Snapchat tools to take your snaps to the next level

Snapchat on iPhone
Snapchat on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

So you know how Batman has the Bat Signal? I'm officially starting a petition to have a Snap Signal – Calling all Snapchat addicts! You need to know how to take your Snapchat game to the next level!

You could keep playing around with the reverse and slow-mo filters and sure, you and your BFF could goof around with different animal lenses, but that's so… Basic – and we're positive you don't want to be basic, right? (#peerpressure)

Here are a couple of simple tools that you can use almost every day to take your Snapchat game to the next level!

Look at it from a different perspective: add-on lenses

External lenses are a must-have in your social media arsenal if you want something effortless to snap with, all while keeping your audience engaged and coming back for more in the coolest, most engaging ways via your Snapchat Story!

With most phone photography lens kits you get three standard lens types: wide-angle, macro, and fisheye — but there are more unique ones you can play around with too. You can use lenses to spice up your Snapchat Story with a modern fisheye, a crowd-pleasing wide-angle lens, or a hyper-detailed macro masterpiece – all you need to do is find a lens kit that works best with your iPhone.

External lenses don't have to cost an arm and a leg if you don't want them to either. You can pick up a lens set/case that's more iPhoneography-specific and expensive like the Moment or the SNAP! Pro case, or you could check out our list of lenses for under $25 or, even cheaper, our list of lenses for under $10 that work just as well.

Then simply attach your lenses, boot up your Snapchat, snap your photos and videos, and wait for the messages that say, "Oh my God, what filter is that?!"

The modern paintbrush to your digital easel: stylus

Admit it: your finger is far too pudgy to properly draw detailed pictures on your Snap Story, and you secretly envy those who are able to write words and add funny little doodles without their Snap Story looking like a three-year-old stole their iPhone. If you're like any Snapchatter, you try to draw something a bit more complicated and after five minutes you give up because everything is a blob.

The key to upping your Snapchat game could be as simple as incorporating a stylus into your everyday snaps, so you can be the Michelangelo of the Snapchat world with just the flick of your wrist. A stylus will help you have better control of your artwork and the detail that you're looking to put into your stories, so if you want to change your hair color, eye color, give yourself a moustache, or doodle a top hat onto a fish, a stylus may be the best way to go.

If you're worried about losing your stylus, try looking for a stylus/pen combo. Then you have a writing tool for outside Snapchat, and a drawing tool for inside Snapchat!

Light up your life: personal light source

There are two types of Snapchatters: those who Snapchat the world around them and those who Snapchat themselves in the world around them. This can be better classified as non-selfie takers and extreme selfie takers, and whether you're strongly one or the other (or a combination of both), you need a personal light source to take your Snapchat game from 0 to 100 real quick.

The reason? Proper lighting can totally and completely change how a person looks and how their surroundings feel to their audience. It can be used to emphasize important objects, set the mood for your Snap Story, and so much more. By simply incorporating a small, personal light in your snaps, you can take your Snapchat game to the next level with the flip of a switch! The best part about these lights is that they're all tiny enough to fit in your pocket or your bag.

Brighten up your Snapchat selfies with a LuMee case, A.K.A. Kim Kardashian's best, selfie-loving friend due to the strings of LED lights that surround the front portion of the device, or illuminate the world around you with the Neewer Mini LED light.

Extend and shoot: selfie stick

While selfie sticks may have a bit of a bad rap (they've already been banned from Disneyland, so honestly what's the point of living anymore?), they can actually have a practical use in amping up your Snapchat game.

One thing that sucks about Snapchat is that you have to tap and hold the record button in order to record any video at all, so setting up your phone for a video of yourself doing a cartwheel isn't an option. With most selfie sticks, you can actually press and hold the button to start recording the video, giving you a bit more of a distance between you and the camera. Couple that with an external lens and you're on a whole 'nother Snapchat level!

Using remote shutters are also a great option, but some shutters won't work as seamlessly with Snapchat as they do with the camera function on your iPhone. If you're not holding down the button perfectly on a remote shutter, then the shutter simply won't work or will only capture small chunks of the video you want, so a selfie stick is probably better.

However, if you're looking for a selfie stick that goes above and beyond the call of a regular selfie stick, then you should check out the CliquefieMax. This minimalist, stylish selfie stick comes in black, white, or pink and comes with a detachable shutter remote control built into the handle of the Cliquefie, so if you want, you can set up your iPhone and shoot Snapchat pictures from up to 30 feet away.

Did we mention that the CliquefieMax also comes with a built-in tripod, meaning you can Snap from almost any angle in style? Can you say "Hello Snapchat fame" fast enough?!

Get inspired: Slinger

The best way to get inspired and creative when it comes to an app like Snapchat is to see how other people have been successful in creating their content. With Instagram, this could mean following your favorite photographers' accounts, and with Twitter it could mean following your favorite social media influencers, but you can't really browse Snapchat profiles in the same way… So what do you do?

Slinger was created by Snapchat storyteller and celebrity, Chris Carmichael, who makes his living and spends his days sharing his life with his 1.3 million Snapchat followers. After realizing how much effort he puts into his Snapchat stories (a 24-hour slot to store your videos so all of your friends/followers can watch), Chris created Slinger, a permanent home for creative Snaps and vertical videos.

You can use Slinger to upload your Snap Stories, or use it to browse through other Snapchatter's content without actually following them on Snapchat and cluttering up your feed. You can search for specific tags and people and see what other people with large audiences are doing creatively to keep their followers captivated and subscribed!

The bottom line

At the end of day, getting creative on Snapchat doesn't have to be as hard as you think it is if you incorporate a few extra little tools and use your imagination.

Get inspired, play around with filters and lenses, get weird, and express yourself – after all, life's more fun when you live in the moment!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau