How to take better pics with your cellphone, plus improve on your Instagram photos

April 30, 2014

So my good friend Sam has started a new female tech site called Tech Girl, and it has some great content, tips and giveaways, which sadly I can’t enter as I’m contributing to the site!

I recently went to an Epson printer event, and wrote a post on Tech Girl about all the mobile photography and Instagram tips we were taught. Here’s my post – apologies for the cross-pollination, but I a) wanted to introduce Tech Girl in case you didn’t know about it, and b) share some great tips and apps, since most of us take pics of life – and our little ones – via our cellphones.

Sharing their tips at the Epson event were Gareth Pon, Instagrammer and nice guy extraordinaire, and Meruschka Govender, a fab travel blogger who admits to only using her iPhone to take pics, and hardly using any apps to edit.

Here’s their snap-happy advice:

Gareth Pon’s 10 cardinals of Instagramming

  • Get lost. Your device can go anywhere.
  • Your phone is not a DSLR. You can therefore get it into small places, and you can get away with a lot more.
  • Light is your friend
  • Get closer
  • Shoot before you think
  • Think before you shoot. Sometimes you need to shoot quickly
  • For style and comfort, wear good shoes
  • Align yourself with your environment
  • Keep looking but know what you’re looking for
  • Think in squares. This is the medium of Instagram

Basic rules

  • Keep stable
  • Avoid the flash
  • Use HDR
  • Shoot more
  • Don’t zoom. Rather move.
  • Change your perspective

Don’t forget to think about:

Rule of thirds, perspective, natural symmetry, textures, the right light, nostalgia (eg ice cream truck), be slightly odd, find a cutie (ie a cute child who looks small in a big space), add to the sunset (eg add a figurine, or a person), shoot out the box (eg flip images and jumpstagrams), learn from others.

Some of Gareth’s recommended apps

  • True HDR
  • Pro HDR
  • Bokeh Lens
  • VSCO

We also convinced Gareth to give us some sneaky screenshots of his smart phone apps, take a look at what he’s using to create gorgeous pics:


You can find Gareth on Instagram, on Twitter and on his website.


Meruschka’s Tips From A Traveller

  • The best camera is the one you have on you
  • The scariest moment is just before you start
  • Find your style
  • Use themes
  • Have fun

Some of Meruschka’s recommended apps:

  • Diptich
  • Snapseed
  • Camera Plus
  • OverApp (for text)

You can find Meruschka on InstagramTwitter and her blog





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