Ditch your fancy camera and take stunning photographs on your smartphone

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri October 12, 2018

As part of an ongoing series, the CNN Underscored team showcases outstanding deals you can shop right now on the CNN Store. Each week, our staff chooses a product to feature that we think you'll love. This week, we're highlighting The Quick Guide to Smartphone Photography & Video ($9, originally $29; store.cnn.com).

You probably have a professional-grade camera in your pocket or purse right now: your smartphone. The latest iterations of smartphones, like the iPhone X or the Google Pixel, feature powerful and crisp cameras that rival a digital single-lens reflex camera.

But while your smartphone has the ability to snap high-quality pictures, there are many factors involved in taking the perfect image — lighting and composition among them. Professionals already have an eye for this, but the rest of us could use a few tips and tricks to help us produce that perfect image.

That's where The Quick Guide to Smartphone Photography & Video ($9, originally $29; store.cnn.com) comes into play. Taught by award-winning photographer Chase Jarvis (who has been the recipient of a number of awards including from Prix de la Photographie de Paris, The Addys, The Lions, Digiday, The Advertising Photographers of America, and The International Photography Awards, just to name a few), this 12-part video course focuses on a number of techniques that can take your smartphone photos to the next level. Jarvis' lessons focus on topics like capturing action, portraits and lighting effects, landscape and aerial photography, and editing photos directly on an iPhone. So whether you're trying to shoot breathtaking landscapes or professional-looking portraits, you'll have the know-how to adapt your skills to your chosen subject matter.

This course specifically focuses on the iPhone X and gives you more insight on the built-in features at your disposal to take better photos. But the techniques, tips and tricks can also translate to other devices. The course comes with lifetime access, so you can use it as your go-to resource as you continue to learn and understand your device's camera better.

What we really love about this online class is the price. At just $9, you won't be shelling out much money at all to learn. Hey, your smartphone already cost enough!

All it takes is a few bucks, some extra time dedicated to learning, and a smartphone for you to start snapping pics like a seasoned pro. Your Instagram feed will thank you.

Note: The price above reflects the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.