Instagram, the world’s most popular photo sharing network that recently got bought by Facebook for $1 billion, is a fantastic way to share your photos with your followers. While some may argue that the app has encouraged many novice photographers to take mediocre photos, add filters to them, and share them with the world, the app’s biggest fans will argue that it is a fun way of expressing themselves.
I’ve put together a couple of tips to help you take better photos with your smartphone.
- Forget the zoom button/slider exists. Even though smartphone cameras have been upgraded to higher resolutions, photos tend to get very grainy when the zoom is used, which typically results in poor photos. Take a few steps closer to your subject and take the photo.
- Get as close to your subject as possible. Let’s face it, taking photos from a distance creates distance from the subject. Getting in nice and close creates an intimacy with your subject and often reveals more than we would expect.
- Keep the camera steady. Hold your smartphone with both hands, bend your knees slightly, breathe out and snap that photo. Clear, crisp photos always make a better impression.
- Use filters sparingly. Don’t overdo the built-in filters too much. Subtlety is key.
- Use different filters for a change. If you’re anything like me, you tend to use the same filters over and over again. Try using different filters, or even no filter at all. It could make all the difference.
- Use third-party camera apps. I shoot all my photos almost exclusively in Camera+. The popular camera application for iOS affords greater control over the appearance and overall feel of the photos. Other popular camera apps include Luminance, Snapseed and Hipstamatic.
- Shoot from a different angle. Subjects tend to be photographed from all the same angles. From the front, the side, the back, or a three-quarter angle. How about taking a photo from above, underneath, or from the back? Or focusing on the little details that normally get overlooked?
- Get your back to the sun. Shooting into the sun is generally a bad idea, as your photos will be overexposed. Unless, of course, that’s a specific style you’re using. Instead, get the sun behind you, and your subject will be lit up quite nicely.
- Use different lenses. There are many complimentary lenses available for smartphones, from DSLR type lenses, to wide angle, fish-eye and macro lenses.
- Ignore what I say. My tips may or may not work for you. Try them out for yourself. Rules are meant to be broken. Take photos to express yourself, rather than to impress others.
Do you have any other tips for taking better Instagram photos? Please share in the comments below.