7 tips to take fantastic holiday snaps on your smartphone

We all have that one friend that always seems to effortlessly take incredible holiday snaps using only their smartphone. In all likelihood it isn’t a natural gift, they’re just following a few simple pointers.

To help you to fully capture your adventures, and maybe get a few more likes on Facebook, we’re sharing some tips to take some eye catching snaps.

Rule of two thirds

This is the number 1 rule of photography whether you are using a smartphone or not.

Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal parts or boxes. Turning gridlines on from your camera app will definitely help.

The rule states that the subject of the image should be where the gridlines meet or along the lines as this is where the eye is drawn to rather than the centre of the image.

For example the subject of the image below sits in the bottom third where the gridlines would meet and the building behind lies along the first vertical gridlines creating an absorbing affect.

Burst mode

Avoid unnatural smiles and closed eyes by taking a number of photos and choosing the best one. It works well in motion, something as simple as walking down the pier can look more natural and less contrived.

Leading lines

Blogger Kate Wesson explains that ‘leading lines are one of the most powerful tools for creating high impact iPhone photos. When used correctly, they add wonderful depth by drawing the eye deep into the image.’ Look out for coastlines, street curbs and paths for example to create a stunning image.


Angles, angles, angles

There’s nothing more uninspiring than taking a straight shot from natural eye level. Why not try something from a bird’s eye view, straight up, up close or low to the ground. The results can be intriguing:


Turn your flash off

As Lindsay Kolowich explains in her blog, ‘You'd be hard-pressed to find a great smartphone photo that was taken with a flash. Most of the time, they're overexposed and make the colours in your photo go totally out of whack. Instead of using flash, take advantage of the sources of natural light you can find. You might even play with shadows or create a silhouette.’

Negative space

‘Negative space simply means the area around and between the subjects of an image. When it comes to composing great photos, use simplicity to your advantage. When you include a lot of empty space, your subject will stand out more and evoke a stronger reaction from your viewer. Oftentimes, negative space is a large expanse of open sky, water, an empty field, or a large wall’ explains blogger Lindsay Kolowich.

Crop don’t zoom

If you want to shoot something far away and use the zoom mode on your phone camera, you lose the higher photo resolution. If you plan on viewing your photos on a PC, it’s better to keep your zoom at the widest and then crop your photos later on your PC photo editor.


Don’t get too disheartened if it rains on holiday, see it as an opportunity! You can create a stunning effect through reflections from puddles, lakes or mirrors.

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