How To Take Instagram-Worthy Photos Using Your Smartphone

Snap and go

Isn't it great to live in this day and age where we can instantly document our lives in clear, vivid photos? Not long ago, we were still using film as the primary means of taking photographs. Back then, it would usually take days before we can finally see the final photos. Now, with our phones, we can snap and immediately review the photos and retake them if necessary — all in just a matter of minutes. 

Still, the art of careful composition is not lost in the modern age. Most of us may have the means but not the knowledge or skill on how to make the best out of it. With that said, here are some hot tips on how you can take double tap-worthy photos using your smartphone.


(Photo from: AnnaPatrish)

 When it comes to food phone-ography, there are two things you have to always keep in mind: lighting and styling. As much as you can, always shoot in natural light. But if you encounter a restaurant with dim lighting, and you really want to take a snap of your food, try playing with the brightness option (for iPhone users: tap your camera screen, then when you see little sun icon hover your finger up and down) or the HDR feature of your phone. 

For styling, add a little something to your food like sprinkles of herbs, a little bit of sauce. Make sure that all the colours are complementary. It's also nice to add elements in the background like your drink or condiments container. Don't forget to experiment with different angles, do it flatlay style with a foreground and background, close-up etc. Whatever happens, don't use the zoom tool as it will reduce photo resolution. Finally, when it comes to editing, it's best to adjust only the contrast and brightness;, too much editing will distort the real look of your food.


(Photo from: Tiffanykongadian)

We know that the Clozette community is really great at OOTD photos so we're just going to be quick with this one. If there's one thing that's quite hard to do to get when it comes to getting a great fashion snap, it's asking a stranger to take your photo. Not only is it quite embarrassing to ask this favour but they may also be not familiar with your best and most flattering angles. To have the best chances of getting a nice photo, approach someone who looks like they'd know a thing or two about photography (someone with a DSLR, ladies the same age as you or a group of friends taking photos). 

To save time, before you approach someone, make sure that your preferred settings are already in place. Ask them the favour with a smile. Once they say yes, quickly position your phone on your desired angle so they will just point and shoot. Better yet, take their photo first (if they also want one) so they can have a guide. Utilise the burst shot feature, too, so you can have lots of options to review afterwards.

Scenery: Composition Techniques

(Photo from: musiquescents)

Scenery phone-ography is very interesting and this is also where your composition skills play a vital part. Sometimes composition is somehow intuitive; you just know when you've got the perfect angle. However, if you're aware of some basic techniques, this could easily speed things up. So let's discuss three basic guidelines: rule of thirds, leading lines, and negative space. 

The rule of thirds is probably the most common technique used and also the most effective when done right. You know those grids on your phone? When you place a subject of interest where the lines intersect, that's the rule of thirds composition. It's great when taking a subject and comparing it to its scenery and the horizon beyond. 

(Photo from: colourstreak)

The next is the leading lines, where elements in the photograph are creating a pseudo-line to point the eye to a particular subject. Roads, bridges, train tracks and stone walls are usually great at creating leading lines. For this, always make sure that the shot is not distorted. To make sure that it's straight, use the camera phone grids as your alignment guide. Lastly, always make room for negative space to give a visual break to the image and create more focus on the primary subject. 

When travelling, it's not only the sceneries that are important, you also have to take shots of the little things that make up the ambience such as the little flowers, the grains of sand and so much more. With this, just be patient in experimenting with different points of focus on your phone. 

Scenery: Utilising The Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, And Panorama

(Photo from: vonnderlust)

The slo-mo, time-lapse and panorama camera phone features are rarely used these days because we're far more enamoured by Boomerang gif-like shots and Instagram rewind. Now, it's time we appreciate these buttons. The first reason why panorama photos are not used as often is that it can't be uploaded as a single post. However, you can crop it in sections and upload it as a series of three consecutive posts. Each one will be equally interesting, and it's a very artistic and unique look for your feed. 

The same goes for time-lapse and slo-mo, it can be used when capturing the overall feel of the scenery from day to night. 

(Cover photo from: LevyAmosin)

Looking to upgrade your photography gear? Check out our recommended cameras for social media.