Step 1

Clean glass = happy glass

Most of us keep our phones in our pockets, bags, or our hands, and as a result the camera lens will get dirty. Your photo will be blurry, smudged, or have dust spots if you fail to clean the lens before you take the picture. A shot with a clean lens is always going to be better than a shot with a greasy thumb print.

blurry street picture

Step 2

Lighting Is everything

It’s ALL about the lighting! It’s what makes a good image a great image. Pay attention to how the sun hits certain objects. Notice how the light falls on a person or vehicle. Watch how the light from a window falls inside a room at different moments. The smart phone is not the greatest in low light situations. It’s best to capitalize on lighting conditions your device functions under best.

good lighting picture

Step 3

Shake hands, not your phone

Keeping your phone steady is important in all situations, but particularly in low light or at night. A few tricks to keep your photos crisp are to

  • Hold your phone horizontal at all times instead of vertical. You can even rest it on a solid surface or use a tripod.
  • Try burst mode when snapping pictures of moving objects
  • Know what you’ll use for your shutter (either the button assigned, a tripod, a timer, volume button, etc.)

shaky blurry pic

Step 4

Zoom with your feet

DO NOT EVER USE THE ZOOM ON YOUR PHONE! Using your phones zoom is the first step in taking a bad photo. If you want to take a photo of a faraway subject, don’t use the zoom, simply walk closer instead and use the camera as normal without any zoom.

android phone taking picture

Step 5

Focus, man

The most important thing to look out for when taking a photo is to make sure your subject is in sharp focus. To set the focus on most smart phones (or tablets) you simply have to tap the screen where your subject is in the frame. A small box will appear to confirm the focus point.

Step 6

It’s all about the angles

Try to always look at alternative points of view when taking your photos at any location. Different angles allow for better images. So, if you can and if it’s safe, climb up on a high vantage point, crouch down on the ground, or move to the side.

Step 7

Busy backgrounds

Watch out for distracting backgrounds. If the background is cluttered or there are a lot of distracting colors, it may take away from your intended subject (yourself, your friend or partner, or even that gorgeous sunset). If a busy background can’t be avoided, just take several images, and edit it in post.

Step 8

More is less

The chances of getting a good photo with your first shot are very slim, so don’t be afraid to take multiple shots. Try different angles and distances. The important thing here is that the more photos you shoot, the more comfortable you will get.

Step 9

Make it fun

The whole point of going on vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself, so don't let the allusive "perfect picture" drive you crazy. Snap a few shots then put your phone up and go back to vacationing like a boss! The more pictures you take, the better you'll get (which sounds like an excuse to keep taking vacations).

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