10 Tips For Taking Better Photos With Your Smartphone
Edit, Don't Filter
If you want your images to be unique, the last thing you should do is paint them with the same filters that literally millions of other people are using. For the record, I'm not anti-Instagram. I think the sharing element is fantastic, but the pre-determined "retro" washes are played out. And that goes for every other app slinging the same stuff.
I suggest getting a full-on image editing app like the excellent SnapSeed, Photoshop Express, or iPhoto. They'll let you make reasonable adjustments, like contrast, sharpness, and color temperature. Stuff you'd actually do with images from your big camera. It's also not crazy to dump your images into Lightroom or another piece of editing software if you don't feel the need to share them right away. OK, it’s a little crazy, but people do it.
It's with this decision that you can actually begin to choose your own style, or even extend the style you've already developed outside of your smartphone. It's a heck of a lot more effective than picking your favorite Hipstamatic filter and slapping it on every photo.
Image: A screen grab from inside the SnapSeed app. It gives you actual image editing options rather than trying to cover up flaws with heavy vignetting or unnatural midtone contrast.