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Samsung Working on Overlay Feature to Help Strangers Snap Better Shots of You



Asking a stranger to snap a photograph of you is a risky proposition. If the person has no concept of basic photography concepts and techniques, the resulting photographs may be completely different than what you had hoped for — and you’re too embarrassed to ask for another photo (so you wait for that person to leave and for a new one to walk by).

Samsung wants to help solve this problem: they’re working on a camera feature that helps guide photo-inept strangers in snapping the shot you want.


The feature was discovered by Engadget in a recently published Samsung patent. is very simple: if you can provide the impromptu photographer with an overlay showing exactly what you want your photo to look like, all they need to do is match up the scene with the overlay and press the shutter.

The first step involves snapping a photograph of the scene yourself. This image serves as the main overlay that your new photographer will need to match. Once you have that photo, you’ll need to select where you’d like your head to be in the shot:


You can then choose how large you’d like your body to appear, adjusting the height and width to fit your vision:


Once the scene is composed in your camera, all the volunteer needs to do is match it up with the real world — after you’ve gotten into the frame — and press the shutter:


The feature also includes a “composition score” that measures how closely the photo matches the guidelines you’ve provided, and a automatic shutter release that snaps a photo as soon as the live view matches your overlay.

You can read the patent for yourself here. Given that it’s only a patent, there’s no way to tell whether we’ll actually be seeing this feature in the real world anytime soon. However, given the simplicity of the idea, we’re guessing we’ll be seeing it show up as a mobile phone app before it hits standalone cameras.

Image credits: group photo by Mike Schmid, Tourist Snaps by garryknight