I’ts pretty easy for anyone to just take photo without any photography skills or artistic ability. However, this won’t give them an edge over anyone who has experience and training. There are plenty of things you can’t do with learning the basic steps first.

There many a few people who like to call themselves ‘photographers’ and they haven’t got much artistic skills or even been trained to take photographs.

The lack of knowledge and structure is why there are so many rubbish photos posted all over the internet nowadays. People should learn how to critique their photos in order to make them as good as possible.


Lighting is the most important factor when it come to what makes a good photo. Any true photographer knows that photography means literally means ‘painting with light’. Light to a picture is like what blood is to your body. Without it, the image is just dead.

Its the biggest building block when it comes to taking the perfect picture and as you’ve guessed, many people still ignore it. If the light isn’t there then you may as well ignore the other factors to what makes a good photo.

Of course every image doesn’t have to contain a great deal of light. It depends on what mood you’re trying to create. If you want the image to create a sense of gloom or mystery, then sure, go for the low light option. But if you aren’t, make sure it’s fully incorporated into the image.

For smartphone images

Most of you take pretty much all your photos on your smartphones. If that’s the case, make sure you’re as close to that window or the lamp shade or whatever it is as possible. Most photographers take images in the broad daylight in order to get the most quality out of their photos. Do the same!

Camera Quality

It would benefit you the most to actually use a digital camera in order to take photos rather than using a smartphone. Camera are designed to produce good quality images so make sure than the camera used gives off a high resolution.

Use high-resolution Cameras

If you have a camera with a high resolution and megapixels the you’re at an advantage. This will actually make your photos aesthetically pleasing. Using a smartphone with around 8 megapixels would be good enough to give you a good photo. If you’re using a compact camera then a megapixel of around 20 should do the trick. A compact camera is relatively cheap for how well it performs and it should produce you with high quality images.

Great Composition

This is the placement of objects in the frame of the photo which is why it’s also know as framing. Having a few subjects in a picture will be easier to focus on rather than having loads of subjects in an image. However, too few elements can also be bad as it robs the photo of necessary detail which is important for people to make the correct interpretation.

Cropping Photos

One of the worst this you can do if crop the image. If you had the chance to fill up the frame you should have done it there and then. Cropping images just decrease the resolution which then makes the quality of the photo trash. Before you take the photo, make sure that the subject fills up the image as much as you want it to. Just so you don’t go back and say you need to crop it.


Exposure in an image is composed of many factors, such as the shutter speed and ISO. Every image has a dynamic range. This is the difference between the darkest part of the image and the brightest part of the image. You want to make sure that the brightest part of the image isn’t blown out.


If you took a picture of the blue sky. You’d actually want to see the blue sky not a bright white sky due to the sun. This is when the photo is over exposed. There’s just too much light.


Same as an under exposed image. If you can only see the dominant parts of the photo just because you didn’t manage to get enough light incorporated into the image, then you know the image is under exposed.


Sharpness really defines the subject in the image. If you don’t have a subject in the photo then there’s no need to sharpen it up. You’ll just make the photo look tacky.

Sharpness is mainly used when taking a picture of the face as the face has many details. Sharpening the image just gives bring out the details in the picture, which is why it’s mainly used on the human face.

Sharpen Using Apps

If you’re using a smartphone then there are 100s if not thousands of apps that will allow you to sharpen your photos. Make sure you don’t over sharpen your photo as I’ve said before. It just makes the photo look tacky.


This refers to position of the human eye in relation to the objects in the photo. Many people use perspective to manipulate the size of how the subject is seen.

If you squat down while taking an image then the subject of the image will look relatively large and dominant. If you stand up with the subject below you while taking the photo, this can make the subject look quite minuscule.

A good perspective can really change the way the viewer sees the image so if it’s used well, it can separate you from the normal photographer.

Focus and Clarity

Focus is how well defined the subject of the image is. If you have a main subject of a photo you want to make sure that the subject is  the main focus of the picture. Imagine if you wanted to take a picture of an apple in a bowl of fruit. you’ll want the lens to be focused on that apple while the rest of the fruit will look relatively blurred out compared to the apple.

However, if you re take a picture of a street you really like or a theme park that’s thrilling. You want to make sure that the lens isn’t focused on anything particular in the image because the subject is every thing on that street.

Focusing On A Smartphone Camera

On a smartphones, it’s easy to focus, as all you have to do is tap on the subject. Simple right! Some modern day phones such as the galaxy 8 or the iPhone X can tell what the subject of the image is, therefore it focuses on it.


This is the scale of difference between black and white. If there was no contrast then there would be no image as there would be no difference between black and white. Everything would either be black, white or grey.

High Contrast

An image with a high contrast will display full range tones from black to white and it will have dark shadows with bright highlights. If you’re taking a photo in broad day light you will produce something called a ‘contrasty’ image, which produces a deep and interesting image.

Low Contrast

On the other hand, an image with a low contrast doesn’t exhibit differences between black and white which makes the image look quite dull and boring

If you’re aiming for good photos, make sure that you have a relatively high contrast so your photo appears to be interesting. No one want to look at a dull photo.


In order to have a good photo, make sure that you have the correct lighting which is one of the most important factors. It adds life to the picture and people will actually want to look at it. Having a high quality camera can cut time off your hands when it comes to editing as compact cameras are made to produce mere perfect photos that will satisfy you.

It’s totally fine to use apps to edit photos if you’re using a smartphone. If you know it can make that picture just a little bit better then go ahead and use it. I’d recommend apps such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC for android and IOS.

You’ll notice the huge difference in your photos once you start to use these tips. If you weren’t that good at taking pictures with your smartphone, you’ll be much better now.

You won’t just point your camera to the subject and hope for the best anymore. You’ll start to think about the things that make up a good quality photo.