Top influencers and photographers share their secrets to up your Instagram game

Take your holiday snaps to the next level with these easy phone photography tips from top photographers and influencers.

Person holding up phone to snap a picture of a mountain range.
  • Angeline Tse

From capturing beautiful landscapes to nailing a selfie, top photographers and influencers from Asia share their tips and tricks for snapping awesome photographs on your smartphone.

1. Focus on a main subject

Ivan Kuek, photographer (@phonenomenon)
“A photo should include a main subject or point of interest. This focal point gives your photo meaning and offers the viewer a place for their eyes to rest. Once you’ve identified a main subject or point of interest, you can then build your composition around that focal point to draw attention to it. Another tip is to clean your lens! Your phone spends a lot of time in your pocket or bag, and dirt, dust, grease, and fingerprints on your lens will leave smudges, blurs and dust spots on your images.”

2. Experiment with low angles

Lee Yik Keat, photographer,
“Shooting a landscape from a low angle allows people to view the photos as if they are experiencing it from an ant’s perspective. Shooting people from a low angle can also help to bring out their features and elongate their legs and hands.”

3. Bring out the best side of your food

Lennard Yeong, influencer (@lennardy)
“When it comes to food photography, dishes that are plated symmetrically (like in old-school French fine dining) are best photographed top-down. Shooting from above allows you to capture the precision required to create ‘systematic’ plating. Stacked dishes are best photographed from the side to display the depth of the dish.”

4. Prioritise moments

Jemma Wei, influencer (@jemmawei) opens in new window
“Capture moments and emotions as they are happening, instead of focusing purely on how pretty the shot looks. This is just my own style, but it’s worked for me!”

5. Anticipate the action

Amos Wong, photographer, opens in new window
“Pre-frame shots, expecting when and where the action is going to take place, so you’re able to capture fleeting moments. This applies whether it’s an urban scene or a person walking in the foreground of a magnificent mountain.”

READ MORE: More pro tips to help you take the perfect holiday photos opens in new window

6. For selfies, lighting is everything

Xiaxue, influencer (@xiaxue) opens in new window
“Before taking a selfie, spin the camera 360 degrees to see which angle has the best lighting! If you’re using an iPhone, you can also use Portrait mode opens in new window to blur out the background so your face is the focus. Lighting is more important than whether the background looks nice.”

7. Use apps with beauty effects

Christabel Chua, influencer (@bellywellyjelly) opens in new window
“I love using the beauty and makeup effects app SNOW opens in new window for looking on point, even without any makeup on!”

8. Avoid using selfie sticks

Wisnu Haryo Yudhanto, photographer, opens in new window
“Try not to use selfie sticks. [If you want to be in the shot], get someone to help you take the picture so the composition is better. To compose better photos, make use of surrounding elements such as trees and rocks for natural framing. Also, don’t just stand still with the same pose — interact with your fellow travellers and ignore the camera for more natural-looking shots.”

9. Place the subject off-centre

Emily Newell & Kate Mitchell, photographers, opens in new window
“Follow the ‘rule of thirds’ where the subject in the image is positioned off the centre of the frame. If you want to capture your kids at the beautiful beach or temple you’re visiting, placing your loved ones off-centre will create some lovely negative space and highlight where you are on holiday.”