Who says you need expensive camera equipment to get a professional-looking photo?! If you’ve got an iPhone, you can master any shot! The iPhone is an incredible device for taking photos. Compared to other phones, it boasts superior hardware and software that makes it easy to get high-quality photos. What’s more, you can improve your iPhone photography skills with a range of simple techniques. Whether you’re new to the iPhone or have been using the device for years, you can achieve better iPhone photos no matter your current model.
Here are some great tips for taking better iPhone photos:
1. Camera modes
It’s easier - and often more convenient - to use your auto camera mode setting. However, the iPhone has a range of other camera modes that are designed to help you perfect your photo. Let’s explore:
Photo camera mode
This is your standard mode for taking photos. Most of the time, your photo camera mode will be set on auto function. This is ideal for taking happy snaps, but if you want to get a quality looking image then explore these other functions:
- Front/back camera: If you’re taking selfies then the front-facing camera is your friend. However, for the best iPhone selfie, you should use the back camera. That’s because the back camera has more megapixels resulting in a less distorted, higher quality image. Make taking portraits even easier with the help of a wireless Bluetooth camera shutter remote.
- Timer: For selfies or group photos, make use of the in-built timer. That way you can all get positioned perfectly and perfect your poses before the camera clicks!
- HDR: Short for High Dynamic Range, the HDR setting allows you to get better exposure. Use auto HDR to get the richest color quality possible, whether you’re taking an indoor or outdoor shot. Though HDR tends to work best with landscape shots where there’s a bright sky and dark foreground.
- Focus point: When shooting a still object (such as a vase of flowers) or taking a picture of a person, hold your finger on the screen to lock the image into focus. This will prevent blurring due to camera shake.
Square camera mode
In some cases, using a more compressed camera aspect ratio such as the square 1:1 gets you a more proportionate image than the full aspect option. It also saves you from having to manually crop an image.
Pano camera mode
For super-wide panoramic shots such as a landscape or wide building, use the Pano mode. Simply point the camera at the left of the scene you wish to capture, then slowly pan all the way to the right.
You can get ‘grabs’ from videos in situations where the subject of your recording is moving. Record your subject, then find the video in your gallery. Play the video, and pause at the frame you want to grab. Then simply press the home and sleep buttons simultaneously to get a screenshot of the moment you want to capture.
When taking iPhone photos, always stick with the rule of thirds.
Many photography novices tend to overcomplicate their photo or just snap and hope for the best. In order to get a visually pleasing, professional shot keep your subject the focus and minimize outside distractions.
The iPhone makes this easy for you by having a grid option available. You can turn this option on by visiting Settings > Photos & Camera and enabling the Grid switch.
3. Use more than one camera
In most cases, the inbuilt iPhone camera will be of far higher quality than third-party camera apps such as Google Camera. However, you will often find that these camera apps (which can be free or paid to download) have a bunch of cool settings that can really lift an image. For example, some third-party camera apps come with options to manually control your shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and exposure - and also provides editing tools so you can further edit an image after taking the photo.
4. Get your lighting right
It all comes down to lighting! There’s not a professional photographer who hasn’t uttered these words. Want to know something? They’re right!
Natural light is always best, however many phone cameras fail to capture that true-to-life color even in the bright light of day. For best portrait results, aim to do your photoshoots outdoors - but stay away from high noon and bright sun. Instead, the hour before sunset or a grey, overcast day is the perfect time to take portrait shots. Also, invest in some ring lights and reflectors if you’re working indoors or in unfavorable outdoor light. Placing the source of light in front of the subject will always result in a flattering, well-lit portrait.
For nature photos, never shoot toward the sun (unless you’re after that sunlight flare effect). This can result in the foreground looking washed out or too dark.
Ever seen a breathtaking photo online or on display? Chances are, it has been edited! Even if the raw image is decent, using a photo editor app can give it that added wow factor.
There are a plethora of free photo editing apps available to download, as well as more professional tools such as Photoshop that you can download for a monthly fee. From there, you can brighten an image that’s too dark, edit-out distractions (such as people in the background), sharpen, and enhance colors for a more professional iPhone photo.
6. Study photography
Photography is a skill, and just like any other skill it is best acquired when studied and practiced.
Studying photography is one way you can master your iPhone photography skills and achieve images worthy of an online portfolio. You don’t have to be or have aspirations of becoming a professional photographer, either. Photography courses are open to anyone wanting to learn how to get the best out of their camera and editing apps.
7. Be original
Photography is an art form, one that is very subjective. There are never rules when it comes to taking photos, only tips to help you capture your subject in the best way possible! No matter where you are on your iPhone photography journey, the key is always to be original when it comes to taking photos. Use other photographers' images as inspiration, but never copy! Instead, have fun with your snapping. Play with different angles, subject matters, lighting, reflections, shadows, and settings. Make use of filters and editing tools and create an image that speaks to you.
Not every iPhone photo taken has to be Pulitzer Prize worthy. It can be a simple picture of your pet or a holiday snap or even a selfie. No matter what photo you take, you can use these tips as a guide to further enhance it and give you a snippet of memory to look back on. If you do have aspirations of perfecting your photography skills or becoming a professional, you can study photography through a course or online tutorials. This will help you to gain more insight into the technical sides of photo taking and help you to navigate different settings on your device for that picture-perfect image!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 jacquicoombe
Jonathan Wylie from Iowa, USA on July 08, 2021:
Great tips. Thanks!