Do you know that 95% of people make this mistake when taking smartphone photos?
Most people hold their phone like this: they open their camera, hold their phone up by their face and then shoot from that angle no matter what they are photographing.
Here’s why that is a the wrong way to position the camera. Smartphones have a fairly wide angle lens (and I’m not referring to the extra wide angle lens your phone might have).
The normal default lens (the lens your camera opens up to) is between 24mm-26mm depending on what phone and model you own.
If you know anything about lens, the wider the lens, the more the perspective will be off.
Think of a photo taken with a fisheye lens. The lines will bend almost to a circle at the outside edges of the photo.
If you hold your phone up by your face and photograph something lower than your camera, such as a child or pet, then you have to tilt your phone downward.
As soon as you tilt your phone either downward or upward, you will get perspective distortion.
The correct way to hold your phone
Instead, you always want to hold your phone straight, and on the same plane or level as what you are photographing.
Look at the two photos of my dog above. The image on the left was taken with my phone help up by my face, tilting downward. Look at the perspective problems.
His head is wide at the top and then the perspective lines bend inward, ending in tiny little feet.
Now compare that to the image on the right. In that image, I sat on the floor and held my camera straight, on the same level as my dog.
I did not tilt the phone downward and you can see there are no perspective problems.
Here is an easy solution so you don’t make this mistake when taking smartphone photos.
Turn on the in-camera grid
The camera does have a very handy aid to help you know when your phone is held correctly and it’s called the grid. To turn on the grid simply go into settings, then camera and then toggle on grid.
The grid is a series of horizontal and vertical lines that act as a guide so you can line up something in your image to one of the grid lines that you know to be horizontal or vertical.
So going forward, remember this tip: try and hold your phone straight and on the same plane as what you are shooting. You will notice a huge difference in the quality of your images.
If you want to read about more common mistakes most people make when using their smartphone camera then check out this post, Seven mistakes that ruin your smartphone photos.
Sheri Bruneau says
Linda, you always provide the details, and then the actionable items for us to carry out. I learned about the grid from you a couple of years ago and it is life-changing.
Thank you for your wonderful tips!