Debunking the Myth: A Great Instagram Needs a Professional Camera

When you scroll through an enviable Instagram account, you know – the one with with the perfect grid composition, carefully scattered “inspirational quote” pictures here and there and amazing quality photos with great lighting – a thought that usually comes to mind is: “What out-of-this-world camera does this person use and where can I get one?”

What you don’t know is that many Instagrammers (yes, even ones with 200k+ followers) actually use a good old iPhone lens to snap their pictures. Your iPhone is more than capable of providing you with an “Instagram-worthy” shot, but lighting and editing can go a long, long way. We’ve created a cheat sheet for you with some tips on how to make the most out of your iPhone camera and how to avoid dropping a chunk of your chequings account on a DSLR.

  1. Try to see things in a different way - some photo subjects actually look better in a wide-shot while others are great for a close-up. Play around with the picture you take, try out different angles and experiment with your zoom skills.

  2. Knowledge is power, so get to know your iPhone - believe it or not, your iPhone has settings of its own that can really make or break a picture. Watch a YouTube tutorial, ask an expert friend or experiment with the camera settings yourself. A cool one is the Depth Effect in the Portrait setting of your camera.

  3. Don't underestimate the difference a good background will make. You want to make sure that the background in your picture is complimenting you photo subject, rather than distracting from it. For example, take a picture of your outfit against a background with the same-ish colour scheme. Take a close-up of your new product against a clean, white background.

  4. Lighting, lighting lighting! - Good lighting is everything. Try to take all your pictures with as much natural daylight as possible. If not, make sure there's enough light indoors to snap a clear picture. No amount of editing can salvage picture with sh*tty lighting. Buying an iPhone case that has built-in lighting (eg. Lumee Case) can be a worthwhile investment.

  5. Look for symmetry - center yourself or your subject, make sure all your lines are straight and try to unify the sizes of all the pictures in your feed. You don't want to randomly post a picture with a white frame, when all your pictures have been perfect squares.

  6. Invest in a good editing app - Afterlight, Snapseed and Lightroom are some useful ones.

  7. Focus on composition - don't post a lot of white pictures side-by-side, try to contrast each picture with the one next to it. Unless your feed's vibe is dual-tone, block colours or mono-tone, contrasting is the way to go.

  8. Take multiple shots - but don't overdo it. If you're not sure that your picture makes the cut, don't sacrifice it. You want a good number of shots to choose from but not too many that you can't even tell the difference.

  9. Last but not least, If your pockets feel heavy and you have some extra mulla to spend, add a lens to your iPhone.

And, that's a wrap! No excuses for a sloppy picture now.

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