Dos and Don’ts: Smartphone Photography Tips and Tricks for Interiorscapers

In an increasingly visual and digital world, quality photos are necessary to help potential clients visualize and get inspired to see how your product or services may work in their spaces. Though a professional photographer will certainly capture high-quality images, it isn’t always an option for smaller interiorscaping businesses. Luckily, advances in technology likely mean you have the power to take stunning photos right in the palm of your hand. Here are a few smartphone photography tips and tricks to help you capture your work.

Does your device matter?

Everyone has their own preference on Apple vs. Android products. Different phones have different specs that can certainly affect how your photos turn out. However, the best camera is the one you have with you. These days most smartphones have many of the same tools available to adjust camera settings. You may have to do some individualized research on the make and model of your smartphone for directions on ways to access them, but across the board many of the same tools exist across smartphone cameras.

Do Use Some Built-In Smartphone Tools

Since many built-in tools are available right on your smartphone camera, consider the tools you should use, and the others that should be avoided. 


HDR: High Dynamic Range (HDR), is an easy way to better capture images with lighting contrasts. This technique attempts to improve the details in the brightest and darkest spots of an image without over-exposing the photo. Many smartphone cameras offer an automatic HDR setting, so you don’t even need to worry about when to use this feature. All you need to do is enable your phone’s HDR mode, and select the best photo to use or share.

Focus: With most smartphones, you can quickly and easily pick a focal point by simply tapping a spot on your screen. 

Exposure: After you’ve selected a focal point, you can adjust the lighting surrounding it by pressing your focal point and holding until a slider or sun symbol appears. Typically, sliding up will make the photo brighter, and sliding down will make your photo darker.

Adjusting Focus

Adjusting Exposure


Flash: Lighting is key to getting the best results from your photography. Though your smartphone’s flash feature can help add light in low-light settings, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it. The limited range of the flash and sharp brightness can cause strange colors, shadows, and may wash out details. Use natural light whenever possible to obtain the best photo.

Zoom: Using your smartphone camera’s zoom feature can reduce picture quality. If you would like to get a closer look at the subject of your picture, try stepping closer before trying to zoom in. Or, take the picture and crop it later to maintain overall sharpness.

Do Get Creative with Subject Placement

Part of creating eye-catching photos is getting creative with where you place the subject of your photo.

Rule of Thirds: One of the easiest ways to instantly make your photos more balanced and interesting is to employ the “rule of thirds.” Before you take a picture, divide your image into thirds horizontally and vertically. Then, place the subject of your photo along the lines or at intersections. Most smartphones have a grid feature that can quickly help you line up the subject of your photo.

Try Different Angles: Don’t be afraid to move around your subject to get a more interesting photo. Try rotating around your subject to explore what looks better. Don’t be afraid to take a series of photos.

Try Different Heights: Add interest to photos by adjusting the height at which you take a photo. Simply getting lower or stepping up on a small stool or step-ladder to capture an image is an easy way to add focus and interest.

DO Try Making Small Edits to Photos

Some photos may just need a few small adjustments to take them to the next level. 

There are thousands of photo editing apps available for free or for purchase, and it may take playing around with a few apps to find one that works best for your purposes. If you make any edits, try adjusting brightness, contrast, sharpness, highlights, shadows, and white balance. Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop Express, Snapseed, and VSCO are all free, popular app options available on both iPhone and Android phones.

We’d love to see how you use these smartphone photography tips and tricks to show off your plant designs. Submit photos to our Inspiration Gallery, or simply tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Allison is a budding plant person looking to share what she learns from horticulture and interiorscaping subject matter experts. When she is not researching new plants to add to her growing collection, she enjoys going on motorcycle rides and watching road-trip movies.

Fiberglass Planters

Join the Community