How to take better photos using your phone

How to Take Better Photos Using Your Phone

Ok, so you don’t have one of those fancy DSLR cameras, or you do, but you just don’t know how to use them, or you don’t want to carry it around with you. That’s ok because you have an easy alternative. Ready for it? Your phone! I want to share with you some tips that have helped me out. One thing I want you to keep in mind though is to just play around until you find what works for you. What works for me might be different for you, but here is a good place to start.


Just because you aren’t a photographer doesn’t mean you can’t take a great picture. In fact, I wish you could see some of the first photos I started posting on Instagram. I swear I had no idea what I was doing. Oh and guess what? I am still learning new tricks to improve.

Are you an iPhone or Android user? I am going to give you the best apps to use to make your photos become that wow factor that is available to both iPhone and Android. Here we go.

Snapsneed- best place to start for overall editing while being easy to use

VSCO- great edits using film like filters

Afterlight 2- your all-purpose photo editing app with creative options

TouchRetouch- best for removing unwanted elements from your photos

Adobe Lightroom CC- a little more advanced, but great for fine tuning color and exposure and it will even sync with your account to access anywhere


Forget the flash. Just turn it off. Natural light is absolutely the way to go. When using the flash, you can end up with blurry photos, weird lighting, red eyes that you end up fixing, and at times a delay when taking the photo and potentially missing out on that moment you are trying to capture.

Ok, so now what? You are probably wondering what to do if there is bad lighting, or if it’s dark. Wait for another way to get your lighting. Use the light coming in from a window, street lamp, or even car headlights.

Know what time of day has the best lighting for the location you are shooting at. Just trust me on this, you want to use that natural light.


I used to think I needed to take a photo with it being head-on. Boy was I WRONG.

Get out of your ways and be creative. Get weird. Shoot while lying down or crouching down. Think of someone else’s perspective, like a child. If you want a bird’s eye view, get ready to get above by being on chair or ladder.

Take the photo as you see it, not how it should be.


Ok, let’s talk props. The good and the bad.

The goal of using props is to help improve your photo. Props are great to add a little character, color, and texture to the photo. Sometimes they are even used to help make the person in the photo feel more comfortable and forgetting you are even there taking their photo.

However, when used incorrectly they can be a distraction and even cause the photo to scream, “Hello, look at me, I am staged!” I mean obviously they usually are, but there are ways to make it work and look good.

Don’t just make the props an afterthought. Play around with them. Position them in a way that is not the norm. 

Flat lay

When doing flat lay photos, you really want that natural light, as I mentioned earlier. Take the photo next to a window open door with the light coming through.

Add some color to your photo. Do you have a theme for that photo or do you just need a pop of color? For example, let’s say you are shooting photos for hair products, what else would make sense to be included?

Texture is huge!! You want to add different items that will add some character to your photo. I want you to think of glass, wood, plants, fabric, and paper.

Don’t forget to add some contrast as well with different sizes. You don’t want everything to be the same size. Use things around your home. I can bet we all have nail polish, pens, candles, post-it notes, and so much more. Have fun with it!

Now go and grab your phone and start taking pictures. You didn’t spend all that money on a fancy phone for nothing.

Download the different apps I recommended and play around with them. Try using the same photo in each app and see how many different looks you can get.

The point is to start trying. You aren’t going to get better by not at least trying. Tag me in your photos with some before and after photos. I would love to see what you create!

This post was written by:
Carli Lewis

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