Skip to Content
z_-_Photo_of_Trey_2.png

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

Article by Trey Ratcliff 07.18.2017

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes I have with me is my phone. I've come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1. Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

1.png

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2. Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

2.png

Here's a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this "look."

3. Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo.  Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Trey Ratcliff - Vienna - 15.jpg

Before a photo walk I led in Vienna, I spotted a talented accordion player enjoying an afternoon in Volksgarten, who just so happened to be wearing a horse mask on his head.

4. Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level.  Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

4.png

Finally, here's a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there's no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it's nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Other Articles You May Like


80 Stays Around the World with Trey Ratcliff

Photographer Trey Ratcliff partnered with The Ritz-Carlton for 80 Stays, a tour across Europe with photo walks hosted in each destination.

Read More

Secluded & Spectacular

These stunning destinations from The Ritz-Carlton offer the ultimate in luxury and seclusion.

Read More

Summer in Europe

There's no better time than summer to travel to a new destination, especially one that offers boundless dining, sightseeing and of course, relaxation.

Read More