It’s been a year since I upgraded my old phone, which basically looked like an ancient mini fax machine, to a newer one so I could finally join Instagram. I had been stalking people’s Instagram web profiles for months and it was the wish to share my own images online that made me give in to the 21st century phone-wise.
Mobile photography however, is an art. And I underestimated that taking good photos with your phone takes just as much practice as taking good photos with a dSLR. Seeing a good image and capturing it in the right way are two different things. But even with the limited options of a phone camera it’s possible to take great pictures, but it takes time to learn how to do it.
Looking back at my early photos on Instagram, I can see that I’ve committed all the typical mistakes: I tried to take night shots although my phone is clearly not made for that, I used flash for indoor photos. I over-edited, over-saturated, and over-used filters. I took photos of my food from above making it look like it had been eaten before. Still, I tried to improve myself constantly.
Mostly by following super talented other Instagramers, I learned to take better photos by constantly analyzing what they do right. I slowly understood how to make the simple shot of a coffee from above more interesting. And I learned the most important photography lesson of all: Ultimately, every photo — in general, but especially when photographing with a (semi-decent) phone lens — is always about light.
Today, I always search for the right light, the best motif, and perfect angle for a great for a mobile photo. I try to go easy on saturation and filters, and only upload images that I really like. After practicing for a year now, I’m sort of satisfied with how my Instagrams look now.
I was in Berlin last week to attend ITB, the world’s largest tourism and travel trade fair (well, and to meet up with some wonderful travel blogger friends, and to visit a few museums of course!), and I’m pretty content with how my Instagram photos from Berlin last week turned out. I wanted to show Berlin how it is: Historic sights in a constant clash of old and new, urban ugliness that still feels creative and inspiring. I hope I managed to do that.
Do you take mobile photos?
What are your secrets for a really good Instagram photo?
You can find me on Instagram as @JulikaSarah.