Sarah Toons’ secrets to taking great photos

Sarah Toons’ secrets to taking great photos

More tradespeople than ever are using images of their work for self-promotion, or to share on social media. PB asked Professional Construction & Architectural Photographer, Sarah Toon, to reveal her secrets to taking great photos with your phone.

Taking great photos for your social media on your camera phone is an art form. No one really wishes to see your hard work in shadow, bright light, unfocused or blurry photos. So here are some simple hints and tips on how to improve them.

Perhaps most importantly, always frame your ‘subject’ within your phone screen – regardless whether it is a boiler, new kitchen, pipework or building site. See and look at your screen as if you were the ‘viewer’.

Then it’s time to think of four things:

  1. Is it in shadow

Can you turn on a light? Can you use your phone flash? Are you looking into the sun or showing your own shadow? Here’s what I suggest….

Move yourself, you are the photographer, so as far as you can do so safely move into the position that you need to take a great photo. If in doubt, and it’s too sunny for instance, wait for the sun to move, a few more minutes won’t hurt. If you are in a confined space, try crouching down, lay down if necessary, so you can photograph your work. Also ensure there is plenty of light, although this can be edited later.

  1. Thinking like a photographer can be hard

It’s all about ‘composition’. The art of composing your chosen subject within your frame (screen) is to show it to the best of your ability. Does the photo have mess around it? If so, move it out of the way if you can. Keep your photo focused on your work at hand. Show the viewer exactly what you are doing and not the surrounding area.

  1. Touch your phone screen

That’s right, touching your screen will change your focal point. Change the lighting of your photo and ensure you have the correct ‘exposure’ for your photo before you take it.

  1. Editing

All camera phones contain editing tools. So many people never dabble into the editing software within a camera phone but please, always do. Beforehand take several images at the same spot, then you can edit.

Have a play with: cropping/straightening/zooming, sharpening, brightness, highlights, shadows, brilliance & saturation. All these, and more besides, are at your disposal within your phone. Move the sliders, play with the photos, and if you get into a muddle don’t save the edit and try again.

Social Media images are essential these days for showing your business in the most professional way possible. Your photos are your shop window. The gateway to your potential customers, demonstrating how well you can do your job, and often the first thing people will look at.

 Sarah Toon is a Professional Construction & Architectural Photographer. For more details go to

To watch Sarah talking about how to take photos of your work go to


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