5 Tips For Capturing Professional Instagram Photos With a Smartphone

In today's age, we carry technology in our back pocket that is capable of capturing high quality content. Yet a majority of smartphone owners don't take the time to learn how their technology works. 

If you want to compete with the best of Instagram's influencers, it's time to pull out your phones and get snapping! Below we have a few key points and concepts on how to optimise your photos and create professional-looking content that will capture attention and generate buzz.

Know the Tech

It's important to learn all about your phone. What camera does it have? How many megapixels can it capture? Does it perform well at night? And can you manually adjust settings?

The good news is that almost all newer phones have fantastic photo capabilities and camera settings. Most will automatically adjust lighting and fix exposure to get the best image.

However, by using manual controls and photo theory you can learn how to manipulate settings to produce the image you really want. So here are our 5 Tips;

1. Take Advantage of Natural Light

Any professional photographer will say lighting is extremely important. Lighting creates mood and atmosphere, and the wrong type of lighting is the easiest way to ruin a photo shoot.

If you want studio-quality lighting for your Instagram followers, start utilizing natural light. By taking advantage of morning and evening light, you can skip out on buying costly lighting accessories while still not having to worry about glares or dark shadows. 

2. Consider Your Perspective

Perspective is how you look at something. When you take photos, especially with smartphones, which are sleek and lightweight, you have the ability to manipulate how people see things. At least for a moment. By changing perspective, you can create professional-looking photos that get the attention they deserve. 

For example, instead of taking a standard photo of a high-rise building, get a close, vertical perspective that will make the building appear taller and stretched out. Or, crouch down low to the ground to offer an ant's perspective of a crowded street.

3. Establish More Depth

Depth is another way to make your photos unique and eye-catching. To create the illusion of more depth in your Instagram photos, consider using the technique of one-point perspective. This is where all lines converge to a single point, such as a mountain on the horizon.

Most modern smartphones offer a grid function, which is recommended to better align your shots and experiment with points of depth.

This image captures natural light, plays with reflections, depth, perspective and was captured in RAW format.

4. Play With Reflections

Reflections are another tool photographers use to make photos stand out. When it comes to using reflections in your photos, try to think outside of the box and experiment in new, interesting ways. You can use mirrors, a variety of different glass surfaces, and even water, like lakes and puddles. 

For example, you can take a picture of a large glass storefront, showing the street behind from a new angle. Or you can investigate nearby puddles, getting contrast shots of the ground mixed with sky and buildings.

5. Shoot RAW, not JPEG

New models of smartphones are capable of capturing RAW files. If you want to edit your photos, these types of files are infinitely better than JPEG, as they do not automatically compress any information that your camera sees. This means you'll be able to recover the highlights and shadows, adjust white balance, and get more details out of your images.

This can be done on some phones, here's a more in depth guide. 

And that wraps up our Top 5 Smartphone Photography Tips! Let us know what you think, and if you have anymore tips and tricks on how to capture professional photos with your smartphone we would love to hear about them in the comments below.  

Stay tuned for Part Two: 5 Tips For Editing Professional Instagram Photos On Your Smartphone. 


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