1) Don’t use the zoom on the phone (unless it’s one of the rare OPTICAL zooms on a phone). You will get better pictures if you don’t zoom and you later crop your photo instead. A digital zoom is not a true zoom and will make your pixels look worse than if you crop. The more you zoom in on a cell phone the worse your photo is likely to get in terms of its quality.
2) It’s all about the light. Remember that photography is more about light than what camera you have with you. If you find amazing light you will get a great photo. Remember to shoot in the shade if it’s harsh light outside. Try to shoot in
golden hour or in conditions where the light is warm and soft feeling. Avoid harsh contrasts of light and dark areas as the phones sensor is not as powerful as some bigger cameras.
3) Think about your phone's post processing power as you take photos. Know your limits on your filters and apps. If you have a great sepia app on the phone you may want to take photos having that in mind. Some applications will let you adjust the colors and curves in your photos, learn how to use those tools! Make sure you learn how to use the curves tool with a cell phone. Lastly a good filter doesn’t make a bad picture any better.
4) Clean your lens! Sometimes camera phones get dirty as heck in your pocket. Or lint gets stuck to it. Or that pen that blew up in your pocket left its mark… If you are serious about phone photography clean your lens just like you would on a DSLR or more expensive camera.
5) Compose the horizon correctly. People shooting on camera phones don’t always notice if the photo is level as they hold it in 2 hands in front of them, at the same angle they are standing at. Most camera applications have an overlay of lines
that you can use to compose the shot better. Don’t just snap a shot! Think about the shot on the screen, then snap.
6) If you have a phone that can keep the camera application open in the background, do so. Make your camera on the phone easy to access. Make a shortcut on your screens to the camera. This will minimize you missing photos.
7) Get close to stuff! Some cell phones have amazing macro modes on them. With most cell phones you are more likely to get a good shot the closer you are to the subject. Take advantage of that and use it. A lot of phones have extra macro lenses you can purchase for them separately.
8) Stop with the flash. Most flashes on cell phones suck. They will not match the light in the rest or your photo the majority of the time. If you need to use the flash you may want to consider what the light is like around you and pick a better lit area.
9) Know how fast your camera “clicks”. Some phones have a noticeable delay between the sound of the click and the time the photo is actually taken. Press softly when you take the photo, be mindful you don’t move the phone as you click the button.
10) Apps! Apps! More apps! One of the best things about shooting on a smart phone is how many options are available for editing. There are thousands of photo applications that will let you tweak your photo in a lot of fun ways. Zombie cams, swap head cams, ghost cams! You get the idea. Have fun!