Cell Phone Photography

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Cell Phone Photography

Tutorial on how to take great cell phone pictures.

So many of us hear that cell phones take amazing pictures yet as in many of our cases, our cell phone photography turns out blurry and over/under exposed.  This leaves you wondering “What in the heck is everyone talking about?  I have the newest cell phone and it takes crappy pictures.”  Well, it’s NOT necessarily the cell phone, unfortunately it is usually the user.

Many of my friends and family have the same unfortunate experiences with bad cell phone pictures which led me to do a simple but informative “cell phone pictures” tutorial….and to save the millions of future precious memories that almost everyone with a cell phone takes daily.  I hope this tutorial will help you take better cell phone pictures and/or tablet pictures.

Now I am an APPLE girl through and through but I will try my best to give you the basics that should work for any brand. (Picture examples are iPhone camera settings).

Ok, let’s get started 🙂


We will start with how to focus and capture that clear shot.

  • So you have decided to take the 1 million and one shot of your beautiful blue eyed pussy cat Milo.  Now to capture those beautiful blue eyes, I want my cell phone camera to focus directly on his eyes.  To do that, touch the screen on the exact area you want the camera to focus on…you will notice that most cameras will take a second to focus but if you give it a second, then click the shutter button, you will get a clear image.
  • See where the yellow box + sun are on Milo’s eye, this was the area I touched to have the camera focus.  If I wanted the other eye more in focus, I would have touch that area so the box would showed up there – meaning that is the area the camera is focusing upon.  This is a close up so it is a bit more precise on showing how the focusing aspect of the cell phone camera works.  On distant photos, you have a larger depth of field meaning more items are in focus…but you still need to touch the area that is most important to be focused.
Cell Phone Focusing Tutorial


  • Let’s say you are in a dimly lit room and you are having problems with the subject being too dark.  This is where the exposure setting is handy.  On most new cell phones and cell phone operating systems, they have incorporated an exposure setting.  On the iPhone, it shows up right beside the focus square…see the yellow sun.
  • Once you have touched the area on the cell phone screen to focus your subject, touch the sun and slide the sun up for more exposure or down for less exposure.  This will help with adding or reducing the amount of light on your subject.  As you can see in the image, there is a sun with a vertical line which indicates that I can adjust the exposure to either add or reduce the amount of light on my subject.
Cell Phone Exposure Tutorial


  • Now it’s time to do a quick edit just to get those cell phone pictures to the “best it can be” stage in just a click or two.  It really takes no time at all to do a few edits to perk up your image a bit.
  • On the iPhone, once you have taken the picture, you just need to tap the box at the bottom righthand corner to open your image.  Then you have edit options.  The quickest edit is the auto adjustment setting which is the magic wand.  This just gives the image a quick tweak.  If that’s all you have patience for, then save your image and voila…great cell phone pictures!
  • If you have time to play I encourage you to check out the other options in your edit menu to get you one more step towards great cell phone pictures, such as
    • cropping
    • photo filters
    • exposure/color correction/black & white converter and more depending on your camera, additional photo apps and operating systems.
Cell Phone Editing Tutorial

So to wrap things up, yes cell phones can take great pictures…you just need to know how to use it effectively. I hope I was able to share some easy tips on the cell phone picture mystery so many people struggle with.

If you have any questions or would like more in-depth tutorials on cell phone pictures, please leave me a comment and I will try to answer them as best as possible. My goal is that EVERYONE take the best cell phone pictures possible. Don’t forget to LIKE my post if this was of some use to you and Happy Snapping!

Lea-ann Gerling

Here are some additional tips/links to taking great cell phone pictures:

National Geographic

Samsung Galaxy Tips

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