How to Take Better iPhone Photos

How to take better photos with your iPhone - Therunnerbeans

The best camera is the one you have with you, right?

I am trying more and more to bring a decent camera around with me, especially as I want to get more into video, however that’s not always practical or logistical.

When my Mum asked if I wanted to join her on an afternoon iPhone photography course, I was more than keen. The premise of the workshop would be to get out and about shooting with our iPhones after being given some tips, then spend some time using editing apps to create awesome pics ready to share.

How to take better photos with your phone 

  • Search for the light – it’s your friend. It’s not only a source of light but also it’s fun to play with shadows.
  • Utilise the golden hours – sunrise and sunset.
  • Use the volume buttons to take the pic rather than the shutter button to reduce shake.
  • Make the most of the camera size; move your phone to get interesting angles, get up high, low, get to street level, change angle/direction.
  • Don’t just take one photo – take a bunch then delete all the ones you don’t love.
  • Focus on a single object in the pic, either in the foreground or background. Less is more, focus on detail and simplicity.
  • Utilise editing tools & apps, there isn’t one perfect app so use the functions that you need from a few
  • Stick to 1 or 2 filters across your instagram feed (or use no filter)
  • Utilise reflections – glass, puddles, not just mirrors

How to take better photos with your iPhone - Therunnerbeans

  • Look for leading lines – they suggest where the eye looks. Use street lines, bike racks, pavement edges, houses…
  • Apply the rule of thirds – perhaps one of the first photography rules you’ll ever learn
  • Its are more interesting when there’s more than 1…look for patterns and symmetry
  • Avoid the zoom for better picture quality – MOVE YOUR FEET
  • Cool, interesting backgrounds make for helpful tools for your images

How to take better photos with your iPhone - Therunnerbeans

Photograph what you love, this will come through in your photos

Some of the apps we played with;

  • VSCO cam 
  • Snapseed 
  • Camera Plus Pro 

We only talked briefly about each app, and used them to edit a photo in each. There’s no magic trick, they take time to practise and get to know the functions of each, not to mention to hone your editing skills. Less is more – don’t make things too unrealistic with filters/contrast/saturation.

How to take better photos with your iPhone - Therunnerbeans

VSCO cam 

  • Use the red button to adjust exposure to play with the light/dark areas- change it by moving the red button around to get different effects
  • If you touch the screen with two fingers another red button will appear to adjust the focus – great for food photography/macro shots with a blurred background

The photos in this post (except the header) are ones I took on our Fota-Ruta tour and edited using VSCO cam – I still have a lot to practise, and it would probably have helped if my iPhone wasn’t smashed when trying to take pics/edit them but I feel like I learned a lot!

I hope this was helpful for you – it was a requested post (thanks Steph) so please let me know if you’d like more of this style of post, or have any other requests! Happy Friday! 

13 Comments

  1. April 1, 2016 / 8:11 am

    I’ve seen the term ‘VSCO’ being used quite a bit recently, I thought it was a make/ model of camera haha. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  2. April 1, 2016 / 11:40 am

    This is really helpful. I’ve been looking for a few apps to play around with for my phone so I’m going to download these.

  3. April 1, 2016 / 11:54 am

    I use Snapseed almost exclusively for my photos, but I do have VSCO. I just need to play with it. Great post!

  4. April 1, 2016 / 11:58 am

    This is helpful information. Thank you! I’m using an old iphone, but it still takes decent pictures. Let me know if you have any tips using a GoPro. I just got one and need to figure it out. 🙂

  5. April 1, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    Love this post. I really struggle taking good photos with my phone for my blog so will definitely using some of your tips and trying out some editing apps!

  6. April 1, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    Great tips! Too bad I don’t have these apps on my Blackberry, so I have to use other ones. I loooooove editing pictures to make them more colorful and bright!

  7. April 1, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    These are awesome tips! I have a big ole Nikon, but don’t always have it with me. Let alone when out for a trail run or something! My iPhone is with me ALWAYS! I love Snapseed and Camera Plus Pro, but haven’t heard of VSCO! I’ll have to try it out asap!

  8. April 2, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    Great tips! Like Liz, I also have a big Nikon, but it spends a lot of time at home. I suddenly have an urge to go on a walk to practices these tips, thanks!

  9. April 4, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    My iPhone is my photographer — I love it. I honestly think it takes PHENOMENAL photos – better than professional cameras! LOL!

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