• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

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No more blurry selfies: How to take better phone pics

Jul 26, 2023 , , ,

Your fancy smartphone won’t do you much good if it’s dead. Here’s the best way to charge yours, from a certified tech pro.

One more knowledge drop from me to you: Your phone is full of hidden apps and settings. I’m always surprised developers don’t brag about this stuff more.

Most of us take a picture or video every single day. Make them count with these simple steps.


1. Set yourself up for success

When was the last time you did a little upkeep on your phone’s camera?

Clean your camera lens with a microfiber cloth: Inexpensive microfiber cloths are excellent because they won’t scratch your lenses. Wipe down your front and back cameras to get rid of any fingerprints or debris. Be gentle.

Get comfortable with your camera specs: If you’re taking a video of something important, take a minute to switch your camera to 4K if you have it. The same goes for photos. Your phone likely has many optimized modes to take the best pictures, depending on the scenario. Try them out and find the ones you like best.

digital camera

Person holds digital camera (Cyberguy.com)

Pro tip: I love portrait mode for dramatic pictures of pets and little kids. So cute!

Double-check your storage

High-quality photos take up a lot of space. If you plan on flexing your photography skills, check your phone’s internal storage. Take a practice photo with the settings you like, then look at the photo file size to get a rough idea of how many you can take before you run out of space.

Are your phone’s photos backed up? Are you sure? Here’s how to get the job done.


2. Go au naturel

Natural light beats artificial light in nearly every situation. It’s not quite that simple, though. Remember these rules of thumb:

  • Don’t photograph a person standing directly under a light. Direct light is harsh and can highlight bumps, wrinkles and blemishes. Soft natural light is much more flattering.
  • Have your subject face the light so it illuminates their features. Outside, that means facing the sun. If you’re stuck with artificial light, do the same. Have the person look toward the light.
  • Find a patch of shade if it’s bright enough that your subject is squinting.
digital camera

Digital Camera Sits on a Stand (Cyberguy.com)

Pro tip: Photographers swear by cloudy days for portraits. There’s still enough light outside to make everyone look nice and bright, but no glaring sun to squint at. Try it!

Look better in selfies and group pics. We all want to look our best.

3. Use a tripod

Depending on what you’re taking photos of, a tripod can go a long way. It helps you find the perfect height and keeps your phone stable. It might feel like overkill, but tripods don’t cost much and genuinely make a difference. 


Pro tip: They’re perfect for group photos. No more leaning your phone against something and hoping it stays up.

4. The golden rule

iphone apple camera

Person takes picture on iPhone (Cyberguy.com)

Ever wonder what that grid option in your smartphone camera is good for? Nope, you don’t want to center your subject. Instead, use the rule of thirds.

It’s a composition guideline that divides your image into a three-by-three grid. All the key elements should be along the lines, not in the middle of a square. This makes for a more balanced, dynamic result.

Tall subjects such as trees or buildings should appear to meet the top corners of your center box. Smaller subjects should begin with the bottom line of the center box.

5. Don’t wait for the perfect moment

Capturing movement is challenging. All the dog owners and parents of small children know what I mean. Burst mode can help. This feature enables your camera to take pictures faster than humanly possible. You get multiple photos for each second and can select your favorites.

On just about every smartphone that supports it, you can activate burst mode by holding down the shutter button. Go to your gallery and choose the photo set to see all your shots.

Note: All those pictures take up a lot of space, so just save the best shots from the set.

Phone Photos 201: How to find and search all the images you’ve sent to other people

Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST PICK: Netflix’s heartbreak feature, $200K+ virtual knife & UFO hotspots revealed

Plus, a smartphone helper that isn’t Siri or Google. Fancy riding a motorcycle like the Terminator? BMW’s new smart glasses could make this a reality. Check out six ways to make money with your car and ensure you get the best Starlink coverage.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”


Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 400,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

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