Seven Tips to Make your Photos Look Fantastic

Do you envy your friends’ gorgeous Instagram shots? Are you the last person they ask to take a photo? You’re not alone. Now’s your time to shine!
Even with a great camera on your smartphone, it can still be hard to get that perfect photo (especially when it’s a fleeting moment). Impress your friends with exquisite photos that make you look like a pro.

Practice these seven practical (and easy) tips to turn your photos from dull to dazzling!

1. Check Your Camera’s Settings:
Depending on your smartphone, there are different settings to choose from. Your outdoor photos are affected by sunlight, shadows and clouds. Indoors, you can play with the lighting to create the perfect photo. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the settings; your phone’s camera is more advanced than you might think. For example, most Android phones have a burst setting allowing you to catch movement — like that all-important sports shot — by shooting several photos in one burst. The iPhone offers an HDR setting, taking several photos at different exposures and layering them together to create a more detailed image. This works great for landscapes or even darkly lit images but is NOT for images with movement.

2. Get Up Close and Personal:
Get up close to the subject. Don't rely on your camera's zoom. The closer you are to your subject, the more detailed and crisp your photos turn out. Zoom is typically not your friend when it comes to photos, as you lose resolution and crispness. Cropping may make your photo look better, but may make it smaller in size, which might not print well. Take the chance now to get as close as you can for the best possible shot. While you’re there, prevent blurry photos by holding the phone with two hands, locking your elbows to your body and keeping your feet about a foot apart for a nice, steady shot.

3. The Selfie Is Dead:
Obviously, that’s not true. But you’ll consistently take better photos using the rear lens of your smartphone. Wave someone down and see if they’ll take your photo for you, or check out the SelfieX app that will automatically tell you when you’ve lined up faces with your rear-facing camera and take the shot for you!

4. Clean the Lens:
Our phones are with us constantly, from our hands and pockets to bathroom counters and restaurant tables. Even when enclosed in a protective case, your phone’s screen and lens are bound to collect some dirt and grime. Wipe them down regularly to enhance the quality of your photos.

5. Lighten Up:
Position your subject so the sun shines at them, not you. One of the most common issues with smartphone photos is poor lighting. While you can’t move the sun, you can move the subject of your photo so it is being hit straight on with natural light. Do the same for indoor photos. If you’re snapping a photo with the light source BEHIND the subject, the photo will appear dark and the subject more of a silhouette.

6. Remember to Focus:
It’s easy to focus on your subject with a smartphone; simply tap the desired image with your finger. You can also reposition yourself or the subject to catch the perfect angle. This will typically allow the camera to adjust the lighting settings to light the subject properly.

7. Frame Your Shot:
Follow the rule of thirds. Imagine a grid of 3 columns and 3 rows (some photo apps even have the lines for you). Line up faces at any intersecting point or line up landscapes along the top third or bottom third. This makes for more interesting photos.
Practice makes perfect, and if you incorporate these seven tips into your daily photo ops, your friends and family are going to fall in love with your photos and ask you for advice on how to create that perfect shot.

Your stunning photos don’t belong stuck in your phone or on your Facebook wall. Use your newfound skills to take amazing photos, then turn your favorite pics into gorgeous photo squares. Decorate in style with PhotoSquared. Your fresh photo squares and skills may make you the envy of Instagram.