caused by falling from unstable surfaces.
If you’re a beginner and don’t know what kind of stand you might need, a standard mobile photography kit is a good place to start. Most of these kits will offer a tripod fitted to smartphones and come with a few fun extras such as lenses to clip over your phone’s camera.
The Camkix Photography Kit is an affordable yet efficient option. The kit comes with 5 clip-on lenses, a Bluetooth shutter for hands-free shots, and a unique flexible tripod that can be stood upright or twisted around poles, branches, and other uneven surfaces to help you get those hard-to-reach angles. If you’re working alone, and are the subject of your own photography, can safely fix your phone to any surface, strike your pose and use your Bluetooth remote to set off the shutter.
Storage and Organisation
After any shoot, amateur and professional photographers alike often find their camera reel stuffed with dozens of identical shots, taken in an attempt to capture the most minuscule changes in lighting and angles. If you find yourself in this position, it’s often easier to open your photographs on a computer to get a better overview of what you’re working with, so remember to sync your cloud storage to make sure you have access to your work across all of your devices.
It can be frustrating trying to sift through and weed out the best images, but there are apps that can do the hard work on your behalf. Gemini, for example, is an app that identifies duplicate images among your camera reel and deletes the copies for you, saving you from scrolling past the same shot again and again until your eyes begin to blur.
As your photography hobby begins to take hold, you will inevitably find yourself running out of storage. If you’re reluctant to upgrade your iCloud package, AnyTrans can facilitate the transfer of photos from your iPhone to your Mac, helping you to make the most of your hard storage.
Both Gemini and AnyTrans are available through SetApp, a suite of apps curated for iOS and Mac users. SetApp subscribers are granted full access to more than 210 useful apps, so whether you need help with organizing your iCloud photos or finding alternative storage solutions, SetApp will inevitably have the answer to your problem.
Editing is the icing on the cake for photographers. The bulk of the work is done, and now your images need retouching, adjusting, or just an extra magical touch. Photo editing is a skill in itself, but even if you’re not proficient in editing software like Photoshop, there are many user-friendly apps that can help you to turn your photographs into works of art.
Many photographers favor the software VSCO, which comes in both mobile and desktop form. Their free photo editor offers basic editing tools and 10 presets to easily filter lighting and color across your photos while paying subscribers have access to a broader range of advanced tools and more presets.
If this is still too intimidating or complicated, beginners might enjoy Airbrush, a fun app that applies facial recognition to help you quickly and easily edit portraits and selfies. Airbrush includes a feature called Beauty Magic, which automatically makes fixes such as tooth whitening, red-eye correction, and blemish removal. The app also comes with several packages of free filters and paying subscribers can enjoy further aesthetic features such as facial sculpting.
While it’s not quite as simple as pointing your phone at a pretty sunset and posting it to Instagram, photography is becoming an increasingly accessible pastime. If you have the creative inclination and access to a smartphone, you’re already equipped to become a skilled photographer – this variety of apps and accessories will only serve to complement and improve your work.