How to adjust exposure on your mobile phone

Screens are backlit. Prints are not.

Images will always look brighter on screen than in print because all screens are backlit. To create the same brightness you see on a screen as a print, you’d need to hold a flashlight behind it. At Persnickety, our lab techs look at every image while printing to adjust brightness as needed. We still recommend doing your best to shoot with the right exposure AND enhancing the original photo before printing. A quick auto – enhance on your phone will make your prints pop!

How to adjust exposure on your mobile phone

Exposure is the amount of light which reaches your cameras sensor. Exposure and Light are a crucial part of how bright or dark your pictures appear.

How to adjust exposure while shooting


Watch this video (1:17) to see how I lock the exposure and focus. Follow along with your camera! Tap your finger on the screen to focus and then HOLD it until the AE/AF locks. [AE stands for Auto Exposure. AF stands for Auto Focus] You’re now adjusting your exposure and focus while shooting. Woohoo! You’re already a pro!


Hold the shutter button on the screen. It will beep when it’s focused. Now the AE/AF is locked. When you release the button it will take the photo.
For AF (auto focus) lock, touch the area on the screen where you want to focus. The focus will be locked. Press the shutter button to take a photo. Press and hold the button to refocus and lock AE/AF as described above.

How to adjust exposure on your mobile phone

Turn OFF the Flash

The flash can blown out the subject, you’ll lose the background and risk red eye.

Use the AE/AF feature we just talked about to shoot in low light situations and hold extremely still. The phone’s shutter will stay open longer to capture the image, if you move, you’ll get a blurred image called “camera shake”.

Try leaning up against a wall or rest your elbows to the sides to hold your device steady in low light situations.

If your phone offers the night mode feature, you can even capture the stars!

Anyone can point a camera and take a photo, but it takes a more skilled photographer to compose a shot that’s visually appealing and holds the viewer’s attention. You’re on your way to being the next photo expert. Your friends will be asking YOU for photo advice!

Chari Pack has been teaching mobile photo courses all over the world for more than 12 years. Find up to date tips and tricks on the Persnickety Prints Instagram.

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