9 Tools Everyone Fan of Smartphone Photography Should Be Using

As a photographer or photo-fan, you are bound to be prepared for every situation you might encounter. From a stunning sunset to a lovely quiet moment in the woods. You want to be sure to make the best photo at any time. You will need a smartphone to capture that moment, but these tools will definitely help you get the most qualitative shots!

Smartphone photography tools to use before taking the photo

Smartphone photography isn’t all about being at the right place at the right time. Of course, a bit of luck can help you a long way, but sometimes it’s better to help that luck a bit.

A wildlife photographer doesn’t just hope for a lion to pass in his hometown of London, he goes to the Serengeti and actively tracks them. As a photographer that’s just what you have to do. These tools help you to find the right moment and spot.

Golden hour apps

If you are into landscape photography it’s important to know when the light appears and disappears. Golden and blue hour are usually the most wanted times of the day. Unfortunately, they happen at different times every day. And it also depends on where you are.

There are several apps that can help you pinpoint the exact time of each lighting phase each day. My favorites are ‘Exsate’ and ‘Golden Hour’. With Exsate you can see a map with a direction of the setting and rising sun. Helping you to prepare for a location shot before even arriving.



Google Maps

It’s always handy to get the directions to your location. It also helps with finding good locations. Want a nice street in a city to do a portrait session? Google street view the locations you think might be suitable. It’s almost like location-scouting, but without leaving the house.

Powerbanks

Charging your phone pre-shoot is most important. You use the device for other things too, and taking pictures is so energy consuming. So bring at least a charger, and even better, a power bank.

Need some extra juice to take those last shots? Just plug in the power bank and start charging. Even though the Huawei Mate 10 Pro can last two days on a battery, I always have a power bank in my bag. Just in case I forget to charge for two days.

Don’t have a powerbank yet? You can find loads of them online.

Smartphone photography tools to use while taking the photo

So, you’re all prepped and ready to go. During photographing it might be handy to have some extra accessories with you. I don’t say these will help salvage a bad photo, but they can enhance your shots a bit.

Tripod

If you’re going for a landscape or cityscape shot, this might help you out. If you can, you want to lower the ISO on your phone. This will cause your shutter speed to become longer. Keeping it in your hands causes your image to be unsharp by motion blur. In comes the tripod to save the day.

I went out to buy my tripod at a dollar store, but you can find them online and get them delivered to your door too.

Lenses

There are loads of lenses you can buy for your smartphone. Some are better than others, so you have to look around a bit before you actually buy some. I love the macro lenses I bought at a photography convention once. They give you so much more possibilities.

Of course, you don’t have to buy these. It’s just something that can help you out a bit. I find most smartphones have a rather wide angle. Which is great for landscapes, but not so much for portraits.

There are plenty of lenses for smartphones to find. My favorites are the ones by Olloclip.

Filters

These are maybe less interesting than lenses, but for some types of photography, they come in handy. For example, a polarisation filter for street photography so you can look through window reflections. Or a neutral density filter for landscape photographers who want to get an even longer exposure time. Especially when photographing water.

I wrote a review about these lenses. You can read it here: Smartphone filters review: A tool to help you make awesome photo’s 

Smartphone photography tools to use after taking the photo

So you got the shot, now what? Well, there are plenty of things to do with your photos.

Editing apps

First of all, it’s time to edit your photo a bit. Add some extra color, get that subject looking sharp, and pump up the contrast. Or do the exact opposite of all that. Photo editing is a playground where there are no rights or wrongs.

I prefer to use Snapseed on my smartphone and sometimes export the photo’s to my laptop for processing in Lightroom.

You can also just use the native app, play around with the sliders of Instagram, or go crazy with the filters of VSCOcam.

Sharing platforms

What’s the use of making a photo if you won’t show it to people? Apart from that nude, obviously. So start downloading those apps to share your photos. I personally share mine on Instagram, Youpic, and 500px.

There are many more apps to share your photos though: VSCOcam, Tumblr, Flickr, … Pick the ones you like the most and go for it!

Backup tools

Nothing worse than losing your photos. I personally back up mine automatically to google.photos. The best ones are also stored on my Dropbox where I archive them per month. How you do this is totally up to you, I just strongly recommend doing this!

Sign up to Dropbox and get 500mb for free (Which isn’t that much, I know; But it’s something).

What are your favorite tools to use for smartphone photography? Let me know in the comments below!