5 tips from National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez


Stephen Alvarez shooting Cape Town  with a Lumia 1020 aboard a helicopter.
Stephen Alvarez shooting Cape Town with a Lumia 1020 aboard a helicopter.

Stephen Alvarez, a celebrated veteran National Geographic photographer, is busy completing his latest assignment – capturing the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with a Nokia Lumia device.

From the iconic American West to the majestic Mount Everest, Alvarez’s journey has been documented by only his mobile devices.

As an award-winning photographer and a National Geographic photographer since 1995, capturing images with a mobile device has been a very different experience.

“Sometimes I still look at the images I’ve captured with my mobile device, and can’t believe that something so small and portable is capable of such imaging quality,” Alvarez shared with a room of mobile imaging enthusiasts at the picturesque city of Cape Town in South Africa recently.


Photography tastemaker, Stephen Alvarez, gives us his top five tips on photographing with a mobile device, being creative with composition and how to engage others during your creative process:

Watch the Light

Shooting during midday when the light is the harshest? Find a way to use it to your advantage.

Shoot High, Shoot Low, Shoot Sideways

Don’t be bound to the “regular” ways of shooting. Don’t be afraid to photograph from different perspectives.

Make Friends

Portraits are great images that can captivate and also share a story about that particular moment. Make new friends and don’t be afraid of asking them if you can take their photograph.

Pay Attention to your Edges

Frame your photos with different layers like trees, leaves, mountains etc. This will add depth to the image. Also pay attention to whether you cropping an image too much.

Shoot Early, Shoot Late

The best light is definitely during “golden hour” when the sunlight has been filtered by the atmosphere, removing the harsh blues. Take advantage.

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