How to take better photos with your phone- for adults and kids

You look through your friend’s gorgeous Instagram feed and you get jealous- their photos are gorgeous and yours look like a hot mess.

Let me spill the secrets of a great Photo- especially for Instagram.

First of all-it all starts with good lighting.

This photo was taken in the bathroom (obviously). But the light was coming in so nicely from the open window.

Yes, you can go crazy and buy professional lights that you plug-in with softboxes, but the best lighting comes from a beautiful large natural light source, like a door or a bay window.

If you have bad lighting, then yes, you can try to edit it out using snapseed or vsco, but it will still not be as crisp and beautiful as if you had better lighting.

Secondly, get close.

Don't be afraid to get close to the object- uncomfortably close- yes you might feel ridiculous taking a picture of something at the restaurant with everyone around.

Thirdly, edit your photos.

After getting the shot with good lighting, editing your photos really make the photo shine!

Here is one example:

Here is the edited version.

Recommended apps to use:



Fourthly, take your time

Just know that taking good photos, setting up the photo and removing anything in the background PLUS editing the photo for your instagram takes TIME.

Your friend's amazing feeding probably took a lot of time to make- time that you may or may not have. Taking great photos and putting them online is an investment of time.

Bonus: Don't just keep your photos on the phone, print them out.

There are so many great apps or websites to print your photos. Ranging from taking a lot of time to taking NO time at all.



Making a photobooth in MINUTES on your phone


Connects to your facebook account and automatically makes a photobooth with comments and screen shots of video within minutes


This app automatically sends you a photobook when you upload 60 photos to your instragram


Another app that automatically sends a photobook right to your mailbox from the photos you already take.


So it's up to you.

Taking photos of your family and their moments is a must. Yes you can do it. It all about finding good light, editing the photos and taking time to make them look beautiful.


I was thinking about my own instagram feed. Alot of times, it's just me posting about random things my kids do. I don't even give it a second thought when I post a photo. A lot of times, my background is messy, my lighting is crappy and so on.

I am guilty of it too.

But when I looked through my entire feed, I realized that certain photos that I took, stuck out to me as special and unique. After looking through over 1,800 photos from over two years, I began to notice a pattern of good vs. bad instagram photos.

Most of the photos that I liked either:

1. Told a story or had motion
2. Had leading lines
3. had a good use of the rule of thirds.
4. Had good use of negative space.
5. Interesting lighting.

So let's break it down:


Does the photo convey a feeling to the audience? Does it make them see a story unfolding when they see your photo? If a photo is worth 1,000 words, then what words are you sending?


Leading lines, are what draws our eye into the photo through actual lines or curves in the image. To see more about this watch this video:


Every photo is a space where your eye looks from left to right, just like reading. If your image is interesting enough, then your eye will fall on either corner. Less interesting photos are dead center. To see more about this than watch this video:


Negative space is blank spaces in our photo. It helps to "cushion" the main subject of our image and isolate them so that our eyes focus on them. Negative space could be a simple white texture or blank space. To see more about this, watch this video:

Here are some examples from my feed of my favorite instagram photos following these rules:


Does your photo shows good contrast in lighting? Or is it taken in a bathroom? Does the lighting convey shadow and depth? Natural light is always best with camera phones. Try not to use flash unless it's a dire emergency!