7 Fall Smartphone Photography Tips

girl taking photo of fall trees with smartphone

Make the most of autumn’s lovely colors.

Grab your smartphone and your pumpkin spice latte, and hit the road. It’s time to chase down those perfect fall photos.

We use our smartphones for great point-and-shoot photos, but it never hurts to add a GoPro to your gear for action shots. Also, check out our favorite smartphone photography accessories.

Read on for 7 tips on getting your best fall photos.

1. Make the most of the golden hour.

The golden hour is that magical time right after sunrise or right before sunset, when the whole world feels like a perfectly lit stage. The sun diffuses everything with a lovely glow. It’s the perfect time to catch vibrant oranges, yellows and reds of fall leaves.

2. Work with the weather.

If you’re just not likely to get up with the sun, don’t fret: the moody, foggy fall weather works in your favor, too. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the drama you’ll achieve in unpredictable weather.

3. Seek out contrasting color combos.

Look for the contrast in fiery autumn tones and blue sky or water. Bright green moss on boulders, even your subjects’ wardrobe can make interesting points of contrast in your photos.

woman taking picture of fall leaf

4. Avoid zooming.

Get as close as possible. Even with the amazing tech that goes into smartphone cameras, you’ll still get blurrier photos when you zoom. Get on the ground, get right up to your subject … don’t be shy! You’ll be happier with your results.

5. Don’t forget props and staging.

Leaves aren’t just for gazing. Get right up next to them, peek out from behind some brilliant branches. Go ahead, grab a handful of leaves and toss ‘em! They’re like fall confetti, and whoever’s doing the tossing can’t help but give a genuine giggle.

Tip: Use the time lapse effect on your smartphone to make falling leaves even more interesting. The challenge is to keep your subject completely still while the leaves fall around them. It would help to have another person dropping leaves just above the frame. Open your camera app and select Time Lapse from the mode options, then get shooting.

6. Pick your location.

Check out our blog on fall leaf viewing locations to get apps for predicting peak foliage viewing times. You don’t have to go to a national park for great shots, though; your local parks and greenways have lots of lovely views to offer.

7. Polish your favorites with editing.

Don’t neglect editing! In both Android and Apple camera apps you can change filters, crop and rotate to polish your photos. If you want to do more, check out these apps:

snapseed app iconSnapseed

This free app tops the list for both Android and Apple users. It has a great set of basic editing tools, and more advanced options if you want to get more detailed.


VSCO app iconVSCO 

Known mostly for its vintage-look filters, this free app is a solid choice for editing.


Afterlight 2 app iconAfterlight 2

This popular iOS app is $2.99, but fans say it’s well worth it. Features include double exposure effects, dust textures, selective color and more.


Having fun snapping!


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