10 ways to improve your Insta game (even if you're clueless about photography!)

🕵️‍♂️ By Lauren Holford | ✍️ 7th Mar, 2019

Camera phones are becoming so good, even people that make their living from photography are choosing to leave their bulky camera at home, relying instead on their phone for snaps on the go that they can upload in an instant to their friends and followers. Features such as portrait mode and night sight on devices like Google Pixel 3, Huawei P2 Pro and Iphone XS have seen phone photography rocket. But even if you know nothing about photography, can you still have great Instagram game? Of course you can!

Our trails take in glorious city views, eye-catching street art and lesser-known perspectives on iconic architecture, so whether you are an aspiring photographer or just want some cool, urban photography content for the ‘gram, you’ll find tons of opportunity for the perfect picture.   

Here are 10 super simple tips for instagram success that anyone can follow, even if you don’t have the first idea about photography or your phone doesn't have the best camera. You'll be amazed how easy it is to take better pictures. So get out, get creative, and enjoy the results!


  1. Clean your phone's camera lens before taking a photo

Phones are often kept loose in a pocket or bag where they rub against all kind of dust and dirt. To make sure you get crystal clear images, be sure to clean the lens with a soft cloth (even your t-shirt will do) just before taking a photo to get rid of any smudges that will make you picture seem dull and fuzzy.

  1. Tap to focus

Cameras automatically focus on the highest point of contrast, which can cause unintentional blur of your intended subject. To avoid this, make sure you tap the screen to focus on your chosen subject before taking your snap.

  1. Take a step forward

Using the zoom on a camera makes images pixelated, grainy and blurred. Instead get physically closer to what you are trying to capture. People are also typically drawn into the detail and facial expressions of close-ups, so try this technique even when you don’t think you’ll need it.


  1. Slow down

Take a second to think about what you’re trying to capture and steady your phone with both hands to take the image. This is more likely to result in a clean, focused photo with increased definition.

  1. Background check

Is there an overflowing rubbish bin behind you or distracting clutter in your shot? Take 2 seconds to check what is in the background of your image and move objects or change your angle to eliminate unsightly elements that are unintentionally in your shot. Having a clean background such as a blank wall also creates less distraction and will make subject stand out more.

  1. Get perspective

Shots taken from alternative perspectives are often more engaging than those taken squarely straight on. Try crouching down to make subjects more imposing or dynamic or elevate your position to minimize the subject in composition.

  1. Avoid direct sunlight

Bright sunlight is harsh and zaps colour from your photos while creating unwanted shadow that obstruct details or people’s facial expressions (nobody wants dark bags under their eyes). For best results, try to take pictures of people in the shade.

  1. Stuck in the middle

For photos that are more pleasing to the eye, turn on the gridlines on your phone and instead of putting subjects in the middle of the frame, position them at points where the guidelines cross.

On an iPhone it’s as easy as: Settings>Photos & Camera>switch on Grid.

  1. Choose your best shot

How likely are you to look at someone else’s countless pictures of the same thing? Unless your whole Instagram account is dedicated to say, Sydney's Opera House, resist the urge to post all of your photos and choose your best shot to make the most impact with your followers.

  1. Use a post-edit

Do you find yourself marvelling at the clarity of other people’s photos? How the detail stands out and the colour pops? The reality is most images you now see online are edited and it has become part of the after process to enhance these things. One of the best tools for this is the Adobe Lightroom app, available to download on your phone for free.

So next time you go to snap a photo, take 30 seconds to clean the lens, check the light/background and tap to focus before holding your phone steady with both hands for a clean, crisp image that you can edit and be proud to share.