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Thanks to Instagram and the relative quality of even the most basic smartphone cameras, nearly anyone can take “artsy” photos these days. But the same principles that applied to film photography for a century still hold true in the digital realm: if you want to take truly outstanding pictures, a little added effort goes a long way. These five simple accessories will take your shots to the next level, without requiring years of training or a hefty hit to your bank account.
1. View the world through a different lens
One reason your phone’s pictures never quite achieve DSLR quality? Lack of lenses. Pro photogs use different lenses for different situations, but your smartphone is stuck with one standard setup. Mix things up with the Acesori 3-in-1 Smartphone Camera Lens Kit. It includes a fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and a macro lens — all of which attach to your iPhone (up to version 6S), Samsung, and other mobile devices with ease.
Buy now for $9.99, formerly $49.99
2. Get some lens love for your iPhone 7 (and nearly everything else)
Got a brand new iPhone, or some other device that tends to defy usual accessory specs? The LimeLens Universal Smartphone Camera Lens Set includes a 10x macro lens and a 0.67x wide-angle lens that are both compatible with almost any smartphone or tablet currently available.
Buy now for $39.99, reduced from $99
3. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try a tripod
Here’s a lesson on how to snap dynamic pics without holding your phone in your hand.
Step 1: Throw your selfie stick in the trash.
Step 2: Grab the ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod. This rough-and-tumble tripod features flexible legs and rubber grip feet that allow you to position your device nearly anywhere. Plus, the included Bluetooth shutter remote lets you snap photos from afar (but please, think before you selfie).
Buy now for $19.99, or 42% off the regular price
4. Strive for stability
Picture this: You’ve got the perfect shot all framed up, the lighting is just right, your subject is in focus, but at the precise moment you hit the shutter button, your shaky hand suddenly throws everything out of whack. Now the moment has passed and you’re stuck with a blurry image. Perhaps it’s time to get a grip. The Ztylus Stabilizer Rig Kit adds an ergonomic handle to any smartphone, allowing much greater control without disruptive shakiness.
Buy now for $21.95, marked down from $29.95
5. Take a stand
When it comes to digital photography, capturing the image is only half the battle. You still need to review your photos, choose the keepers, and edit them to perfection. This Credit Card Sized Smartphone & Tablet Stand 3-Pack is incredibly helpful for keeping your devices at an ideal viewing level, allowing you to flip through your pics and make edits without hunching over a screen for hours. And when you’re done, the stands fold up flat enough to fit in your wallet.