Northern California Science Writers Association

NCSWA Smartphone Photography Workshop

  • Saturday, September 24, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Exploratorium, Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green St.), San Francisco
  • 0


Registration is closed

Smartphone Photography: How to shoot print-quality photos with your phone

You have a powerful storytelling tool that you always carry in your pocket: a smartphone. Today, major publications feature high-quality smartphone photos in print and online, and this workshop will teach you how to shoot them yourself. Adding smartphone photography to your field reporting will make your stories more appealing to your editors and more engaging to your readers.

In this workshop, you'll brush up your basic photography skills or learn them from scratch. We’ll delve into composition and exposure, and explore the impressive functionality of modern smartphone cameras. You’ll learn about the many pros and the select cons of using your smartphone camera as a professional tool, as well as about supplemental equipment that will take your smartphone photos to the next level.

Whether you are a freelance or staff writer, learning how to get the most out of your smartphone camera will help you sell stories to editors, and will bring your stories alive to your readers.


Lisa Strong is a writer, still photographer, and filmmaker based in Marin County. After freelancing for magazines, museums, scientists, and science expeditions most of her career, she's now working full time as Senior Photographer at Exploratorium. She’s been teaching photography since Fujichrome. She co-designed and taught the multimedia production class for her alma mater, the UCSC Science Communication Program, for 13 years. She's taught field photo workshops in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, and in Alaska, and is delighted by the functionality of the ever handy smartphone camera. For more about Lisa, visit her website:


  • To help Lisa prepare, please send the make and model of your smartphone to her at
  • Masks are required inside the Exploratorium.
  • The Exploratorium’s food policy states that you're “welcome to bring your own snacks and take a break in designated outdoor eating areas. You can come and go.” 
  • The cost of this workshop is kept low by generous subsidies from the Exploratorium and NCSWA. 
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