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How to take great photos of your business on your phone

Taking photos with your smartphone
Photo by Ozgu Ozden

Uploading photos to your Yelp Page is one of the best ways to help your business stand out. People like to see photos of your specialties, experience, knowledge, and personality. Their interest is sparked because you’ve visually provided a look into your services. In fact, businesses who have between 1–5 reviews and 10 photos get 200% more user views than businesses with the same number of reviews and no photos.

Professional photo shoots and DSLR cameras are great options to capture your business, but they can be expensive and time consuming. You really only need two basic things to take eye-catching photos of your business: your smartphone and a free photo editing app or website.

3 hacks for taking a great photo on your phone

Positioning and framing

  • It’s always best to hold your phone with both hands. If your hands are a little shaky, prop your phone against a glass or something sturdy.

    Marrow dish at Hog & Rocks
    Photo of Hog & Rocks from Andrew Y. on Yelp
  • Closer shots reveal the finer details of your fare—but don’t use digital zoom. This will make your shots look grainy. Instead, take the shot from a regular distance and then use the crop function in a photo editor.
  • When thinking about composition, a square aspect ratio makes for a tight and interesting layout. Think of it like a spotlight that lights up the key element of your photo right in the center.
  • Use the grid feature to help you position your subject within the desired location of your frame.

The right lighting

One problem that many people run into with photography is lighting, especially in dark or dimly lit places. Instead of using your flash or “flashlight” function to light close-ups, try using someone else’s phone screen turned to bright. The light will be softer and you might surprise yourself with the results.

Cappuccino and almond croissant at Partners Coffee
Photo of Partners Coffee from Shannon H. on Yelp

Try also focusing on the darkest part of the shot—a simple tap on your screen will usually change the focus and exposure. It’ll lighten up the rest of the picture. In a photo editor, you can also play around with contrast and brightness.

Touch it up with an editing tool

A photo editing app will help you clean up your photos to make them look their best. PicMonkey, a free editing website, is quick, easy to use, and has everything you need for basic photo editing.

Pixlr has a few more bells and whistles if you want the creative freedom to be a little more experimental.

Snapseed is great for photo editing on the go. You can download the app to your phone so you don’t have to wait until you get to a computer to make your pictures really shine.

And while you could always spring for Photoshop, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get this type of software. Try Gimpshop instead; it’s the free online alternative to Photoshop.

Bonus points: Include a caption, even if the subject or purpose of the photo seems obvious. This not only clearly identifies what is in the image but will create a longer lasting impression on your audience. We also recommend syncing the tone of your captions with the overall tone of your brand.


Now that you know the basics, you can put this knowledge into action. You can upload unlimited photos on your Yelp Page directly through Yelp for Business or the Yelp For Business mobile app for free.