How to Get the Best Festival Pictures Using a Phone
January 22 2020 – Christopher Coughlin
Phones have taken over the world in good and bad ways. One of the positive outcomes has led to more convenient ways to take photos instead of lugging around a heavy camera to unpack. The time spent setting up can take away from the moment. Now in a few swipes, you can be ready. Many festival photos that we see are actually taken from phones, but they look great! There’s no secret to this, below are some tips and tricks to taking the best festival photos just by using a phone.
1. Wipe the Lens
This tip is often overlooked. Our phones can get dirty so easily without us knowing. Before taking photos give your phone camera a quick swipe with something soft so it doesn’t scratch up the lens.
2. Quality in Quantity
When it comes to pictures having more the better. Sometimes the perfect picture is ruined by the small things like if you blinked, someone walked in front of you, or if you moved too fast and the picture got a little blurry are just to name a few. By taking multiple photos you have options to choose from, picking the best one that has all the perfect combinations in a single shot.
This one is tricky sometimes finding a less crowded place can be difficult, especially at a festival where it’s chaotic. It’s all about the timing. Try to get a photo where the area has space and no one will be walking in front of your shot or bumping into you. The fewer people in the background the fewer distractions in the picture.
Another tip on timing is getting the right moment for the background to work with you. For example if a stage has light visuals take the picture with the stage to your back and time it so lights will shoot out as part of the background. For IPhone users the “Live” setting is beneficial to help capture moments before and after a picture in case you missed the perfect shot.
Take full advantage of natural lighting outside, especially golden hour. If the photos are turning a little dark try turning a tad. Try some photos with flash and some without flash. Another trick is to have a friend shine their flashlight from their phone on to you while someone takes the photo without flash, this gives your camera extra time to adjust and focus on the subject.
5:30pm (Golden Hour)
7:30 pm vs. 7:30 (same spot just turned 180!)(@charishangelica, @koretha: IG)
5. Grid trick
Most smartphones have this grid feature that is used for the Rule of Thirds. You want to keep the subject in the intersecting points of the lines to create a more interesting composition.
Some pictures caught unexpectedly sometimes turn out better than posed photos. A forced smile is easy to spot so relax and just be you! Candids are the perfect way to capture your true self. Don’t forget to tap to focus when taking the photo. Since candids don’t have people looking straight at the camera, the camera won’t pick up a subject if there are too many to choose from and will focus on background instead.
With outdoor lighting, sometimes the color gets washed out with the sun or lack of sun. A quick way to fix this is post picture editing. Some ways to bump up the color can be boosting up the saturation or vibrance. Temperature is another one you can play around with to fix any gloomy background.
Before / After
The most important part is to have fun and be yourself! Don’t worry about capturing every moment or getting the perfect one. Snap a couple pics to remember the moment, but remember to enjoy it.