How to take better pics with your phone, and get awesome Instagram shots

Whenever I’m invited to an Epson mobile photography workshop I know there will be four things: good food, great locations, really useful tips, and fab prints to take home.

And this week’s event at Emoyeni followed on perfectly from that – we drank, we ate, we learnt, we took pics of from a gorgeous Joburg setting, and watched our pictures printed wirelessly from our phones to Epson Ink Tank printers.


Sharing their tips were Gareth Pon, Instagrammer and nice guy extraordinnaire, and Meruschka Govender, a fab travel blogger who admits to only using her iPhone to take pics, and hardly using any apps to edit.

Here’s their snap-happy advice:

Gareth Pon’s 10 cardinals of Instagramming

  • Get lost. Your device can go anywhere.
  • Your phone is not a DSLR. You can therefore get it into small places, and you can get away with a lot more.
  • Light is your friend
  • Get closer
  • Shoot before you think
  • Think before you shoot. Sometimes you need to shoot quickly
  • For style and comfort, wear good shoes
  • Align yourself with your environment
  • Keep looking but know what you’re looking for
  • Think in squares. This is the medium of Instagram

Basic rules

  • Keep stable
  • Avoid the flash
  • Use HDR
  • Shoot more
  • Don’t zoom. Rather move.
  • Change your perspective

Don’t forget to think about:

Rule of thirds, perspective, natural symmetry, textures, the right light, nostalgia (eg ice cream truck), be slightly odd, find a cutie (ie a cute child who looks small in a big space), add to the sunset (eg add a figurine, or a person), shoot out the box (eg flip images and jumpstagrams), learn from others.

Some of Gareth’s recommended apps

  • True HDR
  • Pro HDR
  • Bokeh Lens
  • VSCO

We also convinced Gareth to give us some sneaky screenshots of his smart phone apps, take a look at what he’s using to create gorgeous pics:



You can find Gareth on Instagram, on Twitter and on his website.


Meruschka’s Tips From A Traveller

  • The best camera is the one you have on you
  • The scariest moment is just before you start
  • Find your style
  • Use themes
  • Have fun

Some of Meruschka’s recommended apps:

  • Diptich
  • Snapseed
  • Camera Plus
  • OverApp (for text)

You can find Meruschka on InstagramTwitter and her blog


We couldn't resist a cupcake shot.
We couldn’t resist a cupcake shot.

Want to find out more about the Epson Ink Tank printers? Keep checking back, Tash will soon be sharing her thoughts on how easy it is to pull those pics off your phone and turn them into prints you can treasure for ever.





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