How To Master The Art Of Mobile Photography

First image...
Mobile photography magic from Brian Ladder in Miami and (right) Seattle.

Travel Photo Pro Tips

Make your cell phone shots stand out online.

Instagram photos captured in Big Sur, California and (below) Iceland.

Originally appeared in September 2015 issue of Virtuoso Life.

As part of Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s #MiamiMyWay package, guests receive a course in cell phone photography from local pros Brian Ladder and Jose “@OasisJae” Narvaez, who collectively have 80,000-plus Instagram followers. Here, Ladder’s tips for taking share-worthy shots with your phone.

Go beyond the standard shot and seek out bursts of color, eye-popping patterns, and symmetrical scenes. Then take plenty of photos from multiple angles; you can sort through them later.  

For great portraits, stand with your back to the sun, but to capture interesting shadows and silhouettes of people, buildings, and trees, take the photo while facing the sun. The best time for silhouettes is at sunrise or sunset, when the sun is at eye level rather than directly above.

The greatest images are the ones captured in well-lit areas. Using the flash can result in a grainier shot.

User-friendly apps such as VSCO Cam and Snapseed (both free) let you crop, adjust brightness and contrast levels, and add filters to your photos. But remember: When editing, subtlety is key. Make changes in tiny increments – up levels by five or ten percent rather than 70 or 80. The best edits are the ones your followers won’t notice.

Above photos, clockwise from top left: Brian Ladder, Korena Bolding-Sinnett, Amy Cassell 

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