As a photographer, I love using my Canon whenever possible. However, I can’t deny the power of the ridiculously beautiful quality my iPhone camera possesses. Our phones are compact, easy to use, and always attached at the hip, making them an ideal tool for every day memory making.
When I’m out with friends, I’m always the designated Instagram picture-taker (latte designs and all), and it’s not because I have a magic tool that makes my iPhone camera special. We are using the same phone with the same camera. So today, I am going to share a few of my favorite simple tips and tricks for taking better iPhone photos (many of these also apply to taking better photos all around, no matter what camera you choose).
1. Find something interesting to capture.
Just like in any creative venture, the best art comes from people who are being honest with it. Make your photos unique by simply being yourself, capturing what you find beautiful in the world, and allowing us to see it from your point of view. Individuality comes from finding your own voice and seeing the subject(s) through your lens.
2. Natural light
Whether your photos are inside or outside, shine some natural light on the subject. If you want to take a picture of your home, a meal you cooked, or a product shot, don’t do it in a dark room with an ugly, yellow fluorescent overhead light. Find the area that allows the most natural light in and your photos will always have a higher quality (less blur, more vibrance, more focus).
Styling is probably my favorite part of taking a photo. It’s where we get to be creative, play “art director”, and arrange things in a way that is unique to our own vision. Photographs can tell a story. Give your photos context. Instead of just taking a picture of your coffee cup, set a scene. Your coffee might be the focal point, but you can place a stack of books and glasses next to it in your favorite cozy spot (with natural light, of course), and suddenly it’s not just a boring picture of a mug. It’s a “lazy Sunday” story.
4. When in doubt, keep it minimal.
If you aren’t quite sure of your signature style yet, minimalism is always a good friend. There is incredible beauty and depth in simplicity. While I love capturing bold colors and unique scenes, there is something truly artistic about neutrals, vines, branches, and playing with shadows. Black and white is also a great way to keep a classic, minimalist style, which leads us right into the last point (editing) below.
Did you know that tapping the darker part of your iPhone photo can change the light and focus? Give it a try next time you think your pictures will turn out too dark.
Instagram: I really never use filters on Instagram, as they tend to be a bit too harsh for my style. But, I do edit on IG, and these are some of my usual go-tos…
-Taking the sharpening up to make images crisper.
-Higher contrast for bold and vibrant images.
-A touch of saturation for colors to pop.
-I tend to raise the highlight a tad for brighter images.
-Or, for a more vintage vibe, I add slight fading.
On the VSCO app, you can choose from some really great natural filters that are customizable (if you feel like taking it one step further in the premium editing process). Below, you will see the same picture I took with various VSCO filter presets:
The most important part of photography is capturing authenticity, being yourself, and making memories. Enjoy these tips and don’t forget to have fun!