How to Take Better Instagram Pictures with Just Your Phone

Now more than ever visual content is a crucial part of  building and growing a business. Whether your posting on Instagram, your website or blog, it's important to always use well-branded and quality images.

When you're not working with a photographer, using your smart phone can be just as effective to getting awesome pictures. We caught up with Portland Photographer, Candace Molatore, to get the inside scoop on how she takes great photos using just her iPhone.

 Photo credit: Candace Molatore

Photo credit: Candace Molatore

how to take better pictures with an iphone

Good lighting is a crucial part of a great photo so make sure to pay attention to available light sources. If you're working indoors, some of the best places to work are next to a window, on the ground near a floor-to-ceiling window, or even in the garage with the door open. If you're shooting outdoors, try to take photos in shaded areas. The direct sunlight can often be too harsh causing your model to squint or making odd shadows in your photo. Don’t be afraid to play around with the light by repositioning your subject, changing the angle of your shot or even waiting until later in the day to take a picture. When using your phone avoid strong lighting behind your subject, unless you're looking for a silhouette effect.

Composition is the key to creating an interesting photo. A photo should include one main subject or point of interest to compose a shot that’s visually appealing and holds the viewer’s attention. This focal point gives your photo meaning and offers the viewer a place for their eye to rest. When taking photos, always ask yourself “What is the main point of interest in this scene?” or “What is my main subject?” Once you’ve identified a main subject or point of interest, you can then build your composition around that focal point to draw attention to it. You’ll want to try multiple angles when finding the perfectly composed shot. When shooting flatlays, you can also add props or other items that go with the theme to create an interesting photo. 

When you take a photo from a distance, it's tempting to want to zoom in but,  when using your phone, it's actually better not to zoom in. Zooming on a mobile device crops your image and can make it grainy or pixelated. Instead, try getting closer to your subject as to not compromise the quality of your image. It's always easier to play around with cropping later.

Like any kind of photography, it takes multiple tries to land the ideal shot. Sometimes unwanted movement can cause the shot to be blurry or slightly out of focus. Other times, you may just not like the angle on the first go. When you take multiple shots you’ll have a better selection to choose from at the end. Always remember to try different angles or change the distance of your subject by getting closer of backing away with the phone, as you move around and try new things these additions can create an even richer image.

Just because you took a photo, doesn't mean your work is done. Treat editing like you would makeup: It’s not meant to transform the photo entirely, but rather to enhance it. The editing app I use most is VSCOcam. This app is an essential mobile editing tool whose downloadable templates (most of which are free) give the user a foolproof way to edit photos, with all the tools to adjust your contrast, exposure, saturation, warmth, sharpness, and even skin tones! 

What are some of your favorite apps for editing your phones? What's your process for getting awesome photos with your smartphone? Join the conversation and comment below! 

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