How-to take quality pictures using your phone

PastBook has put together the ultimate summer guide to capturing professional-looking images on your smartphone. 

How-to take quality pictures using your phone

As summer is now in full swing, many of us are once again enjoying alfresco dinners, staycations, outdoor hikes, and much more. Soon, our phones will be filled with the memories we have created whilst reconnecting with our friends and family, with these being shared on our social media accounts for our followers to connect with. 

At PastBook, we turn your social media uploads into high-quality, personalised printed photo books (and more) through innovative technology - in seconds. We do all the hard work, creating hassle-free, professionally printed photo books.  All you need to do is follow these essential tips to ensure you get the most out of your camera phone this summer. 


Here are a few simple ways to step up your photography game this summer.

Make the most of portrait mode

When capturing objects, pets or people, portrait mode is a must. Creating a depth-of-field effect - which lets you capture photos with a sharp focus on the subject with a blurred background - portrait mode is a failsafe way to effortlessly capture professional-looking images. When using this feature, it is important to note that the further away your subject, the more out of focus your background will be. 

Golden hour photography

Lighting will always be the most important element in photography. Without good lighting, a great photograph can be ruined. To guarantee great lighting when shooting outdoors this summer, always use the sun as a light source. My favourite time to shoot is always during golden hour - which is during the last hour of sunlight - as it always creates a beautifully lit photograph. 

Shooting in direct sunlight? Do this.

Shooting in harsh sunlight can lead to high contrast images, lens flare and over-saturation. To ensure you'll get a great shot, place your subject's back toward the sun. This not only adds highlights to the back of their hair but also stops any blinking. 

Crooked shots be gone

Composition is the way elements in a scene are arranged within the frame. You can activate the compositional grid on your camera phone, which will give you an onscreen guide to centre photos, create symmetry, and balance the image. 

If it's moving, use burst mode

Taking a beautiful action shot can often be challenging. Burst mode is perfect for these action shots. When capturing a subject in motion, simply enable 'burst mode' on your camera phone, and you will be able to capture exciting shots with minimal effort. 

Unusual angles and perspectives

Typically, we shoot our images at eye level, yet capturing an image from an extraordinary perspective can bring uniqueness to even the most basic images. Why not experiment with a combination of eye-level, high-angle, and low-angle shots this summer. 

Shoot with night mode

When shooting summer landscapes at night, activate the 'night mode' feature on your camera phone. This flashless setting allows you to light up the night and capture unique night-time photos. 

Use self-timer

 If you are looking to take a group photo (and include yourself in the image), a self-timer is the perfect tool. Luckily enough, we already have one built into our phones. This great tool can also be used on both the front and back camera of your smartphone. 

Try the built-in filters

Why not try out the array of built-in filters on your camera phone. Using these filters, you can create warmer versions of your image, cooler versions, more vivid colours, black-and-white looks, and more. 

Don't forget the selfie 

A selfie can transport you to the instance your image was captured, making them essential when shooting moments we want to look back on. Whether you are in front of a beautiful sunset or on a countryside walk this summer, why not take a selfie to remember the moment? 

Header Image Credit: PastBook


Saskia Calliste

Saskia Calliste Voice Team

Saskia is the Deputy Editor of Voice and has worked on campaigns such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, and Anti-Bullying Week. Outside of Voice, Saskia is a published author (Hairvolution) and has guest featured in various other publications (The Women Writers’ Handbook/ Cosmopolitan/ The Highlight). She has a BA in Creative Writing and Journalism and an MA in Publishing. She is a mentor for Women of the World Global, has guest lectured at the University of Roehampton and has led seminars/panel talks on Race, Equality and Diversity. She was a 2022 Guest Judge for Dave (TV Channel) in search of the 'Joke of the Fringe'. She is 27-years-old, based in London, and loves to cook and explore new places in her spare time.

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