How to shoot DSLR quality photos with your phone

dslr quality pic

Nowadays, smartphones are being developed with phenomenal camera features. They are literally starting to compete with entry-level DSLRs. I’m going to show you some inexpensive ways to achieve pro DSLR quality with your phone or point and shoot camera.

Photography is all about light. If you have interesting light, you’re 90% there with a striking image. You don’t need a DSLR to take a great photo, a point and shoot or a cell phone can do the trick.

You can achieve DSLR quality in your pictures simply by having interesting light.

Here are my top 5 tips for interesting light in photos:

1. Northern light: northern light is the most beautiful light ever. Try to take pictures near the northern end of your house. This window light is very soft and falls beautifully on any subject. It’s ideal for portraits and bringing out small details of the subject.

Birthday roses

A post shared by Luxury of Thoughts by Sameen (@luxuryofthoughts) on

2. Reflector: If you are like me and don’t own any reflectors, you can use aluminum foil for small objects for a softer glow or use a mirrored reflective paper for more brightness. Another thing you can do is use a car windshield sunshade, that pretty much works and looks like a reflector but is not as intense in illuminating as the real thing.

Not just thoughts on paper but plans.

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3. Use low f-stop apertures when shooting. If you have an S6 Edge you can go to the “pro settings” in your camera to play with the f-stop and ISO. Increase ISO to make your image brighter.

For DSLR users: try to use lenses that have a low aperture like f1.8 and lower to achieve maximum light in your images. Lower f-stops also achieve beautiful bokeh that also add an interesting look to the images.  Thankfully, f1.8 lenses are quite cheap and can be bought for under $120.

Nothing as nostalgic as Paris.

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4. Control your light! this means playing with the window blinds to see where the light is falling, using an extra reflector, going up or down with ISO(yes, it can be done on your phone). Controlling light is how you can learn to see light and appreciate its beauty. It’s vital in learning on how to become a good photographer.

5. Have fun and experiment! This means using colour gels, different temperature of lights, a diffuser etc.

In this article, I added pics I took with my phone and they are unedited. As you can see I was successful in achieving the “DSLR look” just by having interesting light in the photos.

For more information on smartphone photography, check out my other informative articles:



14 thoughts on “How to shoot DSLR quality photos with your phone

  1. That’s pretty cool how you can take a professional quality photograph with simple household items, its actually a really smart and inexpensive way to do it. I look forward to seeing more of your photography.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i LOVE your blog post – it helps people realize that they do not necessarily need the fancy pro equipment to shoot photos. Realistically they can just do it on their phone (provided it is up to date).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was in the market for buying a DSLR, and I noticed my phone had more megapixels(16 mp) then pro grade DSLRs of 8 years ago. In my opinion anything over 12mp is too much for a photo enthusiast who doesn’t print out their work. I’m very happy for the advancement in cameras of smartphones. As they say, the best camera is one that’s always with you.


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