Introduction: How to Take Better Pictures With a Camera Phone

This should cover at least a few ways to improve the quality of camera phone photos and prolong the camera's longevity.

Step 1: Know Your Phone

You'll optimize the quality of your photos if you really get to know your phone. Does it work best with the light source in the back, or is it better at the side? Does it have a flash? Will it blur with the slightest bit of motion? Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions helps a lot. Also, check around the options to see if you can control some setting like aperture, exposure time, flash, white balance, etc. To learn more about all that, read one of many photography tutorials on this site.

Step 2: Hold It Steady

If you have steady hands, you can easily eliminate most of the common blur in phone pictures. Also, most phones focus slowly, so you usually have to center it on a spot for a few seconds before the shot.
Note: The pictures below is not with my camera phone, I don't know how to put those on my computer.

Step 3: Lighting

Lighting is a crucial element in any photograph. If you have a flash, try it without first, then with flash on. Usually no flash is better. If you can't control this manually you can "trick" your light sensor by covering it or shining LEDs into it.

Take a look at the photos below. The first picture is with both lights on in the room. The second is with only the light behind the camera on. The reason the second photo is brighter in certain ares is that because there was less light in the room, the camera auto-brightened it more, and overshot it a bit. Changing lighting in this way can eliminate grainyness or static and make objects more visible. Also, outside pictures have a pretty good light balance. And, if you can change the white balance on your camera (see the photo in step 1) you can set it to daylight or incandescent light mode.

Step 4: Pictures of Yourself

If you like to take pictures of yourself using the screen on the front (only works on some phones), than you must accept that you will have less of a picture to guide you. It's a guessing game. To photo graph yourself, just be sure to look into the lens, otherwise the photo will show you looking either down or up.

Step 5: Keep Your Lens Clean

If you clean off your lens, your camera will take much better pictures. You can use a bandana (well broken-in, other wise it'll scratch), a tissue, or a lens cleaning cloth. If you want to be really pro, use a lens cleaning solution.

Step 6: Conclusion

That's all of my tips. Hope you enjoyed them. For an easier way to hole your camera steady, here's some instructions for a tripod.

All comments are appreciated.


sjoobbani (author)2010-03-04


joemonkey (author)2008-08-19

SGH a437! i have the same phone!

cam42 (author)joemonkey2009-06-14

I don't. haha

wolfmanthe (author)joemonkey2008-08-19

i've got the same phone too, mine's red though

ultrauber (author)wolfmanthe2008-08-19

Yeah, it's pretty sweet.

bruno13069 (author)2009-05-22

One other thing.... When you're taking a picture of a shiny object, cover the back display with your fingers, or you'll get a reflection artifact.

cool! (author)2008-08-19

Pretty nice job. The one thing that comes to mind right now that would really make it better would be to load pictures taken by the camera onto instructables instead of taking pictures of them.

bruno13069 (author)cool!2009-05-22

You can buy a Boothtooth USB dongle and transfer the pics to your computer. I've used it to put computer pics onto my phone so I could customize my backgrounds. Amazon has them, and I think eBay should as well

ultrauber (author)cool!2008-08-19

Note: The pictures below is not with my camera phone, I don't know how to put those on my computer
Actually, I think I can use email from the phone and attach them, but that would cost about 50 bagillion dollars.

bugme (author)ultrauber2008-08-19

You can text message an email address. If you don't have a text messaging plan a picture message should only be 25 cents.

HeWantsRevenge (author)bugme2008-08-19

bugme is correct...all cells should have an option when texting to send to either a number or an email address unless ur phones from the 80's hahaha

ultrauber (author)HeWantsRevenge2008-08-19

So...I'd text whatever with a picture to my email address? And does it count as one multimedia text? Good to know.

bugme (author)ultrauber2008-08-19

Yep, just add a contact as your email address and it will count as a mms when you text message it.

XxUnicornSkieexX (author)2009-01-06

i used to have that same exact phone except it was a striped t-mobile samsung

galenorama (author)2008-11-09

Awesome! I believe that you shouldn't use a tissue to clean a camera's lens, though, because the wood fibers can scratch.

ultrauber (author)galenorama2008-11-09

That's paper towels.

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