How to not suck at taking photos

A month ago, I was invited to a Leica x Huawei workshop led by photographer Nadirah Zakariya.


That’s her!

I’m totally not a photography person so I hadn’t heard of her but omg I took a look at her photos and I wanna kill myself wtf.  Cos like I told her, I really need this workshop; my photography skills are erm to put it nicely… atrocious. Hahahha.

Once some friends and I actually had a photo contest when we were traveling — we each took a pic of the same strawberry dessert and posted on Instagram and asked people to vote whose is the nicest.  The winner was hard to pick but everyone unanimously voted my effort as the ugliest HAHAHAHAH.

The Huawei P9 is a very good phone, not least cos of its camera.  The famous camera on the P9 comes with dual Leica lenses.  In very simple terms (I totally had to read up about this fml), it means that with two lenses, more light enters the camera, resulting in sharper photos.

But hor, good camera doesn’t = to good photographs hahahaha.  Take me for example. *shifty eyed

Anyway here are some tips that I picked up that I may or may not be putting to use in my photos wtf. *shifty eyed again*  Guys please learn ok! Very important for the Instagram generation wtf.

  1. Take five steps and snap

Key point – we need to experiment with different angles and composition yo!  Take a picture from your usual angle and distance.  Then take five steps in front and snap again.  You might be surprised to find a new cute angle that you can work with.


Though if you’re taking a selfie, five steps closer doesn’t really work wtf.

2. Use lighting from different angles and play with light colors

Okay this is something I’d never thought of at all.  Normally I’d strive to avoid backlight so I’d stand with my back towards wherever the light source is.  But Nadirah opened my eyes up to new possibilities!  Backlight isn’t bad – it means you can take artsy silhouette photos that have a whole other beauty.

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Nadirah’s backlit photo.


Mine wtf. Um why mine not as nice ah? Oh yea it’s cos I have floor mats hanging behind HAHAHAHA.

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Like this photo that Nadirah took as well.  Sorry I’m showing a lot of photos of hers that I took from her website and IG but I was very in awe!  She put that torchlight there then a mirror inside the book to get this photo. :O

Before I’d always looked for white light too cos I hate yellow light photos.  But think beyond that! Nadirah just randomly threw a sheer pink scarf over her light fixture in her toilet and bam, she got this gorgeous photo. :O

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3. Cropping and framing

Instead of normally just taking close ups of my fambly and friends (what! Cos I love them so I wanna see their faces wtf), Nadirah taught us to play with cropping photos differently, not just focusing on their faces or making sure their whole body is in wtf but playing with the space around them too for a more interesting photo.


Keeping in mind her advice, I took this photo of Nadirah when we were practicing our photo skills.  NUBBAD HOR 😀 (this was my best attempt wtf)


I also took this photo while I was in Manila and was pretty happy with it!  Although I think it’s got to do more with the gorgeous skyline and colors, and the P9 camera more than my skills hahaha.


Another one using the P9 monochrome function of Emma from Huawei. 🙂

4. Add something of interest

If the photo looks too ordinary boring uhh standard, don’t be afraid to shake it up by adding something! In a sample shot she showed us, she got her friend to put on a hat to make it more interesting.


Tried that here, not sure if it works hahahaah. Maybe the hair accessory, bracelet, necklace AND one Croc shoe is a bit overdoing it hahahahaha.

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This is Nadirah’s take on adding interesting (and themed!) items into a photo.

5. If all else fails, find a cute subject

Um this one is I say one hahaha.  Cos like I know all these useful tips already but I’m bad at applying them FML.  So when all else fails, distract people with cuteness. Hahahaha.


Can?  Pass? Hahaha.

Anyway that’s what I learned. Thank you Huawei for organizing the workshop! I need to tattoo your photography tips to the back of my brain thx.

Note: Photos by Nadirah were captured from her website and Instagram.

This post was written in collaboration with Huawei.