Top quality photography used to require expensive cameras and extensive technical knowledge, but these days anyone with an iPhone or iPad can have a crack at the big time. You only have to browse the #shotoniphone tag on Instagram to find millions of amazing photos, many of which have been featured by Apple in official ad campaigns.

If you’re keen to join those ranks and start using your device camera for more than just half-hearted holiday snaps, you’re in luck. We’ve picked out the cream of the Instagram crop in an attempt to inspire and educate you budding photographers. Alongside each of these magnificent images is a quick technical tip to help you understand how these shots were achieved.

Without further ado, scroll down for some of the top shots to grace our screens this month, and tips to match. Tap the username above any image to see the photographer’s full photo feed.

Our favorite Instagram photos from June 2018

This shot of rain on a window pane shows the power of dropping the focus to emphasize a different layer of the picture. Here, instead of concentrating on the flowers through the window, the photographer has switched focus to the droplets of rain. Remember, to override the autofocus in Camera simply tap anywhere on-screen to refocus on your chosen element.

Beautiful in rainy season 🙂

A post shared by tomomi (@_issy) on

Next we have a classic sunset portrait. We’ve seen similar shots countless times before, and yet the effect is still striking. The key component here is the combination of a well-exposed sky and a crisp, jet-black silhouette. This photographer uses Adobe Lightroom to tweak the color balance, but the real secret to capturing shots like this is to tap the HDR button in Camera to ensure the exposure looks right across the entire image.

This next shot was taken in a rush, but a bit of editing afterward leaves it looking absolutely perfect. Perspective and alignment are key here – architectural shots often look better tweaked in a straightening app like SKRWT. Also worth noting here is that the figure in the background adds a welcome slice of movement and interest to an otherwise very static composition.

This marketing shot for a restaurant in Singapore gets the composition absolutely right. There are two lessons to be learned here: one, meticulous preparation of the subject matter can make or break a photo; and two, top-down shots like this need to be exactly perfect to look good. To ensure this kind of shot remains exactly level, there’s a sneaky secret: tilt your device until the white and yellow crosshairs in the center of Camera overlap precisely.

Remember – all the photos featured above were taken with iPhones!

If these shots inspire you to up your own photography game, make sure to familiarize yourself with all the tips in the Camera and Photos chapters of Tips & Tricks.

Once you’ve got the basics down, consider moving on to the iPhone Photography Academy for advanced techniques and tuition. There’s a paid course for those wanting to dive straight in, plus some very useful freebies if you’d rather keep your wallet in your pocket.