27 February 2014

How To Take Great Pictures with your IPhone

// Now before I begin this post I have to say that I am NOOO expert on photography in general or IPhone photography. I'm just a regular ol picture taker like you, snapping grainy pics of my daughter while she is running across the room... I will, however, point you to all the right sources to help you to learn what I have recently learned and hopefully inspire you toward some better quality shots.

// So if you have been following me on Instagram you may have noticed that mostly I've upped the ante on my IG feed. I've started really working for a good picture rather than a grainy, low light, slightly blurry picture that I just throw up there.

// It all started with a few pretty bad pictures...

// When I looked back on these I thought... Gee... Why do I even bother, this isn't capturing a special memory that I actually want to preserve it's more like a special memory that probably won't seem so special when I look back on the pictures I quickly captured on my Iphone in a year or two. So I decided to pull up the ol boot straps and learn a thing or two.

// I had myself convinced that people who had amazing IG feeds were likely just using their DSLR and uploading those pictures, this seemed a bit crazy to me... Although I actually do think a lot of people do this... Maybe I'm just lazy busy, but aintnobodygottimeforthat..

// Even though I have one of those fancy-shmancy cameras myself, and I do like to get it out, I really wanted to get better shots with my 'camera' that I have in my pocket 24/7.
So after a little bit of research I discovered that YES you can actually get high quality shots with your Iphone, it's also FUN and relatively EASY.

Here are my favourite tips I have gathered and put into practice so far:

1 || You can FOCUS your IPhone Camera.
Say whhhhhat? Please tell me I'm not the only one who didn't know this. By simply tapping on your subject (say your sweet baby/child/husbands face) the camera will focus on it. Easy peasy. You can also change the depth of field (that whole make the background blurry thing) by touching the closest object to you.

Also! The shutter button doesn't take the picture until you release your finger from the button... reeeeally handy! You can hold it down, touch the screen to focus, then release your finger and bam, there's your shot!

2 || The VOLUME + BUTTON (on both your phone and headphones) works for the shutter button.
Yes. It's true. Get that selfie you always wanted without it looking like a selfie at all by sneakily using your headphones to take the picture for you. As long as you can reach the volume control button, you can take your picture. Pretty sweet! My husband says he 'knew' this but I don't really believe him...

3 || You should probably be using a dedicated Photo App.
I was pretty wary of this but after reading some reviews and articles I have gleaned these tips from like this awesome one, I went ahead and bought the Camera + app. So far I have been amazed at what I have been able to do with this app, and I am still learning and exploring it. I will say though that it has given me some trouble with actually saving my pictures to the camera roll. A few times I have lost pictures, some really great ones too... So I'm currently looking for a better app. If you have one that compares let me know.
The camera + app does have some amazing features, and I'm especially fond of the exposure ability which can really help you lighten up a subject by exposing to light or dark what's around the subject while still keeping it in focus. For a more in depth review of this feature and the Camera + app in general check out the Grumbles and Grunts link below.

4 || You need to edit the photos.
No more using the Instagram app to snap away. If you actually want quality pictures from your phone you need to 'process' them. I actually love this part. It's super fun to try out all of the different ways you can make your picture better. Some of the ways to do this (found on the camera + app, but also on other similar apps) are, adding highlights and shadows or taking them away, adding sharpness, adjust exposure, brightness, saturation etc. play around with it and see what you come up with! You can also add filters, and sometimes even filters on top of filters like the pictapgo app lets you do.
Some other apps you can use to process are Witagram and Afterlight. I don't think that Afterlight is as user friendly as Camera + but I love that you can share your pictures right away through any social media by linking you're account. Witagram is an app that people use for cropping their photos and then putting them on instagram. You know you've seen it.... Those beautiful crisp pictures that are eye catching because they are not inside the regular instagram square crop... My friends... THIS is how they do it! I haven't tried it yet myself but you'll see me cropping my little heart out soon.

5 || Not all phones are created equally.
If you have an IPhone 4 (like me) you probably won't get as great a shot as someone with a 4s or 5s IPhone. But it will still be pretty darn good, since the camera is basically the same system (so I'm told). But if you having something lower than a 4... Chances are you are out of luck for getting really crisp shots... So you should probably upgrade... ;) just kidding, but seriously...

6 || The camera is only as good as it's photographer.
This is something my 'real' photographer friends have been telling me for years. And I really truly think its true. Anyone can pick up a fancy camera and get a decent shot, but a real photographer will get that stunning shot. So this is something you'll have to work at. Look for the light, don't just snap. Work your angles. Move somewhere there is more natural light. I know sometimes it feels like you need to get that picture of your baby doing that amazingly awesome thing right now that they will probably never ever do again... And if that is truly the case, than take your picture and do your best to edit it to make it better, but if there is a chance that you can move to a better light, or wait until tomorrow... You can always do that too. Look at your instagram feed and get inspired by the light and angles in other peoples pictures. Check out pintrest for professional photos and study the depth of field and the focus and exposure. You'll be surprised that not only your camera will take better pictures but YOU will take better pictures.

For more tips and tricks check out these awesome blog posts and resources:

Grumbles and Grunts 

Bower Power 



  1. Great tips! Even though I have my new DSLR, i'll be taking advantage of some of these soon!

  2. These are some great tips. I did NOT know that about the volume button. I also got a DSLR for Christmas, but let's be honest... am I really going to be taking it with me when I walk my dog and want to capture the sunset? Probably not. I like the Photo Editor by Axiem Systems app and use it a lot- but I am going to look at some of the ones you mentioned. Found you on the No Rules Weekend Blog Party! :)

  3. I LOVE my iphone and have way too many photo apps :) I love Snapseed for editing. New follower from the Schoolhouse Crew.

  4. Hi! Visiting from the Pin-It Party :) I am one of those people who is mystified at how some people get perfect shots from their iphone... hehe, it's the luck of the draw for me! I'm excited to try your tips!

  5. Awesome tips!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!! :) Dawn @730moments.com


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