Taking picture with phone

How to Take High-Quality Photos For Social Media With Your Phone [10 Easy Tips]


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A common saying about cooking: you eat with your eyes. In other words, if something looks appealing, it’s likely you’ll eat it. Or at least have a nibble.

That same principle applies to social media. On visual channels like Instagram and TikTok, users see first—well before reading or listening. And chances are that if they like what they see, they’ll pay attention and engage with it.

This truth has been proven out again and again to us, as content producers for a range of brands and clients. On social media, visuals reign supreme—although of course your concepts and writing have to be sharp as heck, too.

And yes, creating killer visuals does seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s a common misconception, for example, that you need professional photos for your social media. But that’s not true. You don’t need fancy cameras, gears, and backdrops for your Instagram photos. Instead, you can take a high-quality photo—just with your phone.

And we’ve got the agency insider tricks to show you exactly how.

Taking picture of a bowl of food with phone

Here are 10 tips for Taking Good Photos with Your Phone for Social Media

1. Your Phone Model Matters: Upgrade If Possible

Not all cameras are created equal. Go on, compare photos from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone 14, if you need proof. So if possible, and within your means, update your device to give you better results.

2. Let There Be Light

Oftentimes, the difference between a great photo and a not-so-great one comes down to lighting. You can use natural light or artificial light from a ring light, but good lighting just needs to be there.

Two things to remember about lighting: 1) ensure that the light is behind your photographer so that it shines on the subject. 2) Flash is not your friend. Flash ends up jarring the image rather than improving it.

3. Crop—Don’t Zoom

No matter how high-quality your camera phone is, it’s best to crop the photo rather than zooming in. Best case scenario? Move closer to your subject so you don’t need to crop at all!

4. Use The Grid Feature

Set up the “grid” feature on your smartphone to see the composition of your photo, and follow the Rule of Thirds. Ensure that your subject hits the intersection of the grid lines, and you can almost guarantee a compelling shot. Subjects don’t always have to be right in the middle for an interesting photograph.

Taking picture with your phone, rule of thirds, grid

Photo source: Lightroom Presets

5. Keep Backgrounds Simple

As much as your subject matters, don’t forget about the background. While your background depends on the subject of your photo, ensure that it is visually interesting—but not chaotic. You don’t want to detract from your subject. For product photography, stick with a light, bright background. If you’re shooting people, ensure that background hues are soft and subtle.

6. Know the Format

There are optimal sizes and orientations depending on what you’re shooting for. Here are some basic guidelines.

Instagram  Shoot vertically. Most Instagram users are on mobile. And if you’re shooting a video or a Reel, follow this handy Reels 101 Guide
Facebook Most traffic is on mobile, so vertical is ideal. However, square photos are a safe bet for Facebook, so either horizontal or vertical photos work as you can crop them.
LinkedIn Same here. Most traffic is on mobile, so vertical is ideal. However, square photos are a safe bet for LinkedIn, so either horizontal or vertical photos work as you can crop them.
Blogs Shoot horizontally. Using the best-quality setting in your camera. You always want top-notch photos for your site!
Website Shoot horizontally. Using the best-quality setting in your camera. You always want top-notch photos for your site!

Pro tip: Always upload original files on your site or for your social media. Screenshots always compromise the quality of the image.

7. Clean your Lens

We take our phones everywhere. Over time, the lens gathers dust and fingerprints. If possible, wipe your lens with a cleaner—otherwise, a corner of your shirt will work. This will give your photos a sharper, brighter look.

8. Change Angles

To make your photos stand out in a plethora of images on social media, explore angles and perspectives. Let your imagination run wild! Play around with it, and try taking shots from multiple angles to see what looks best.

Taking picture of a bridge with your phone for social media

9. Adjust Exposure

Smartphone cameras have built-in auto exposure features which basically means it evaluates the scene and adjusts accordingly. While this works most of the time, there may be some instances where you will have to do this manually. Exposure can be adjusted in an iPhone through the ‘sun’ icon on the screen. Exposure can brighten up your image and give it a professional look.

10. Incorporate Brand Colours

Colours establish a connection with your brand. If possible, try to incorporate your brand colours in your photos for your social media. For example, if one of your brand colours is orange, try adding a pop of orange somewhere in the photo (naturally, of course!). The colour doesn’t need to be the exact shade as your brand’s, but ideally it’s the same hue.


Ready to start snapping away? Remember to practice, experiment, and have a little fun! Visual content creation takes time, and it may take a few attempts to nail your new photography skills.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with. 📷


Interested in levelling up the visual look of your brand? Check out our course on Better Online Brand Design. Better yet, reach out to talk about ways we can elevate your look and feel. 

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