A smartphone camera is portable, convenient, and easy to use – and the photos it takes can truly shine if you learn to make the most of it. Use your phone camera to tell your travel story and capture memories, giving you a chance to savor your precious vacation days just a little bit longer. Here are nine tips for snapping the best travel photos ever from the touch of your smartphone.

Think beyond the usual poses.

Do away with the standard poses. One can only have so many pictures snapped standing before a major landmark with a forced smile. Instead capture your subject doing something fun and memorable at the destination.

Travel: it’s about the little things.

Capture the small things that make your destination unique and your trip memorable: a perfect cup of steaming coffee with a warm beignet in New Orleans, a cobblestoned alley in Avignon, a pigeon resting on a pole in St. Mark’s Square.

Learn the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is a guideline you’ll want to follow to improve composition: your image should be divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines; any important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Following this simple rule promises to make your photos all the more interesting.

Great view? Take a panoramic shot.

Take 360-degree panoramic video with your iPhone 5, 4S, or 4 using Kogeto’s Dot snap-on accessory lens and Looker, a free companion app from the iTunes Store.

Give fish-eye, wide-angle, and macro lenses a try.

The Olloclip three-in-one camera lens for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy features fish-eye, wide-angle, and macro lenses in one small, affordable package.

Hand over your phone to the other photogs in your family.

Kids have a great perspective and we all know that even toddlers can operate a smartphone camera. Give them a chance to snap photos of the vacation destination from their perspective.

Morph your photos into an instant postcard.

Postagram turns your iPhone or Android photos into beautiful postcards that are then delivered by mail. Your vacay memories will be printed on thick, glossy photo postcards that are then delivered anywhere in the US for 99¢ ($1.99 for addresses outside of the US). Price includes postage.

Get into the picture!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever returned from a family vacation only to notice that you don’t appear in any of the photos. Photographers tend to forget to turn the lens onto themselves. Don’t be shy: ask a stranger to serve as your photographer every once in awhile and get into the picture!

Quality over quantity.

Don’t spend your entire vacation snapping photos. Focus on quality over quantity and remember that vacations are about making memories and not capturing them on camera.