#StoleLens: a guide to produce a flawless visual story

Our realm is everywhere. Deepest stories lie within our own lenses.  It is imperative that we get to see angles from different perspective.

When a random scene like @IGersManila’s #KalyePH photowalk is off the hook; we, photo enthusiasts, tend to focus more on spots that are pleasing to our eyes than to the stories they could bring. Though I have to admit that both disciplines can be effectively used to capture a great photograph, we have to always remember that we only use our own camera phones (at least most of the time) and using such device will test our skills in snapshooting because of limited focus, aperture settings, etc. Hence, relying on the scene and ingenuity in editing the photo is indeed a challenge for some.

I started taking photos when I was a preschool student. Of course, no one will expect that I will be very skilled that early. I can’t remember what my preferences were in photography before, I just remembered that I used to borrow my father’s camera. He taught me how to use it and as a toddler, I always ask questions about the purposes of each parts of the device (even the batteries). This made me think that aside from those individuals who were born genius in the said field, people who were taught during their playful years can also produce exceptional images. Perhaps, letting young people peek what’s inside the lens give them the opportunity to see life in a different angle.

I only shared the story above because I want to prove that we were not born superstars. Everything can be taught the same way they were learned. The more exposure we have, the more photos we take. That’s the reason why I created the hashtag, #StoleLens.

#StoleLens focuses more on candid subjects (mostly people). “Stole” may create a negative connotation because of its meaning, however, I used it to relate to photography and linked the word “Lens” to it. Just to add, it may also involve the concept of street photography. Most of the time, street photography is indeed a challenge because of a moving subject especially when we’re using our own phones.

I have some tips below which are proven effective when we  #StoleLens our subject:

  1.        Respect Peoples’ Right of Privacy– Last year, our dear lawmakers have proposed a bill that will inhibit people to photograph strangers without their permission. Even if they just appear by chance in the background of your photos or simply people taking their #Selfies in the background is a nay. It’s still in the works and definitely it needs a broader discussion in the Congress how to best implement and enforce this law.

  • Therefore, it’s still best to ask permission on/after taking a snapshot because you have to remember that you’re doing this as a hobby and not to be sneaky.
  1.        Always smile– As cliché goes, smile is our best asset. Smiling in public always gives people around you to feel comfortable. It is a necessity to mingle. It is also a necessity when taking photos. Once you smile, you won’t look like paparazzi taking a photo of a celebrity wearing just his or her underwear.

3.       Always bring your camera – This is very critical, great shots sometimes happen when you least expect it. Always bring it, always charge it and always make sure that there’s a space available for new photos.

4.       Discover other angles – Some photos are perfect if they were taken over a desk, some are perfect if they were taken between the lamp posts, top shots are ideal sometimes especially on wide shots, you may also consider lower angles to focus the full length of the subject. In other words, discover and do it your way!


5.       Use burst shots –This is ideal when the subject is quickly moving. You’ll be surprised sometimes because it gives your snapshot a very realistic taste – the best flavor you can add on a candid shot.


6.       Kill the flash –We don’t want people to feel uncomfortable; you might end up being accused of invading someone’s privacy (as stated in item number 1). It is critical to always turn off your camera’s flash because not everyone are born picture perfect.

7.       Use powerful editing phoneography apps –#IGersManila encourages the use of our camera phones when snapshooting, some camera phones do not produce high quality photos and some have limited zooming feature. It’s best to use apps such as SnapSeed (powered by Google), VSCO, Phonto (for adding texts), PicsArt and IG editing tools to edit your photo. Discover its features to create the best #StoleLens visual story.

We have to think out of the box. Most of the visual stories we have shown so far are all amazing. I hope these pointers will serve as guide to make our stories look more visually appealing. #KTGVR

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