Published On: 2014/03/09

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.

ICE train ride to BerlinReading a 12th century novel on a sunny train ride to Berlin

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.

Berlin HauptbahnhofBerlin main train station 

GowithOh apartment in Prenzlauer Berg, BerlinMy friend Nienke and me taking a mirror selfie in our gorgeous GowithOh apartment in Berlin’s hipster neighborhood Prenzlauer Berg 

Coffee in Berlin, GermanySightseeing fuel

Pergammonmuseum, Berlin, GermanyTwo girls gazing at the Pergamon Altar, one of the most important archeological treasures from Greece

Berliner Dom and Fernsehturm, Berlin, GermanyBerlin’s most famous icons: The Fernsehturm and the Berlin cathedral 

Reichstagskuppel, Berlin, GermanyInside the huge glass dome above the Reichstagsgebäude

ROA street art, Prenzlauer Berg, BerlinROA rats and strollers in Prenzlauer Berg

Flat white, Prenzlauer Berg, BerlinI found flat whites in Berlin!

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany Iconic Brandenburg Gate

ITB flags, Berlin, Germany All the flags at ITB

Berlin Messe at sunsetBerlin Trade Fair at sunset

Do you take mobile photos?
What are your secrets for a really good Instagram photo?

You can find me on Instagram as @JulikaSarah.