Keep it clean

Clean your lens. It’s amazing how grubby your lens can get! Use a glasses cleaning cloth, soft cotton cloth or even your cotton T-shirt to give the lens a gentle clean. This will stop your photos looking foggy and having extra glare.

Turn your phone

Take your photos in landscape and portrait. So turn your phone to the side. Different formats are really useful for social media. You may even want to set the aspect ratio on your phone to 1:1 (Square) too, making it perfect for Instagram.

Get nice and close

Get nice and close. Pictures of people’s faces work much better than distanced shots of your stalls or market. Just like this example from Bury Market.

Take more to capture the magic

Take lots of pictures, as you are more likely to get that special shot. Chat with the person in the photo, make them laugh but keep snapping away throughout. It’s often one of those unexpected shots that will capture the magic.

Don't forget lighting & backgrounds

Make sure the scene is well-lit with the main light source behind the person taking the photo, so you don’t end up with photos in dark shadows. Check your backgrounds for unusual items and try and make them less busy. Signage and prices that may date, should also be avoided.

Take a good look around you and the area behind the image. It’s often better to ask traders to come and stand a couple of metres in front of their stalls for their photo.

Avoid zooming

Digital zoom nearly always produces poor results as it reduces the resolution of the image. Avoiding it is one of the basic photography tips for taking better photos. Optical zooms however are fine as they do not affect the quality of the photo and these are becoming more common on smartphones. If you only have a digital zoom then instead of using it, simply move closer to maintain the image quality.

Your phone can do more

HDR mode stands for High Dynamic Range, and it is increasingly common on many smartphones. It adds detail from the dark and light areas to provide better balanced exposure. In other words, it will stop the sky being too bright or the ground being too dark and really suits landscape photography. If there’s a big difference between the lightest and darkest parts of your scene, using the camera phone’s HDR function it’s a good option.

The rule of thirds

In the rule of thirds, an image is split into nine equal blocks that form a three-by-three grid. You should aim to get the most interesting parts of your image near the corners of these segments, where the imaginary gridlines meet. Using the rule of thirds give a more natural feeling to the image and allows the eye to flow around the picture with ease. In contrast to this, placing things symmetrical in your frame will give a clean and clinical feeling (which can also be a good look).

Give the rule of thirds a try. Whether you’re taking pictures of friends at a bar or working on a landscape shot, you’ll find it simple and effective.

Feature food & fill the frame

Get up close and focus in on a product or element. This tip works great with food and means getting in close to the item you are photographing. Sometimes, filling the whole frame with and image of the same stunning fruit or vegetables can have real impact. Take a look at some of these examples.

Cheeky Burger
Camborne 1

We hope these tips help you to take better images. The best tip of all? Practice, practice, practice……