Avoid distractions in photos



Hey there, fellow smartphone photographers!

I’m sure you’ve taken at least one stunning photograph, only to realise later that there’s distracting elements that take away from the beauty of the image?

We’ve all been there. I know I have, many times! And if you don’t specifically look for those distractions, they’re easy to miss at the time.

But worry not, because today, we’ll explore the different types of distractions in photos and discuss some handy tips to avoid them. So, let’s dive in and capture those perfect moments without any unwanted distractions!


Common Distractions in Photos

Background Clutter

One of the most common distractions in photos, is background clutter.

It could be anything from a pile of dirty dishes to a curious pet. From a lamp post to a billboard.

To avoid this distraction, take a moment to carefully observe your surroundings before clicking the shutter button. Look for clean and unobtrusive backgrounds that complement your subject.

You could also adjust your composition, or change your shooting angle to eliminate any unwanted elements that may steal attention.



There’s always that one person who unintentionally walks into your frame just as you’re about to capture the perfect shot 🙁 . While it may be a bit frustrating, don’t let it ruin your day!

Instead, embrace the unexpected and turn it into an opportunity. Sometimes, these photo-bombers can add a unique element of surprise, or even humour to your photograph.


Distractions in photos - Photo bombers
Image by StockSnap

But, if their presence truly detracts from your intended subject, try waiting for a moment for them to move on.

Sometimes, especially in a very public area, they could be there a while.

If you’re confident enough, you could kindly ask them to give you a moment to capture your shot undisturbed.

If not, maybe you could go back later to get the shot? Remember though, that the lighting changes minute-by-minute, so keep an eye on that 😉


Electrical Wires and Poles

Especially in urban settings, electrical power/phone lines and poles can be major distractions in photos. They can crisscross the sky, causing unwanted lines that draw attention away from your subject.


Distractions in photos - Cables
Image by Jafarjaam123

Sure, there are apps out there that do a pretty good job of removing these things in post-processing. But, if you can, it’s good practice to not have them there in the first place.

To avoid them, try changing your perspective. Get closer to your subject or find an angle that minimises the visibility of these distractions.


Lens Flare and Glare

Lens flare and glare can be beautiful, artistic elements in some cases, but they can also be unwanted distractions in photos. They often occur when shooting directly into the sun, or other strong light sources.


Distractions in photos - Lens flare
Image by Pexels

You can minimise lens flare by using your hand to shade the lens from direct light. Adjusting your shooting angle slightly can also help reduce the effect.

If you’ve done all you can and you still end up with lens flare, embrace it and see if it adds a unique touch to your photograph.


Busy Foregrounds

Sometimes, it’s the foreground of your image that’s too busy. And that can just as easily distract from the main subject.

It tends to happen more often in landscape or street photography. If you can avoid a busy foreground by moving a bit, or changing your perspective, that’s clearly the best option.

But if not, there are ways to help you avoid it being such a problem.

You could consider shooting in portrait mode, if your smartphone camera has it. When using portrait mode, you can adjust the amount of blur in the areas around the subject, after you’ve taken the image.


Distractions in photos - Using blur
Image by Pexels

Or, if you have a 3rd party camera app that allows some manual control, use a wider aperture (lower number), to create a shallow depth of field.

Either of these will create blur and bring more focus to your subject.



Distractions in photos can be frustrating, but with a little patience, observation, and creativity, you can avoid them and capture stunning images.

Remember to pay attention to your surroundings, be flexible with your composition, and embrace unexpected surprises. By implementing these tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to capturing moments without any unwanted distractions in your photos.

So, grab your camera, explore the world around you, and let those distractions fade into the background, as you create beautiful photographs that tell your story.



  1. Go to a busy street where there’s a lot going on. Then, find different ways to simplify your scene and capture three images with minimal distractions. This might mean focusing on details, using the people in the scene to tell a story, or even using the chaos to make the image interesting.
  2. Practice changing your perspective. When you see an image you like, try also taking an image from up high and down low. You might be able to create a simpler background, or a new way of seeing things.
  3. If the surroundings aren’t important to the image, try using the portrait mode on your smartphone. Portrait mode isn’t just for portraits 🙂

Let me know in the comments how you get on!


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