6 expert advice on shooting better with your smartphone

Julian Cheong and Jeff Chouw risk their livelihood by revealing top-secret smartphone photography tips

Everyone can use their smartphone to take a photography. But not everyone can take amazing shots like our Smartphone Photography Awards judges Julian Cheong and Jeff Chouw.

So the question is, can you ever be as good as them? It's possible, with a little help from Cheong and Chouw when they conducted a smartphone photography masterclass and shared a few tips to shoot better with smartphones.

While the session was exclusive to readers who signed up for the event, the judges were in a sharing mood and decided to share a few pointers from the masterclass to everyone.

Photo by Julian Cheong

Frame your subject

Haha, real funny if you thought we wanted you to implicate your subject in a crime. In this case, Cheong wants you to place emphasis on the subject by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene.

"Frames can be typically classified as structural and environmental. Structural frames are man made, the most common being doors and windows. Environmental frames are things that you can find in nature like trees and plants. They can even be light and shadows," said Cheong.

Photo by Julian Cheong

Finding symmetry in imagery

Putting some form of order in your photos can do wonders to the final shot. Cheong suggests that can be achieve via symmetry, dividing an image into two equal parts which are mirror images of each other.

"Symmetry is pleasing to the eye and it can be either vertical or horizontal. Symmetry can also be found in architecture and places," added Cheong.

Photo by Julian Cheong

Fill the frame

Filling the frame is particularly important when photographing people whose facial features tend to disappear when you move a few meters away from them. In order to fill the frame, get close to your subject.

"There are many ways to get close including using your cameras zoom function. You can also crop the photos while editing. But the most effective way of filling the frame would be to use your legs to position yourself effectively for close up shots," said Cheong

Photo by Jeff Chouw

Light makes right

If Chouw doesn't make food look good, he won't look good. Fortunately for the food photographer, his food photography skill is a legend. But despite all the skills, Chouw reminds us that it's all about the right place and the right time. Also, the right lighting condition. "Good day light brings out the palate of colours," said Chouw.

Photo by Jeff Chouw

Details, details and details

Never underestimate how important details are, especially when it comes to food photography. For that matter, getting all the details in the shot is quite simply a matter of distance. "Go close to hunt for details," said Chouw. The whole point of getting up close, he highlights, is to capture even the tiniest details.

Photo by Jeff Chouw

A multi-angle approach

Switch it up and never stick with one particular angle. Just like food-tasting, if you taste the same food every day, you'll be sick of it. Likewise, with a little creative change in the angles, you could see the food in a brand new light. Randomness is the key to everything. "Be brave and explore different angles," added Chouw, reminding us that perspective is also all relative, depending on how you see the food through the lens of the smartphone's camera.