Smartphone photography with Philly Mohlala: Get your photography game up using these tips

You may not always need an expensive camera to get good high quality images but you do need to have good photographing skills. It’s not always your phone that’s not up to speed, sometimes your skills are not polished enough. Your smartphone is capable of a lot more than you’re aware of and when used the right way it can produce great looking images. We asked photographer Philly Mohlala for tips on optimising smartphone photography – familiarise yourself with them and you’ll be well on your way to snapping like a pro.


Q: Why is it better to avoid zooming in?

A: Zooming in will compromise your quality, something we can’t afford to compromise now

Q: Why is it important to use gridlines?

A: Composition is everything, gridline are there to assist you to get that right.

Q: What’s the best way to get symmetry?

A: Whatever you do, make it interesting. My best symmetry is Asymmetry.

Q: What does symmetry do for a photograph?

A: It gives the image more depth and makes it more visually appealing.

Cellphone settings

Q: People don’t always have their cellphones on the right setting for the right conditions, e.g. mood and lighting.

A: First thing first, clean you camera! The rest will fall into place.

Q: How would you suggest they play around with the settings?

A: The darker the images, more interesting they are.

Positioning objects

Q: What does negative space do for an image?

A: Negative space is everything. Give your subject matter some space to breathe.

Q: Why is taking images from above and below more interesting instead of always taking them straight on important?

A: It really depends on what it is that you are photographing, that doesn’t always work for everything.


Q: What’s the best time to get good natural lighting?

A: The sun should be your best friend! As long as the sun is out, snap that snap!

Q: What to do when you don’t have good lighting?

A: Rely on the editing apps.


Q: What are the different ways to photograph colour e.g. colour blocking, contrasting colours and colours that complement each other?

A: Before you jump into it, know your colour wheel, it will help.

Instagram: Philly_Mohlala

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