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5 Tips To Take Better Portraits at Night with Your Smartphone

Knowing photography basics matter

Taking portraits at night can add some flair to your social media feed. The popularity of colored lighting and the “0.5 selfie trend” are proof that low-light photos with strong shadows add a touch of intrigue to your posts. But getting the right balance of light with the dark atmosphere can be quite tricky.

“Shooting at night [can be] challenging,” says Rxandy Capinpin, fashion photographer and photography adviser at SoFA Design Institute. “But with the new technology in cameras and smartphones, like a bigger sensor resolution, a higher ISO for exposure, and a quality lens, you can still achieve a detailed look [for] your photographs.”

One such innovation was introduced by vivo through its new V27 5G, which can capture the aura of your subject even in low-light situations. 

But basic techniques and principles should go hand-in-hand with new technology. Here are five key tips on how to master the art of shooting Instagram-worthy photos at night:

Find your light and play with it

When taking pictures on the street, look for streetlights or ambient lighting that may give your photo an interesting color or texture. When you’re indoors, check out how the area is lighted and if there’s a corner that stands out.

“Know where you’re shooting as well. Some locations have really interesting light fixtures and colors that can add oomph to your photos,” says Capinpin, who also advises that you can play with angles and framing to get dynamic results.

Sharper lines and dynamic lighting captured with the vivo V27 5G’s Aura Portrait Algorithm

To make your subjects look radiant in capturing stills, the vivo V27 5G is designed with the Aura Portrait Algorithm, giving your photos studio-like quality with its Sony IMX766V sensor, 50-MP main camera, and 50-MP front-facing camera for higher resolution selfies.

Stabilize your shots

The general rule of thumb when taking photos is to keep steady while snapping pictures. “You can also use a gimbal stabilizer or a tripod if you’re experimenting with a slow shutter speed. It can reduce the shake or movement in the photo,” explains Capinpin.

If you have shaky hands and don’t have stabilizing equipment with you, the vivo V27 5G is engineered with an OIS + EIS Dual-Ultra Stabilization that can perform stabilization computations in the thousands per second, giving your night photos crisp detail.

Give proper directions to your subject

Capture detailed photos even at night with the vivo V27 5G using the Aura Portrait Algorithm
Capture detailed photos even at night with the vivo V27 5G using the Aura Portrait Algorithm

If there isn’t enough lighting around where you’re shooting—and even if there is—tell your model what pose they should be in so that their best angles are captured. 

However, if it’s your first time shooting, Capinpin tells his subjects to act naturally. “I usually chat with them before the photo shoot, so they’ll be comfortable when we do the sittings,” says the fashion photographer.

Light up your subject with flash

If there’s no light at all, you can use your phone’s flash as an alternative source of lighting. “A direct one creates an artificial light with harsh highlights and shadows, and a diffused flash will make the light softer and natural,” shares Capinpin.

If you’re leaning toward a softer diffusion on your subject’s face, the V27 5G has a built-in aura light, acting as a ring light that automatically adjusts to an ambient light. Make use of the Aura Portrait Mode to render a balance between your subject’s skin tone and lighting.

Different light sources at night can have a variety of effects on your photos
Add intensity and brightness to your photographs using the vivo V27 5G's aura light
Add intensity and brightness to your photographs using the vivo V27 5G’s aura light

Play with your angles

Make your stills interesting by using different angles, such as low or high angles, to see what works best for the subject’s face and body shape. Different kinds of light, especially artificial ones like streetlights and neon lights, have distinct effects on the face. 

“Photography is all about experimenting with light and angles. Make it fun, too,” says Capinpin.

When you’re going for a vibrant payoff to your photos and even videos, the vivo V27 5G’s Super Night Mode can enhance them by reducing noise, refining the brightness and contrast, and improving its sharpness.

Nighttime photography can be quite the task when you’re familiarizing yourself with it. In order to hone this creative skill, Capinpin advises reimagining photographs or artworks of different artists and paying attention to how they manipulate light. “In time, you will develop your own style and hone it. Consider collaborating with different creatives to be versatile,” he says.

The vivo smartphone is equipped with a 4,600mAh battery and 66W fast charging that makes it ideal for snapping photos for an extended period of time. Running out of space won’t be an issue either as the V27 5G features an internal storage capacity of 256GB, which translates roughly to more than 250,000 images.

For more information, visit vivo’s official website. Follow vivo on Facebook and Instagram.

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