We all know the struggle of spotting something that’d be perfect for your Instagram page, taking a picture, and being so excited to post it- and then looking at it later and discovering that it’s blurry, or that your finger is in it, or that it just didn’t turn out as well as you hoped it would. Never fear- there are plenty of ways to improve your smartphone photography skills! Read on for a few tips on how to take great pictures for your social media accounts using only your smartphone.

Pay Attention to Composition

Most smartphone cameras have a way to turn on gridlines, usually dividing the photos into 9 squares. This can help you utilize the “rule of thirds,” which suggests that placing subjects along those gridlines creates a composition in your photo which is more pleasing to the human eye. Try not to place the main subject of your photo directly in the center. For example, if you’re snapping a photo of your dog, try turning on the grid line guides and positioning your dog to the left along one of the gridlines. Positioning your subject in the center can make the photo look static and boring, whereas off-center subjects draw the eye around the photo in interesting ways.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave Negative Space

burger photo taken with negative space

You don’t have to fill every pixel of your photo with interesting stuff, in fact, it’s best not to. One subject against a background of negative space is a better idea. Think about it- some of the prettiest pictures on social media consist of one person standing against a brick wall, or a coffee cup sitting in the middle of a white counter with nothing else around it. Negative space draws more attention to your subject, so use it!

You Got to Keep it Focused

Most smartphone cameras make the process of focusing on a subject very easy- all you need to do is tap on your subject on the screen, and it’ll usually focus automatically. “Portrait mode” is definitely worth utilizin