There are genuine reasons you would want to snap photos with your smartphone without being noticed. Although, at times taking pictures at events without prior approval can cause bridge of understanding and can lead to legal actions.
But there are times your reasons are genuine and taking some shots without being noticed would be the next best thing to do. You might want to take a shot on your kid to capture memories without him knowing cause of his shyness with the camera, or maybe you are in a crime scene and you would like to capture the face of the perpetrators in such a way you wouldn’t get caught, or you just felt to take some shot for fun. Whatever your genuine reasons might be, you have to do it like a pro and I will show you ways which you can do it in the most discrete way.
Disable The Shutter Sound
The first thing to do is disable the most obvious giveaway of taking photos: the camera shutter sound. Seeing as smartphone cameras have no moving parts, the sound itself is just software-based audio feedback, and turning it off is usually as simple as toggling a setting.
Most modern Android and iOS device will respect your current volume setting, so if you set your device to mute or vibrate, the shutter sound goes away. On older devices, you may need to delve into the camera app’s settings to disable the shutter sound.
Disable Your Flash Light
After disabling the shutter sound, the next most obvious photo-taking giveaway is the camera flash. Although not all smartphones even have a flash, so if yours doesn’t have one, feel free to skip this step. But if you do, there’s no way to take a stealthy photo while it’s on.
The flash setting is usually controlled by the camera app you’re using so it’s tough to give universal step-by-step instructions, but it’s pretty simple: poke around in the interface options for the flash icon (looks like a lightning bolt) and tap to disable. That’s how it works in most apps. If not, you might have to dig into the app settings to disable it.
Partially Hide Your Phone
The actual camera lens on a smartphone is quite small and is usually located towards one side of the phone’s body, typically the top area. This means you can tuck most of the phone away, leave the camera lens peeking, and still take a shot.
Maybe you want to get prepared ahead of time, you can carve the inside of a book leaving out only a small hole for the camera lens and place the book in a position for best shots coupled with a camera app that allows for sequenced captures.
Use a Stealthy Camera App
If all of the above is too cumbersome, then you might be better off with a stealthy camera app. These are designed to make the whole process as easy as possible: no need to fiddle with settings, no risk in accidentally taking a shot before silencing the shutter, etc.
For Android devices, Spy Camera OS 3 is about as good as it gets. It’s free to use and comes with two notable features: it runs in the background (so you can take photos while chatting or playing music) and it can auto-shoot when it detects faces. Photos can be auto-emailed too. If you prefer something simpler, Hidden Camera Snapshot works well enough.
For iOS devices, Easy Calc Camera Eye is a solid option. It shows up as “Easy Calc” in your apps so it raises no suspicions, it has multiple camera shooting modes (such as delayed, sequenced, or motion-detected), and it can auto-protect photos with a PIN. An alternative app is Online Hidden Camera, which comes with a little cost but has a number of nifty options.
Thanks for reading and drop a comment below on any tips and tricks you think I missed.