Have you always wanted to pursue photography as a hobby, but aren’t sure what to do? Thanks to improved cameras in phones, anyone can take a great picture. Make your photos Instagram-worthy by following some of these tips.

1) Understand the Rule of Thirds

This is a technique used with beginner film and photography students. The idea with the rule of thirds is to get your points of interest either along the lines or at an intersecting point. This is where a person’s eyes will gravitate.

If you’re using your smartphone, you can usually find an option to turn on a grid for your phone’s camera. The grid will give you two horizontal and vertical lines, giving you three horizontal and vertical sections to work with. If you’re shooting a specific object, try to get that object at a point where a horizontal and vertical line intersects.

2) Know that Negative Space is OK

Whitespace in the background of your shot is great if you have one subject in a photo. Whether you are taking a picture of a dessert, or of someone’s face, the wall you’re shooting the subject behind may actually make your photo better. Try some wide shots if you find that you have a plain background. You may be impressed with how your photo comes out.

3) Don’t Use Your Phone’s Flash

Try to use natural lighting whenever possible. Flash on mobile devices can significantly distort your photo and give it a washed out look. At night, try to find well-lit areas to take your photo. You can increase or decrease exposure later using a photo-editing app.

4) Don’t Be Afraid to Get Dirty!

Some of the most creative shots you may take might involve you kneeling on the ground, or lying down. To get that perfect angle, you may sometimes need to elevate yourself to get more height or to get something in the background. With smartphone zooms, you can sometimes distort the quality of your photograph. This technique will help you get a better shot of your subject, without compromising quality.

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