Favoite cell phone photography tutorials?

We high school teachers are grappling with lots of uncertainty… but it looks like we will be teaching remotely again this fall. This means no DSLR’s available for my digital photo classes (most kids don’t have their own). I will need to switch to cell phone photography as an accessible common denominator. Can anyone recommend a reputable open-source tutorial series or resource for fine art cell phone photography – ideally one that includes lighting and design, as well as both android and iphone tech? I created some of my own lessons back in March and April, but they are not exactly the greatest.
Thank you in advance!

Hi Alison, @ABehrPhoto,

What a bummer to have to switch to all cell phone photography, but good for you for seeking out great tutorials! As you know, you can do so much with just a cell phone, and hopefully this semester will help the students pay extra attention to composition, light, and mood in their photographs! The beauty of using a phone is being able to mostly forget about the technical components of photography.

My best recommendation is to focus the semester on those three things: composition, light, and mood. You can build an entire curriculum around just those things. And the resources you find don’t necessarily only need to be for iphonography, because those photo techniques are universal no matter the camera.

We have a great e-book that introduces these things, but there is also many other similar resources online. A quick google search turned this up for a composition tutorial series, and here’s one I found about some important lighting concepts.

I’ve thumbed through this book before too, and it has a lot of very helpful tips about shooting with your phone – some I hadn’t ever thought of before! So, I recommend it. It is written kind of fun, too, so it would be good for high schoolers.

And I also recommend spending some time on our blog, since there are a variety of super helpful tutorials about various photo techniques that aren’t camera-dependent. You’ll find some good lesson ideas in there.

Best of luck navigating this weird school year! Hopefully these resources will help.


Dear Alison Behr,

What crazy times!

Teaching photography remotely is hard enough and now to have to do that with a diverse group of high school kids using all the different types of cellphones. Oh boy, that sounds like a big challenge.

If image processing will be part of your curriculum, and if it is of any help, I would be happy to share my video tutorials on Snapseed from Google or Adobe Lightroom for Mobile with you. None of my video tutorials cover composition, lighting, or design but they might be helpful too you if you are going to teach any image processing to the kids.

I mention this because of these image processing Apps are virtually identical on both iOS and Android devices and Snapseed is free!

If a series of really dull videos will help you out please let me know!

David Marx

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Thanks so much for your kind suggestions! Great to know about Snapseed and the iPhonography book. I would love to take a look at David’s “dull” videos, which I bet are awesome! We are digging into curriculum planning these next two weeks, so I’ll get back to you if I have more questions. Good luck with the RMSP move! I wish I were in Montana right now!!!

Sorry for the delay Alison! Please send me an email at david@focusphotoschool.com and I will create a login / password for you so that you can see all of my Snapseed from Google videos.

David Marx