Which Aspect Ratio is Best for Mobile Photography?

In the previous articles, we have discussed about the shutter speed and the ISO settings and their role in making the pictures beautiful. You can go out of this world by choosing the right one that can boost your mobile photography. Moreover, the aspect ratio, which is not directly visible, is one of the factors influencing your photos.

What is Aspect Ratio?

Here are the most common aspect ratios and their impact:

Square (1:1): This is a trend that has appeared on social media platforms such as Instagram, being a new and graphic look. It is good for symmetrical compositions, still life photography and showing the small details.

3:2: This, a format that is used by professional photographers, gives a slightly wider feel than 4:3 and also maintains a balanced composition. It is ideal for portraits, street photography and situations where you need to free the visual space.

16:9: This format is used in movies and videos. It is the most common format of the three. This is the standard setting on most smartphones. It is the best choice to capture landscapes, city landscapes and panoramic shots, thus you can display wide views.

4:3: This classic oh-so-original format, just like the traditional film photography. It is the perfect blend of ingredients which gives a stable and balanced composition. This is for portraits, close-ups, and photos where you want to show the subject and not the background.

What is the Best Ration of Width and Height for Mobile Photography?

The “ideal” aspect ratio is based on your artistic point of view and the object that you are taking a picture of. Here’s a guide to help you decide:

For landscape: 16:9 is the most likely for you to see the whole scene at once. This is the ideal case for panoramic or city landscapes.

For close-ups: 4:3 or 1:1 is the ideal camera ratio for capturing the close-up shots of flowers, food, or simply the detailed objects.

For social media sharing: 1:1 is the ideal option for taking a photo that will display the gallery in one image on Instagram or for other platforms.

For action shots: 16:9 is a good choice for the recording of the speedy subjects like sports or street photography.

For Portrait: 4:3 or 3:2 is an inevitable and an attractive aspect for headshots or full-body portraits.

Creative Aspect Ratios:

Cinema (21:9): The super-wide format, which is the method used in the films of the visual genre, can create a dramatic and emotional mood for landscape scenes. (Note: These features are missing in most mobile phones as the data is not available.

The overwhelming majority of the smartphones of today have the capability to change the default ratio of the screen and to test different ratios.

Tips for mastering aspect ratio:

The magic of editing: The majority of the photo editing apps give you the possibility to crop and adjust the aspect ratio of the photo at a later stage after you have taken it.

Composition: Besides the second point, the leading lines, the rule of thirds, and the negative space should always be the priority no matter what the aspect ratio is being used.

Accept the challenge: Put yourself in the shoes of the one who snapped the picture and try to shoot the same scene in different aspect ratios and compare the results.


By the way, you can analyze your subject, creative vision, and platform preferences to make the right decision on the format which will make your mobile photography skills look impressive. The aspect ratio is essential for mobile photography and through it the world of creative photography can be accessed.

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