Top Tips To Capture the Moment on your Smartphone this Summer

Whether you’re a photography wizard or just learning your smartphone has more than one camera, capturing those special family moments is no less important, especially over the summer season which is ripe for worthy snaps!

Bulky cameras or waiting for film to develop to find you’ve missed the action is a thing of the past. With smartphone cameras giving expensive DSLR cameras a run for their money, getting the perfect shot doesn’t need to be complicated. Our friends at OPPO New Zealand share some top tips for getting the best out of your smartphone camera:

All things lighting

For amateur photographers, it’s all about the lighting. It’s the most important contribution to the perfect shot, and so many things can be forgiven in the right light.

For outdoor photography, the magic happens in “golden hour” which is half an hour either side of sunset and sunrise. When it comes to taking photos indoors, it’s always best to try to use natural light where possible and find a catchlight background. A catchlight background is a light source that draws attention towards the eyes, of which can often get lost with other elements in the scene. To get the perfect catchlight, try facing towards the light or reflect the subject of the light, such as from a window – you’ll know when you’ve got it as the eyes will ‘pop’.

For times where the lighting just isn’t there, using a camera with a great night mode feature allows you to capture dark scenes without compromising quality. From city skylines to sunsets, parties or dinner, technology like OPPO’s Ultra Dark Mode allows you to capture the magic of the night with stunning clarity.

oppo smartphone

All about the angle

When it comes to nabbing the winning shot, the trick is in the angle. Here are a few tips for your back pocket:

  • Bird’s-eye view. For sweet snaps of your babies and little ones, try getting above the scene with a straight down view. This offers an up close and personal glimpse of them and their features, as the hero of the shot
  • High vs low shots. Generally the lower you go with your camera angle, the less flattering the photo. Photographs taken from up high are most flattering and are a go-to for the quick family selfies or portraits, where lower down angles can be reserved for making the subject stand out, front and centre
  • Face to face, or eye-level. These angles give the impression of a personal connection between the subject and the person viewing the image, this angle is great for candid shots
  • Wide angle lens. Fit the whole family in this year’s holiday group shot! Wide angle camera lenses are great for capturing a wider view, such as a hilly landscape or vast white sandy beach to really take you back to the moment. Most newer phones these days will also come with a panoramic camera mode, which uses a revolving lens to capture a sweeping view and then stitch the images together to make one wide shot.

When the hot shot is out of reach

You won’t always be directly in front of your subject, especially if your child is on stage at their end of year school play! Phones like the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom combine digital and optical zoom introducing a hybrid technology that brings you closer to the world around you in unbelievable quality. Forget about digital zoom; with hybrid zoom you can say goodbye to pixelated long-distance photos forever. 

oppo smartphone

Never miss a moment

This next tip may seem obvious but is well worth a mention because there’s nothing worse than going to take a picture on your phone on a summer holiday adventure and running out of battery – ugh! For the long days, late nights and spontaneous missions, choose an option with maximum battery life – battery in phones vary and some models are equipped to last all-day long. There’s also some very affordable super powered battery packs, like the OPPO 10000mAh Power Bank which lets you charge two devices at the same time.

Plus, if you’re buying a new phone, look out for models that come with a full range editing suite to make it super easy to edit and upload content in real-time on-the-go.

Give it a whirl!

The last tip is really just some good ole Kiwi ingenuity. Like most things, practice makes perfect – take some time out in nature or while you’re watching the kids at the beach to try out your camera modes and features so your snap-ready for the next big moment.

author ronnieRonnie Swainston

Online Producer & Experiences Editor Ronnie is mum to two spirited kids who keep her on her toes. With a love for travel, film, tv, photography & (eating) food keeping her wishing for more time, & having a keen curiosity means she’ll give almost anything a go making her, and her family, up for the job!

Favourite place to be: On an adventure


  1. Alezandra 03/03/2020 at 8:49 pm

    Social media has made photography such a necessary skill nowadays. It seems like everyone can be a photographer now. And these tips do help. Technology has made it so easy nowadays and you don’t need any extra lens to bring and editing apps are a dime a dozen. I still miss the old school slr cameras though where you can actually change settings and experiment.

  2. MuddledUpMolly 02/03/2020 at 10:33 pm

    Definitely a good read and some good tips for excellent photo taking in the moment. I’m guilty of tapping my finger twenty times on the one shot and hoping for a good one, especially when there are multiple subjects or kids involved!

  3. Jen_Wiig 27/02/2020 at 1:09 pm

    These tips were amazing I will deff be implementing some when I’m taking photos, my phone has the most amazing “abilities” even 6mths on I’m still discovering things with its cameras. I had no idea how much angles can affect the photo but after having a little play since reading this already I can see where I go wrong and what some of the ideas actually mean

  4. Shorrty4life1 23/02/2020 at 10:02 pm

    Awesome tips. I Always go down low to take Photos. Now I will remember to go above the object or person for the best Photos. I have oppo phone and the camera is Definitely by far the best camera ive experienced. I used to get out my big Canon camera but now I just use my phone and find it just as great for photos and not so big and bulky.

  5. Micht 21/02/2020 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for the tips…im always struggling to get the amazing shots that others take so effortlessly…love photography and hope to learn even more somehow..

  6. Mands1980 20/02/2020 at 6:43 pm

    I love taking photos so any tips are great I currently have so many on my phone it’s crazy. The latest phones out even have more details would love a new one just for the amazing photos they take. I like how they discuss the angle of the photo I have never really thought too much about it but this all makes sense to take better photos.

  7. SarahBlair 19/02/2020 at 5:30 pm

    Im not much of a photographer but I try and my Oppo definitely makes it easier, I just point and click and somehow it turns out looking good!! I will be trying these tips though to improve my photography game!!

  8. Bevik1971 14/02/2020 at 9:47 am

    Great tips! I hate taking selfies and don’t do it very often. I do take pics with my phone but usually more my daughter or scenery or when we are out at say the Chinese Gardens etc. Selfy pics are a hard one, but the great thing is you can filter it or delete and do it again!! 🙂

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