Prettying Up Your Blog: 6 Secrets For Taking the Best iPhone Photos

*information courtesy of Stylecaster

I love photography.  I’ve been fortunate enough to collect some black and white prints by a few reknown Canadian photographers. Every time I look at them though, I think to myself: “I wish I could take such clear, fantastic shots!”

Being obsessed with Instagram and Twitter, I’ve seen my share of beautiful pics taken by both amateurs and pros.  I’ve also seen what seems like hundreds of thousands of terrible shots too.  For example, if you are going to take a bathroom selfie, please clean the toothpaste-splattered mirror, and try to angle it so that the toilet isn’t in the picture! Want a few million examples? Google “terrible bathroom selfies”. Warning: NSFW.

Smartphones are ubiquitous these days and their cameras have gotten so good that sales of digital cameras are virtually nil. A few months ago, I traded in my beloved, tired, overwhelmed and completely shattered iPhone 4s for a bright, shiny iPhone 6+. The main reason for upgrading? The camera (and the 128GB of memory). The camera absolutely blew me away!  Such clear, beautiful shots with so many editing options built right in – a selfie-taker’s dream!  Here are some of my favourite shots using my beloved 6+:

Style Domination Yotam Ottolenghi iphone pictures iphonography

Pic courtesy Style Domination – Burrata with Blood Orange

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Pic courtesy of Style Domination – Store Front, London, England

Rag and Bone Butter London Alexis Bittar Zara Fashion Blogger Blog Style Domination

Pic courtesy of Style Domination – #ootd Flatlay

One of the best things about the iPhone is its ability to turn any regular person into a photographer thanks to its crazy amazing technology… but there are some tricks that can turn a pretty #ootd shot into something really special.  Let’s have a look at the best six tricks that every iphonographer needs to know.

1. Lock the exposure and focus by tapping and holding the screen.

By tapping an area on your camera screen, the iPhone will instantly adjust the exposure and focus around that object or person. However, if you move around this can quickly cause the camera to readjust the focus and lighting and ruin your shot.

To fix this, force your iPhone camera to stay focused on one area by tapping and holding the the desired part of the screen the “AE/AF Lock” message pops up. Once this appears your focus and lighting is locked, and if you move around to change the photo, the focus and exposure setting won’t readjust.

2. CLEAN YOUR CAMERA LENS!!!!!!!!!!

One of the most common and easy-to-fix causes of blurry photos is a dirty lens. GAWD!  This is SO ANNOYING!  So many great pics ruined by that greasy, fingerprint-covered lens!!  Before you take any pic, give the camera lens a quick wipe with a clean cloth – the cleaning cloth for your sunglasses is a good option if you have one handy. The same goes for the reverse lens if it’s a selfie you’re trying to shoot.

3. Use the grid to stick to the Rule of Thirds.  Important!

The Rule of Thirds is an old photography guideline that says a scene should be divided into nine equal parts by vertical and horizontal lines. The rule dictates that objects should appear along those lines or intersection in order to get the best shot. Your iPhone camera actually comes equipped with an overlay grid that can help you follow this rule–activate it by opening Settings, tapping Photos & Camera, and swiping Grid to ON.

YOW City Style Street Style Street Fashion Ottawa Tulip Festival Style Domination

Rule of thirds at play. Subject featured at left of image; pic courtesy of Katie Hession (YOW City Style)

4. Use the square camera for Instagram photos. 

Instagram images are always square, but iPhone photos aren’t. Instead of adding borders to try and turn a vertical photo square, or cropping a picture to make it fit for Instagram, just change your camera settings before taking the image. Capture a square photo by opening the camera app, and swiping right once to change your screen to a square composition. Now every photo you take will appear in a square screen.

5. Crop photos faster. 

You can crop a photo on your iPhone by using the editing tool, but there’s actually an even quicker way to change the composition of your photo. Open the photo from your photo gallery, then pinch the screen to zoom in and rearrange the photo. Next, take a screenshot by holding the home button and lock screen button simultaneously. Now the newly cropped photo will be saved to your camera roll.

6. Capture the photo with your iPhone headphones. 

Your iPhone headphones aren’t just for listening to music, they’re also a remote for your camera. You can take a photo while the camera app is open by pressing either volume buttons on your headphones. This can help you take a steadier photo, and–if you really want to get professional about this–take photos using a tripod and your headphones as a remote shutter.
And that completes the list of tips for better iPhone photos. With a little practice, maybe you too can win first place at the annual iPhone Photography Awards:
Pic courtesy of Cocu Liu, one of the winners of the 8th Annual iPhone Photography Awards.  Amazing shot...

Pic courtesy of Cocu Liu, one of the winners of the 8th Annual iPhone Photography Awards. Amazing shot…

Happy snapping!

xo,

Dominique

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32 Comments

    • May 19, 2015 / 7:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Deborah! I just started taking photography classes and in addition, all the research I’m doing to hone my skills has been quite fruitful! Happy to share! I’ll be posting soon about my trip to the Canadian Tulip Festival and sharing my first “pro” pics! Stay tuned! xo

  1. May 19, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Thank you for all of those tips! Your photos are stunning!

    • May 19, 2015 / 8:16 pm

      Hey there! Thank you so much for reading! Glad you found them helpful! I have a bunch more. Stay tuned for future photo lesson posts! xoxoxox

  2. May 19, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Amazing post. I am always envious of people’s Instagram photos. I love your tip for using the square camera. I also want to practice using the rule of threes.

    http://laceandpearlsblog.com

    • May 19, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      Well, I wish you were closer! We could practice photographing each other! It’s amazing how quickly you pick up tips and improve!! I “honed” my skills scouring my favourite instagram accounts, photography blogs, and now I’m attending photography instameets held in my city and photography classes. Love it! A hobby I’ve always wanted to take up! Right now I’m posting about my latest instameet. Check it out tomorrow morning! Thanks for stopping by, Asa, and remember, your photos are pretty darn good! xoxox

      • May 23, 2015 / 4:46 pm

        Wow you’re proactive! I am impressed with your dedication. I’m excited to check out your latest post on instameets.

        • May 23, 2015 / 8:25 pm

          Thanks Asa! I will be posting my pics too from today’s Ottawa Marathon. I’ll use any excuse to bust out the new camera! Lol!

  3. May 20, 2015 / 3:03 am

    I love these tips chica and certainly when I get a newly functioning iPhone (/preferably the 6+) I will be following your tips to getting some amazing photos, I definitely agree with the rule of thirds in grids, huge fan of that feature and glad that apple includes it. Loving this post, thanks for sharing some awesome knowledge
    Wishing you the best, xx
    Dana | http://booquepress.com

  4. May 20, 2015 / 9:59 am

    Awesome tips! I didn’t even know you can lock the focus on the iphone!
    And that trick with using the iphone headphones as a remote – that’s some crazy ninja level tip!!!
    But at least I know how to take a screenshot – yay! 😛

    • May 20, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      Hahaha! Glad I can bestow some crazy ninja knowledge on you via Stylecaster – one of my favourite, most informative blogs out there! xoxoxo

  5. May 20, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    Amazing photo post!!! Very enjoyable to read.

    • May 21, 2015 / 8:26 pm

      Haha! That means a lot coming from you as yours are so artsy and beautiful!

  6. May 25, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    I missed YOU
    i just saw your comments on youtube xoxoxoxox

    • May 25, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Ahhhh! Posting a new video myself tonight!!! How are you? Have a good weekend???

      • May 25, 2015 / 7:05 pm

        ARE U ? OMG ……!!!! Gotta see 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxx i’m getting over a MONSTER flu …… Lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <3 will check ur vid in the morning xoxoxoxoxoxxo free skincare on my blog xo NIGHT BEAUTY – almost better cat xoxoxoxxoxoxo

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