Beginner’s Guide to Taking Amazing Instagram Photos With a Smartphone


You’ve got your smartphone ready, and you’re all set to take on Instagram. The only problem is you’re not sure how to take Instagrammable photos.  

While it may seem simple, you may need a bit of practice to create an Instagram feed —and photos— that will make your followers go “wow!” But don’t worry. Here’s a guide to help you achieve your Instagram feed goals! 

Camera Phone Setting

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the settings and see what would work for the particular photo you want to take. 

Here’s a trick to help you get started: If you’re shooting on a bright, sunny day, consider under-exposing your shot. Why? It’s easier to adjust the exposure and brighten your image during editing than edit an over-exposed shot.  

Additionally, make sure to turn off your camera phone’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) function. As a newbie, you may have a hard time working with your phone’s HDR function. Unless you’re already confident with your camera phone’s basic features, it might be a good idea to pass up on HDR for now. 


If there’s one thing that could make your photos look like a professional photographer shoot them, it’s using the Rule of Thirds composition technique. 

Fortunately, your camera phone has a grid tool to help you follow the Rule of Thirds. Simply turn on the grid feature on your camera phone’s setting. To use it, align your subject with the lines and intersection points on the grid. 

If you’re taking a landscape shot, make sure the horizon is aligned with any of the horizontal lines of the grid. For portrait shots, consider aligning one of the eyes of your subject along the top third-line of the grid. Doing this puts the subject a little bit off-centred, giving them a more interesting perspective. 


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When possible, always work with natural lighting. For outdoor shots, try to catch the golden hour, which is the period shortly before sunrise and before sunset. Taking photos during this time results in less sharp shadows on your photos that you may have a difficult time editing afterwards. Furthermore, it creates a warm, golden filter that makes any shot look magical. 

For indoor photography, try to take photos near a window or door so you can make the most of natural lighting. Artificial lighting could result in harsh yellow tints or uneven lighting on your photos that may be difficult to adjust during post-editing. 

Depending on the features of your camera phone and your artistic needs, you may choose to use the lighting options on your app. For iPhone users, you’ll find this feature when you shoot on portrait mode. Some lighting choices available are natural light, stage light, studio light, and contour light.


Can’t catch the golden hour, use your camera filters to create the mood and feel you want to achieve. 

The best way to do this is to take a photo without a filter. Then, take another one with a filter. Sure, you can add the filter during editing. However, using a filter as you take the photo allows you to see if there is any adjustment you need to do with the composition or angle in real-time. 

For iPhone users, you can see the filter icon on the top right corner when you turn on the camera app.  

There you have it! With these basic tips, you could get started working on your Instagram feed and start growing your followers with your amazing photos.


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