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Top tips for taking smartphone photos and videos

The following tips should help you to get started with taking your own photos and videos using your smartphone, which can be shared on the NCAS social media accounts or one your own personal profiles.


To take the best quality photos and videos there needs to be a lot of light. Make sure you are taking photos and videos in a well lit space with plenty of natural light. 

If it is not possible to get a lot of natural lighting, make sure you have the lights turned on. 

Try to avoid using flash as it lowers the quality.

Zooming in

Try to avoid zooming in. Instead get closer to what you are taking a photo or video of if possible. Crop unwanted backgrounds out after you have taken a photo.


If possible, keep backgrounds simple and decluttered. This is so that the background does not distract from the subject of the photo or video. 

However, sometimes it is important to show the whole scene to tell a story. If you are taking photos or videos of a group activity for example, make sure that you capture as much of the scene as possible.

Portrait or landscape

For Instagram portrait shots are best, as these are better for Stories and Reels. Landscape is better for X (Twitter) and for news stories on the NCAS website. Portrait or landscape is ok for LinkedIn. Try to take a mixture of portrait and landscape pictures and videos if possible!

Clean your lens

Before taking a photo, make sure that your phone camera lens is clean. This is a quick and simple thing to do to improve the quality of your photos.

Use timer feature

If you need to be in the frame of the photo you can use the timer function on your camera. This will allow you time to move into the shot.

Candid photos

Candid photos do really well on social media. This is because they are more relatable and ‘human’. Where possible take photos, and videos, which reflect this as it will increase engagement and make NCAS seem more authentic.


Try to include people in your shot. It shows the human ‘behind-the-scenes’ of the work we do at NCAS.

Keep phone still

Try to keep the phone as still as possible when taking photos. You can always balance your phone on a flat surface or use a tripod.