5 Tips for Lighting Better Smartphone Photos

Taking family photos is something anyone can do, but can you do it with professional lighting techniques? The answer is yes with these important lighting tips for getting the most out of your family photo shoots. And like the three laws of real estate — location, location, location — in photography it’s all about lighting, lighting and lighting. Absent a fancy professional photography studio, use what the good Lord gave you: Sunlight.

Location, Location, Location

If at all possible, take photos outdoors where the lighting tends to be more even. Your smartphone has built in white balance filters and auto-contrast that will help produce quality images.

Timing is Key

Try to take photos in the morning or at dusk if possible, as these times offer the best lighting. Watch for unflattering shadows and avoid having the sun behind the subjects or you might end up with a darker photo. Enable HDR (increasing the dynamic range of the image sensor) to lighten darker areas and darken the brighter spots of your image.

Taming the Indoors

Inside, position your group across from a large, clean window. Hang a thin curtain to soften or diffuse the light if it’s too bright. Test your on-camera flash for closeups as this can be a better alternative.

Angled for Perfection

Position your subjects at a downward angle to take advantage of overhead lamps or light fixtures.