Smart Photography on a Smartphone graphic.

Smart Photography on a Smartphone

Sharing pictures on social media is one of the best ways to tell your story. But what kind of story are you telling with those pictures? You want the photos on your business page to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, but you want it to be for the right reasons.

As a small business owner, you might not have access to professional photographers or expensive cameras and equipment. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking quality pictures on your smartphone that you can share on your business profiles.

Here are a few helpful tips to taking better pictures on your smartphone:

Go Organic Fruit Display

Get close and fill the viewfinder

Depending on what you’re photographing, you will want to get close to it when taking a picture so that you not only get all the detail of your subject but also block out anything distracting in the background. A grocery store is usually filled with backgrounds that could be considered distracting, such as shelves filled with products, food displays, people, etc.

Smartphones give you the option to crop your images to pre-measured ratios or to any custom ratio you want. So if you notice something distracting in the background, remember that you can always crop it out after you’ve taken the picture.

Check BackgroundCheck the background

Speaking of background, pay attention to what’s going on in the background of your pictures. Look for people walking in the shot and wait for them to pass. You might be tempted to post pictures with customers walking in them so the store looks busy, but this can be distracting to the viewer. Especially if the person is walking fast and looks blurred in the picture.

Also check to see that everything around the product you’re photographing is clean and appropriate for the subject being taken. Don’t take a picture of a product marketed to children with something like cigarettes or alcohol in the background.

Get the right light

This might be difficult to do in a grocery store since they often have overhead fluorescent lighting that you can’t adjust and can sometimes be a harsh light to use. Depending on the make and model of the smartphone, as well as the the version of software on it, you probably have access to some basic lighting features on the camera. Smartphones have a flash that you can turn on and off, or set to automatic. You can even adjust the brightness of the image before you take it!

If you’re taking pictures of products or a display next to a window, try taking the pictures at different times of the day to get different angles of sunlight on the products. This is also a good idea when taking pictures of any outdoor displays.

Blurry PictureHold the camera steady or find a stand to hold the phone

One of the worst things you can do is post a blurry picture on your business page. Not only does it look unprofessional but it’s hard to entice a customer with a picture of something when they can’t even tell what it is!

If you have trouble keeping the phone steady, try putting the product on the floor and taking the picture while holding your phone steady on the floor. Or you can place the phone on a table or a shelf while you take the picture so that the camera is level and doesn’t move when you take the picture.

Check the pictures after you’ve taken them

One of the best things about taking pictures on a smartphone is that you can take as many pictures as you want and review or edit them before posting them or sending them to the person who will be posting them to your pages and profiles. Make sure the pictures are clear and show your store in the best possible way before posting them online.

As I’ve said in several other blog posts, you should treat your digital properties like a digital storefront. Present your store on social the same way you would the front of your store and the window displays you use to attract customers. Pictures are the perfect way to do this on social.


Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie