January 6, 2020

Taking a great photo is easier than ever – thanks largely to your iPhone. The trick is, knowing how to get the most from your phone’s camera. With a few pointers and a little practice, you can take amazing photos on your iPhone with very little effort.

Ready to get started? We’ve rounded up the best tips and techniques for taking better photos with your iPhone.

Let’s go!


1. Clean Your Phone's Camera Lens

It may seem obvious but cleaning your iPhone camera’s lens can dramatically improve your photos. Use the side of your shirt to clear off any dust and smudges before every photo you take.


2. Swipe Left For Quick Camera Access

They say the best camera is the one you have on you. To avoid fumbling around with passwords and face recognition (and potentially missing the shit), swipe left from your lock screen and your camera will automatically open.


3. Tap The Screen To Focus

Setting the focus is probably the most powerful tip to adopt when shooting with your iPhone. It's also the easiest! Just tap on your camera screen to place the ‘yellow box’ where you want your focus to be – typically this should be on your main subject. The area inside the yellow box will appear crisp and sharp.



4. Adjust the Exposure (Brightness)

One of the biggest mistakes when shooting photos with your iPhone is making them too bright (over-exposed) or too dark (under-exposed). But fear not, adjusting the exposure of your photos is super simple. Simply tap the screen to set your focus and when the yellow box appears, move the toggle down to make the image darker, or toggle up to make it brighter. You’ll know you’ve hit the sweet spot when you see vivid colour and lots of detail in your image.



5. Use 'Burst Mode' To Capture Movement

Kids, pets and sports – some of the best moments to shoot involve movement. When taking photos of moving subjects, hold your finger down on the shutter button to activate burst mode. You’ll capture every step in the sequence as a series of action shots. Open up your camera roll and choose the frame you like best.


6. Use The Grid To Create Symmetry

Photography's golden ‘Rule Of Thirds’ states that you should position your subject off-center (i.e in the left or right third of frame) – rather than smack-bang in the middle. An easy way to achieve this is by turning on the grid feature in your camera’s viewfinder. To do so, go to settings → photos and camera → grid → toggle it on. Now when you use your camera you will have four gridlines to help you take a more strategically composed shot.


Rule of Thirds iPhone Grid - Image Source: Thierry Bornier


7. Start Using Portrait Mode


If you’re not shooting with Portrait Mode on your iPhone, you are missing out. This impressive (and easy to use) feature creates depth by sharpening your subject while keeping the background dulled. For best results, make sure you’re in a well lit area and stand between two to eight feet from your subject – when you see the words ‘Natural Light’ display in yellow, you are ready to shoot.


Using Portrait Mode On the iPhone - Image Source: Pickr


8. Capture Still Photos From Your Videos

Did you know you can take still images while recording a video on your iPhone? Amazing right! When your video camera is rolling, simply tap the opaque circle on the bottom left of your screen to take a photo as well. When you are done recording, check your camera roll and you will see your full video plus all the still images you took. 


Taking Stills From A Video on iPhone - Image Source: Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash 


9. Zoom The Right Way

This may come as a shock, but you should never zoom in by using two fingers to ‘pinch’ the screen. Pinching and zooming actually degrades the quality of your photos, seriously limiting how big you can print your images (if at all). The better way is to make use of your iPhone’s telephoto lens. If you have an iPhone XS, X, 8 Plus, or 7 Plus, simply tap the 1x icon at the bottom of the camera’s viewfinder. The icon changes to 2x which means you’re using the 2x telephoto lens. If your iPhone does not have this feature, you should zoom with your feet, or not at all.


How To Use The iPhone Zoom Function – Image Source: iPhone Photography School


10. Shoot From A Low Angle

Shooting from different perspectives can make your photos more interesting. One of the best ways to do this is by shooting from a low angle looking up, which will remove unwanted distractions and make your subject pop against an empty sky background. Shooting low also allows you to capture cool details in the foreground. For example, flowers, ripples, shadows and reflections.


Shooting Up On the iPhone - Image: Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash


So there you have it, 10 simple ways to take better photos with your iPhone. Don’t forget your new (and improved) iPhone photos are able to be blown up and printed at large scale too. Print and frame your best photos online here.