Always dreaming of taking amazing photos, but don’t have a snazzy camera? You can take great shots for social media with your phone and here’s how:

1. Use the grid

There’s nothing worse than a wonky photo, so whatever phone you’re using make sure you have the grid switched on. You can line it up with something in your photo – the horizon, a building, the table etc.

2. Compose in thirds

That grid you just switched on is broken up into thirds for a reason! Break the image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, then place your point of interest in the intersections or along the lines. Try using mostly one third, but just creeping into the next. People’s eyes naturally fall into one of the intersections so it helps them interact with your image. 


3. Use sunlight

Where possible, use sunlight over artificial light. It gives a lovely soft lighting that will make your photos look bright and natural. Just don’t have the sun directly behind your subject or it will put them in a shadow.

4. Take lots of photos

Don’t just take one snap and leave – make sure you take a whole bunch of photos, changing up the angle and the focus. That way you have a library to choose from when it comes to editing, plus you can save some to post another day.

5. Make your own studio

If you’re taking photos in the house or office try and build a makeshift studio – especially if you’re shooting a product or food. Head to Wallmart or Staples and buy some large white sheets of card or foam to bounce light off. The video below has some tips for how to do this!

6. Shoot landscape

Either set your phone to take a square photo or shoot in landscape. That way you get the main focus areas in the middle and don’t lose the subject when you crop to square. The exception to this rule is if you’re shooting for your Instagram Story – then stick to portrait!

9. Keep the camera still

To avoid a blurry shot or a shaky video, prop your phone or arms up on something. You can buy a small tripod for your phone or if you’re just free handing it always try and balance on something level – a table, a post, a wall etc.

7. Do some editing

This starts when you’re actually taking the photo, so adjust the exposure to suit your shot. Then use your phone’s editing tools to play with the highlights and shadows until it looks good.

8. Tweak with an app

Don’t be afraid of using apps to tweak your photos. Snapseed is great for enhancing and correcting your image and Lens Distortion helps you put a cool flare to draw the eye to a particular area of your photo.

For more choices on the app front, check out this list



After (using Snapseed)

After (using Snapseed)

Peter McKinnon has some more great pointers for shooting with your phone...