In the age of social media, smartphone brands are irrelevant. Most mid-range handsets have good cameras, shoot HD videos, and support a wide range of photo and video editing apps. It’s the essential tool you need to create compelling, engaging content.

Let’s take a look at how you can up your game to create content on-the-go for your social feeds that stand out from the crowd.

If you want your photos to stand out from the crowd, try seeing things from a different perspective, and change your shooting angle. For example, taking a photo from the ground facing upwards makes a huge difference.

Everyone loves taking selfies because these are the photos that garner the most likes on our feeds. Make sure the lighting is correct by facing away from direct sunlight. In other words, stand with your back towards the light. If there are too many people in the background, use an app to blur them out.

Another tip for taking photos is to never use the zoom button before shooting. It immediately drops the quality of the photo, which looks pixelated. Always shoot in full resolution and crop after.

Remember that the rear-facing camera has the higher resolution video quality. If you don’t have a mini tripod to face the camera around, use makeshift props like a stack of books, or pop it into an empty glass so the camera lens is above the rim.

Alternatively, if the front-facing camera is what you’re most comfortable with, stick to it. Most apps support hands-free mode, which is useful if you’re shooting a make-up tutorial or showing game play. Propping it up is less clumsy and ensures shaky-free footage. If your handset supports 4K videos, change the quality to 720p. Anything higher will take up a large chunk of space, take longer to upload on social media, and use more data.

If done correctly, after-effects are a big differentiator. To bring Instagram and Facebook stories, Snapchat, or WhatsApp statuses to life, consider an app like PhotoGrid, which is free on Android and iOS. It stitches photos together, makes unique collages, adds music to your videos, and allows for extras like text, stickers or blur effects. The addition of text in various fonts and colours to suit the image will bring out the creative in you.

Other free apps to consider are Snapseed, Adobe Premier Clip, Photoshop Express, FaceTune, Over and Photo Editor by Aviary.

Although not essential, you could also purchase accessories that won’t break the bank. These include selfie sticks, mini tripods, phone rings, PopSockets, selfie lights and power banks. All of these in some way help hold up your phone correctly, and either provide extra light in the evening or power to last the day.

Don’t forget to keep your phone protected with a robust cover, or a slim case and screen protector combination. Happy shooting.