Over the last few months, I’ve had an influx of kind people who’ve commented on my Instagram uploads and some even asking for a few tips for taking their own photos. After contemplating the idea, I decided to put together this blog post and share with you some of my own personal tricks. Keep reading for tips on composition, lighting and editing tips to get your best photo.

IMG_4826.JPGWhen I first started using my iphone to take photos, I didn’t really pay much attention to the camera functions and capabilities. That was until I stumbled upon a few “iphonographers” who boasted some of the most beautiful portfolios, all of which taken with their trusted camera phones.

As per my own camera tool, I currently use an older iphone model – the iphone 5 – and, although I’m in the process of upgrading to the iphone 6, I still thoroughly enjoy the quality of my current phone camera. That being said, I prefer to use the built-in camera on the app “VSCOcam”. Why? Quite simply I find the range of built-in camera tools more advanced and easy to use than the phone camera itself. In addition, I like that the app immediately exports the photos to a gallery where pictures are ready to be edited.  

A great tip to start with anytime before capturing a photograph is to clean the lens of your camera by wiping away any smudges that would later cast an unflattering blur to your pictures. Android devices, these tips apply to you too if you’re after a sharp and clear finish photo.


In terms of composition and lighting, I always try to shoot in natural daylight which creates beautiful subtle contrast, with soft shadows that aren’t as harsh as artificial lighting, producing excellent quality photos. I think natural light also adds a beautiful finish to photographs that need subtle depth – like a flatlay – by casting soft shadows on to your objects in frame, which can then later be reduced or amplified with a highlight/shadow editing tool.

I also make sure that my subject or objects in frame are in focus and brought to the fore of the frame, and positioned along the “rules of third” – a great photography tool which you can read more about here. As per my editing process, I make use of both the VSCO in app filters and editing tools, and will sometimes do some final editing in the instagram app itself.

If you’re also someone who enjoys creating an aesthetic instagram feed, you’ll find that using a single filter for all your posts, or at least keeping a consistent filter for every 12 uploads or so creates a theme that your instagram followers can easily identify as part of your personal brand. The same idea applies to your content; I prefer to keep my pictures simple and uncluttered with just a few objects or focus points in one picture.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

And then there’s the bit about which VSCO filters are the best to use. This is all up to preference, and with so many filters to choose from, it really is hard to narrow down just one. To make it easy for newbie VSCO users, I’ve narrowed it down to some of my favorites:

Blue-toned filters – A6, HB1 and HB2

Red toned filters – C1, ACG, F2

Saturated filters – A5, G3, SE3

You can choose how much of each filter you’d like to add to your pictures  by adjusting the filter bar on each preset.

And that wraps up my tips and tricks for capturing my best photos. Have any questions or thoughts about anything you’ve read in this post, or just general photography-related ideas? Leave me a comment below, or tweet me @theminimaleblog. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with friends and other photographers alike.

The Minimale Blogger


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