I had the pleasure of hearing Olly Lang speak at The Photography Show recently and in case you aren’t familiar he is a mobile photography legend. He has shot for ASOS, Burberry, Mercedes Benz, HTC and Nokia just to name a few.
Many bloggers like myself have been brandishing our DSLRs like a shiny new toy and casting aside out phones until we are eating something worth sharing, or y’know when our children do something we deem share worthy (all the time by the way). Or we lug out huge Crumpler bags across the country to check out a blogger event – when all the time, the real weapon, the real deal was in the mobile pocket in our bags or our back pocket on our jeans.
Olly shed some light on how to make the most of your mobile photography and while you’re sitting later downloading the apps I mention in the list make sure to check Olly out on Instagram, Twitter and Flickr.
Why is Mobilography so awesome?
- Make your pictures relevant and interesting
- Social sharing is key
- Don’t be afraid to pull out you iPhone when everyone else is holding a DSLR monster
- Learn to work your exposure on your phone
- You always have your camera, so you never have to miss a moment
- Use your light sources, play with windows, lamps, angles and the sun
- Look at your spaces, think about depth, focus, shadows and how you can make them talk
- Spend time. Yes, a quick snap can be something beautiful, but a great shot can be timed, worked on and really tell a story.
- Spare battery is your best buddy
- People will behave more naturally with a phone around than a giant camera, you will get the relaxed and natural shots easier
- Get close, your phone isn’t super macro but get in close, use the light and you’ll uncover some amazing details
- Landscape pictures are great, those shots of grey fields are like worthy but look for layer in your pictures
- Chase the light, if you get out of work in time for the golden hour, plan a shoot at your favourite spot and see what you can create
- Play with shadows, use your own shadow to create interesting shapes, use other shadows to create depth and texture
- Find shapes, arcs, squares, triangles and use them
- Fill your frame
Mobile Photography Tips for #Portraits taken on your mobile
- Use your backlight, play with it
- LED lights to fill the front, it’s mobile and you have full control
- Watch your wide angel lens – bends at the edges and can distort the top and bottom of the photo
- Natural light is always better – use whenever possible
- Use reflections in glass, windows, glasses and anywhere else to give an extra dimension to your photos
- Blurry is FINE, it lends to a more realistic and natural photo – realistic scenes
- Change the aspects, try out another angle
- Close-up is great, go for it
- He also said if you are holding a hawk in a selfie, wobble your arm a bit and it will spread it’s wings. Glorious.
Top Tips from Oggsie
- Take bad photos and learn from them
- Create and share regularly
- Check out #instameet & #24hourproject for inspiration
- People are viewing the pictures you’ve taken on the same devices, work with that knowledge
- Treat your apps like photos, if they are rubbish, old or you don’t use them bin them
- For Editing have a look at Snapseed, VSCOcam and procamera
- Brighten your image – always
- Context, if your picture doesn’t tell a full story supply text that does
- Always use hashtags – people connect all over the world with simple hashtags
- Publish a photo, don’t just share it – it is a piece of art, work and publish it properly
- You want comments not likes, comments show you evoked an emotional response enough for someone to spend time sharing a thought with you
- Unfollow your friends (curate your followers) and follow a lot of photographers for daily inspiration
So there you have it. Top tips from a Mobile Phone Photographer.