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How to take better pics with your camera phone

TOC photo editors offers quick tips that’ll improve your camera-phone photos.
Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

Want to take professional-quality shots on your camera phone? TOC’s photo editors offer some quick tips.

Must-have app
“You have to download the app Snapseed ($5). It’s basically Photoshop for your phone. It has the ability to brighten and saturate specific spots on your images. Also, there is a sharpening feature that works wonders.”—Erica Gannett, associate photo editor

Light and tight
“Make sure your light source is behind or to the side of your camera—not behind your subject. Camera phones don’t expose backlighting properly. Also, try getting a tighter shot. Camera phones do a surprisingly great job with micro photography.”—Martha Williams, associate photo editor

Follow the leaders
“Watch the background—keep it clean and simple so your subject stands out. Another tip: Many people just look at the center of composition. Watch edges and pay attention to what you are cropping out and what you are leaving in. And if you’re on Instagram, follow your favorite professional photographers or art photographers (mine include @josevilla, @michaellavine and @ChloeAftel). It’s a good way to see what they’re doing with their camera phones.”—Nicole Radja, photo editor