Five Tips for Mobile Photography

There is a time for posting Starbucks name misspellings, but mobile photography benefits the journalism world too. An inconspicuous portable camera is great for photographers, and netted Damon Winters a third place feature award from POYi.

Follow these five takeaways from #NOFILTER: How Social Photography Is Changing News and Journalism, hosted by Richard Koci Hernandez and Claire O’Neill, to maximize the potential of your own mobile photography.

Ditch the default camera application.

DLSR photography options on an iPhone are possible, thanks to ProCamera ($2.99 at the App Store). Toss in Filterstorm plus Hisptamatic ($3.99 and $1.99 at the App Store) for a pocket sized light room. Android users fret not. Koci suggests Camera ICS (Free at Google Play) as an upgrade for shooting.

Think #nofilter, but use one if it adds to the photo.

Add a filter only if the image needs it. If there’s no justifiable reason, Koci argues, then don’t bother adding any color changes. Black and white, just like with traditional photography, can add drama to a mobile image, but requires a subject matter worthy of the effect.

Use Instagram, personally or through an organization, as a promotional tool.

Instagram is, as Koci describes it, a free billboard for promotion and engagement. Social photography is the ideal way to promote your brand, on a personal or publication level, and drive followers to your content. And O’Neill suggests that “Instagram is personal.” Give connections, and perhaps potential employers, a view into the world through your eyes.

Self-assign on your own beat.

For those out of j-school, weekly assignments may seem like a bore. But narrowing down a theme (think 10 photos at a beach or in a city) can help you refine skills and increase your comfort level with photography on a phone.

Have your camera at the ready 24/7.

“The best staff photographers always have their camera on them,” Koci said. With a camera phone, it’s how any journalist works all day. Remember that with a camera in your pocket, any event can be photographed.

(All photos by Brandon Weight)