(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

May is National Photography Month. With every smartphone equipped with a camera, unless you are a professional like Joe Lobascio of NY Video Group, chances are you might not even own a traditional camera. Lobascio is an event photographer has over 30 years experience, taking photos of special occasions, weddings, and corporate affairs throughout the Tri-state area, the country and abroad. Tapping into his cinematic knowledge, this New York expert offers tips on how to take better pictures with a cellphone. By Dierdre Haggerty

Joe Lobascio
1040 Hempstead Tpk.
Franklin Square, NY 11010
(516) 352-3188

Joe Lobascio has been a photographer for 32 years, shooting weddings, special occasions, corporate events and more. The owner of NY Video Group has provided solid tips for taking better pictures with your smartphone.

The Selfie Stick

Selfie sticks are a recent source of online humor, joining the duck-face memes. However Lobascio recommends one for high quality photos. The sticks are affordable, simple to you and available in most retail stores. Lobascio suggests the selfie stick for vacations, holidays and family events when a group needs to gather and you don’t want to ask a stranger to take a photo. If your selfie stick doesn’t come with Bluetooth capability, you could purchase a remote button that coordinates with your smartphone.

Remove The Phone Case

The current smartphones are thin and easily break. Whether or not they have larger screens, today’s technology requires a protective case. However, when using a case and the camera flash, pictures could take on the essence of the covering’s hue. This could create a grainy photograph. Lobascio advises to remove the phone from the case if you are going to use the flash. Flashback occurs when the light hits the subject and then shoots back to the phone. Instead of reaching the camera, it bounces off the case first, which is made of reflective material.

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All Phone Cameras Are Created Equal

Although Lobascio said he is not an expert on carriers and services, he knows cameras. “All phone cameras are about the same, as long as you have a good, newer model,” Lobascio said. The camera for shooting stills shouldn’t factor in to your decision to buy the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6. Avid users might have a differing opinion.

Flash, Filters And Settings

Lobascio suggests leaving the settings on your phone camera alone. “Filters in phones are toys for people to play with,” he said. Just use the standard factory settings unless you are familiar with photography. Keep the flash set at automatic, and shoot still objects. “Cell phone cameras don’t have shutter speeds, they are set low,” Lobascio said. “The higher the shutter speed, the less blur you will get, the lower the shutter speed, the more blurry of a result you will have with moving objects.”

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Deirdre is a freelance writer from New York, fascinated with topics within her field of study such as beauty, hair and fashion, as well as guilty pleasures like reality TV, relationships, entertainment and dining.