Today’s topic will focus on how to shoot better photographs with your iPhone. The reason I chose the iPhone instead of a DSLR camera is because the iPhone has become a staple device in today’s society. Our phones serve multiple purposes and are always there with you to capture the priceless moments in your life—especially the unexpected ones. Having this little camera with you at all times allows you to take and share pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and also allows you to send them directly to friends and family members instantly.
The number one thing you can do to improve your photos is shoot them in the right light. This adage is true no matter if you have a $1000 camera or just the one on your phone. The quality of the light can truly determine the success of a photo. I have taken numerous photos of beautiful things and people, but without the right light they just don’t jump off the page like those that have the perfect light. To give your photos the best chance of success, I would suggest that when shooting portraits, avoid sunny and direct light on faces. If you do have this sunny and direct light it can create harsh shadows (and a lot of squinting) which is not something you want. The most effective type of light to shoot photographs is a bright overcast day.
For technical reasons, the small sensor in the iPhone will handle this light best. Many times people like taking “selfies” and other portrait type shots. Lighting for portraits is best when it comes in from a window because it gives that natural soft and pleasing look. Shooting at sunrise and sunset is also perfect for pictures because there are so many shadows and different tones and colors that emerge. So my advice is to go out there and practice shooting in different types of light and see which ones work for you. You might really like dusk, others might really like a lot of light, but that is why it is so important to practice, practice, practice, and then review the photos and see the difference lighting can make.
It is also essential that when shooting up close and personal shots that people try different expressions so that it isn’t just a regular or unnatural pose for the person being photographed. To make the person who is being photographed more photogenic and not so robotic try talking with them and take a lot of shots. The great thing about digital cameras is that you can take an infinite amount of shots and delete the ones you don’t like. It is also very important to have as much stability as possible when taking photographs with your iPhone. To do this you need to use both hands when taking a picture. One tip I would like to suggest is to hold the iPhone with your left hand and release the shutter button with your right thumb or vice versa depending on your dominant hand. By doing this allows you to be in control of the shutter button and can result in much more beautiful pictures and not give you that blurriness that happens when your hand or object moves.
The next thing to help improve pictures is not using the digital zoom feature on iPhone cameras. Sometimes it is important to zoom in but I have noticed that many pictures are ruined because every time you zoom in the greater the likelihood that the iPhone camera will shake and lose sharpness. Also, the quality of the image is degraded and becomes pixelated. This might be something that goes without saying but iPhone cameras are not usually intended for shooting action, sports, and high-speed shots. If you do want to shoot these types of photographs, I would highly recommend investing in a DSLR camera.
An often overlooked tip for shooting better photographs is looking for interesting patterns and light. Everything that is in the picture frame should contribute to the emotion and story you want to convey to those who will see it. These potential patterns create a natural rhythm for the viewer’s eyes to follow. For novices, something for you to try is to go out and look for reflections such as in windows, lakes, mirrors, etc. These will paint a great visual theme and allow for a different perspective and landscape than just original pictures. With this I encourage you to look for new angles to shoot. Don’t be boring and just shoot from straight on. It is important to shoot from unique angles and perspectives. To do this all you have to do is get high, get low, and always try to find a new unique angle. My sister’s wedding pictures were all kind of slanted. At first I wondered what the photographer thinking, but it seems this new type of angled photography has caught on. I see increased popularity of many photographers composing things off center as a result. Further, try to look for abstract or candid shots that don’t have people posing. Trust me; these will be some of your favorite shots.
The best camera to have is the one that’s with you all of the time and that is why you should be very comfortable taking photos with your iPhone or other smartphone device. Phones have become an appendage and as a result we have a camera attached to us 24/7 so that we can capture that amazing shot. Even though the quality of the lens glass on iPhones is still somewhat limited, having a camera with you at all times enables you to take and capture shots that can be very intimate and moving.