Full disclosure, I’m not a professional photographer, nor do I pretend to be. I work with some outstanding ones though and can recommend them for any of your photography needs. However, many of my clients have dozens of events or happenings that pictures are taken on people’s phones and then sent to me to reproduce well in varying media. Below are some helpful tips for those events where it is not practical to have a professional on site or even a real camera.
First tip: Settings. Check your camera settings on your phone. I have an Android and it’s quite simple. If you can take a picture on it, then you can fix the settings to give you the best quality shot possible. It’s usually listed under resolution. Choose the largest. See below where I circled in blue my camera’s largest available setting, I also circled what the setting icon looks like. For those with iPhones (4, 4S or 5) or an iPad, no resolution adjustments are necessary. They are set at their maximum resolution.
Second tip: Lighting. If you are taking a picture of people outside on a bright sunny day, have the sun to your back, not theirs. See the difference below. My tween son graciously modeled for me here, but only if he could stand backwards. I’m not supposed to embarrass him with his friends (like they’re reading my blog). You can see the difference in brightness immediately.
Third tip: Composition. This might seem silly, but I have seen it happen more than you think. Be aware of what’s directly behind the subject you’re photographing and items like trees or poles. See below.
Fourth tip: More on composition. I receive countless photos of people too far away, so I have to crop the picture. What’s the problem with that? It makes the actual picture smaller, so if you want to print it large you’re out of luck. Move a few steps to get in closer. It also makes for a nicer photo, especially if you don’t have cropping tools. See comparison below.
These are some pretty simple tips you can share for your next event. The cameras on phones have come a long way and can produce a nice picture if you take a few minutes to setup the shot. In the end, it all contributes to supporting your mission. If you would like a PDF of these tips to share with others, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.