With more than 3,000 A-plus shots and, oh, about 22k Instagram followers, it’s clear that creative director Elizabeth Spiradakis Olson (@white_lightning) knows how to handle her iPhone. Say buh-bye to poorly lit food photos and ho-hum travel shots with these pro tips:

Steady yo self: ”Steady your hand and use the auto-focus lock (hold your finger down on the frame). Crisp and sharp photos always looks best, unless the blur or action is intentional. Take the extra three seconds to make it perfect.”

Think outside the Insta app: ”Take the photo with your camera, then use editing software. I never shoot in-app because I never shoot just one picture! If something is worth photographing, I usually take at least three shots. Then you can select the best of the lot and edit. I DO always shoot in the square though, because then the ratios are the same as they are in Instagram. I love Afterlight, but the most valuable new tool in the Instagram app (to me) is the adjust tool, which allows you to make vertical and horizontal perspective adjustments. This will help you a ton if you want perfect lines and angles, but aren’t the straightest shooter.”

Go natural: “Natural light is always best; backlit is almost never great. Natural daylight is the prettiest, but after that, anything bright white and hopefully only coming from one direction. As for no-nos: In most cases candlelight, dark bars/restaurants, a low-light lamp, etc. will not yield the best results. The photo will likely be blurry and hard to read.”

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Think like a composer: “I love an overhead picture—they are basically inescapable in your feed but they always look good! Everyone has their own style and thoughts on composition. I prefer clean lines and straight on shots but that is by no means the key to perfect photos. It’s a lot of trial and error—all the more reason to NOT shoot in-app. If you see something photo-worthy, take a few shots, try it a couple ways and see what aesthetic you like.”

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