Lesson 1

As a culture we have become obsessed with our phones. 16-24 year olds reportedly spend an average of 3 hours per day on social media – so it is no wonder that phone photography has exploded in popularity. 

In this lesson we will explore some uses of our phone for portrait photography.

We will also investigate the manual functions of our phone’s camera.

In addition, we will use Photoshop to learn some editing techniques that can be used in your portfolio.


Success Criteria:

By the end of these lessons, you will have used your phone to capture images.

Photoshop will have been used to edit images.

Answer’s to questions and image files will be uploaded to OneDrive and Shared with your teacher.




“Don’t be afraid of being different.  Be afraid of being the same as everybody else”. 



When you see this icon with the question mark a response from you is required. These responses need to be uploaded to OneDrive and shared with me.

Don’t forget our deal with Adobe so that you can get Photoshop on your home computer for only a handful or two of dollars!


Question Time


1. Giving consideration to our media arts statement “Don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everybody else”,  comment on the challenges that these photographers had. Also consider the role of post production in their final images.

2. What observations can you make about how the different photographers interacted with the model?

3. They were only able to take one shot in each setting – from a technical point of view, what does this mean?

4. Comment on the different settings that they used and how these backgrounds contributed to the final images.

5. How might you have used the staircase in the first scene differenty?

6. These photographers were using professional DSLR camera’s and lens’s.  Give some suggestions about how they would need to modify their approach if they were using their phone camera’s.


Portrait Photography

Some of you have DSLR camera’s, some of you don’t.  Luckily – gear doesn’t maketh the photographer.  Good word ‘maketh’ – makes me feel all ‘yea ole’ and ‘wise’ when I use it.  But I digress (another good word).  I have made a downloadable guide ‘5 Ways to Take Better Portraits With Your Phone’ for you to have as a  reference. It is relevant for all types of camera’s. 

Or use this link to Download direct to your phone


List advice from the document 5 Ways to Take Better Portraits With Your Phone that you feel will be useful to remember.

Are there any points that are unclear or you would like explained more fully?

The Technical Stuff Explained

The term exposure in photography relates to the amount of light that enters the camera in order to capture an image.  We say that a photo is underexposed if not enough light is used. The term overexposed is used to describe a photo where too much light has been used.  Exposure can be manipulated by using three inter-related elements that form what is referred to as the Exposure Triangle.  These elements are Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO.

Shutter Speed: The period of time that the camera’s internal mechanism remains open to allow light to travel to the sensor/film.
Aperture: A camera’s lens can be adjusted to allow different volumes of light to enter.  Think of the lens as a tunnel. The aperture describes the width of the ‘tunnel’ that the light travels through on its way to the sensor/film. The smaller the Aperture (or f/stop) the larger the width of the tunnel.
ISO: the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light.

Camera settings will change from scene to scene.  There is no ‘one hat fits all’ combination.  The above three settings can even be used in different combinations in the same scene to get the same exposure.  Which combinations you use largely comes down to your artistic intent.  Lets explore this a little with a practical demonstration.

Create a vocabulary list in a word document.

Add the above explanations of Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO.  

Use the internet to find the definition for the terms:
‘depth of field’


The Practical Demonstration

I didn’t really need to include this video but my Dad Joke game was Jedi level which means I earned me some Thug Life!! The actual practical demonstration is in the video below.  

Vertical Video embeded on the website .. wahht – my teacher has mad skills

Time for you to pick up your phone and take some pictures.  Experiment with the Manual/Pro function.  These don’t need to be grand works of art .. yet.  Practice makes perfect! So get practicing!! Harass a pet, a bug, a spoon, a sibling.  Armed with the 5 Ways to Take Better Portraits With Your Phone and your natural curiosity – get clicking!

Editing Task

Download the image by clicking on the blue button.  Play along with the video below. Submit your file.