A Beginner's Guide to iPhone Photography [ + FREE App Guide]
Photography has been the biggest catalyst in growing my business. I‘ve always put a lot of time and effort in creating effective visuals for my content which has been super helpful in taking my business to the next level. I used to click photos with my DSLR to get sharp and high-quality images. And so, the thought of clicking blog photos using my phone was, at first, scary for me. But now, after understanding the iPhone camera and creating an entire photo pack using it, I completely believe that we can create professional, high quality photographs for our business using the iPhone camera.
I‘ve been blown away by your interest in the topic of iPhone photography. So today, I am sharing the complete guide to getting started with iPhone photography with you. Additionally I created a comprehensive guide of the apps and equipment you need to shoot photos on your iPhone camera. You can download it right here.
Exploring the iPhone camera screen:
The first step would be to understand the iPhone camera screen, what are the different symbols and what they mean. As you can see, there are 7 options on the camera screen, let’s explore each of these:
[ Order : Top to bottom - Left to right ]
Camera swap: This button is to help you swap between the front and rear cameras of your iPhone. By default it is set to use the rear camera. More on this below.
Timer: This button helps you set a timer for the photo to be captured. You can choose between 3s or 10s to capture the photo after you click.
HDR: The HDR button stands for High Dynamic Range. Switching it on helps you achieve balanced exposure for your photos in high contrast scenes. This can be set to on, off or auto. In auto HDR mode the camera will decide whether or not to use the setting, based on the light in the scene.
Flash: The last button on the left side is the flash. You can set it to on, off or auto. Flash is used in low light conditions to brighten the scene. I highly recommend keeping it off for better quality pictures.
Camera filters: This button lets you apply filters for your camera. There are a total of 8 preset live view filters which let you see how your photos will look with each of the filters before taking the photo. Just tap to select any filter you like. More on this below.
Shutter: The shutter button is used to click the photo. You can tap it once to capture a scene or you can hold it for longer to take a continuous burst of photos.
Front vs rear camera:
The iPhone has two cameras, one at the front and another at the rear. The front camera is the one we use for taking selfies, answering video calls, etc. The rear camera, the one on the backside of the camera, is always a better quality one and much more suited to take high quality professional photos.
On the iPhone 6 for example, the front camera is a 5 Mega Pixels (MP) camera whereas the rear camera is of 12MP. So whenever you are doing serious photography with your iPhone, use the rear camera.
Exploring the modes:
The iPhone camera comes with 6 different modes :
Photo, Square, Video, Slow-mo, Time-lapse, Pano
I can go into details of what each of the modes are, but instead of sharing extra information and overwhelming you, I ll tell you just exactly what you need. For most of your photography, you will just use the Photo mode. The photo mode helps you capture photos in high resolution and the largest size that’s possible on your iPhone. If you are interested in taking square photos for Instagram, you can use the square mode. However, I’d still suggest using the photo mode to click the photo and then cropping it to a square for Instagram during editing.
Figuring out the lighting:
One of the biggest questions people have is why are the iPhone photos grainy? There can be many reasons for this, including the misuse of zoom. But one of the more common reasons is due to poor lighting. Lesser the light, more grainy the photo is. I have two solutions for this. My favorite solution is to get natural light. Just shoot next to a window or go outdoors where you can get natural light for your photos. Honestly, you don’t need a lot of light, a decent amount is good enough. The second option would be to get artificial lighting. You can create your own lighting setup for just $20 at home. Here’s an excellent tutorial on how to do that!
Forget the zoom and flash:
Learning from my experience, one of the biggest tips would be to forget the zoom and flash on your iPhone camera. If you want to take a close up shot, go as close as you can to the subject but do NOT zoom. Zooming reduces the quality of your image, so its best to zoom in with your feet and walk closer to the subject. And coming to the flash, just forget it - its ugly and it hurts. There are better ways to improve the lighting of your photo than using flash!
Using the iPhone camera filters:
By default, the iPhone camera has 8 different filters you can shoot with. The filters are great and I personally like the chrome filter a lot. However, when I am taking photos for my blog, I prefer taking my photo with no filter and editing my photo later on. This way I have much more control in the editing phase as I can start from the scratch.
Choose 2 to 4 apps and stick with it:
As iPhone photography becomes more popular, there are several thousands of photo editing apps on the iPhone. Every day there is a new photo editing app that everyone’s raving about. And while it is amazing to have so many choices, it can also be overwhelming. Its easy to install a 1000 apps on your phone, but do you need all of them? Maybe not! My recommendation would be to try a few, pick 2 - 4 apps that work for you and stick with it. Too much experimenting can leave you overwhelmed and confused.
Don’t worry, you don't have to do it all yourself - I‘ve done the job for you. I've researched, tried several photo apps and have rounded the best ones in the PDF here. I‘ve listed 10 apps with their exact functionality and why you might need them. And trust me, these are the only apps that you need to shoot beautiful, crisp photos for your business using your iPhone. So click below to download the guide, choose 2-4 apps that suit you and stick with it!
Choosing the right accessories:
There are several accessories in the market that help in making iPhone photography far more enjoyable and easier. One of my favorite accessories is the attachable lenses that you can attach to your iPhone camera to bump up its power and functionality. You get macro lenses for close up shots, fish eye lens for wide angles shots and so on. Depending on your photo needs, you might want to explore some of these. While they are not a must, these accessories can certainly help in taking your iPhone photos to the next level. I have listed the three must have lens and accessories for your in the free guide above.
Practice and have fun:
The best way to improve your iPhone photography is to practice, a lot! One of my favorite things to do is to go on photo walks. A photo walk is basically where you go on a walk and click photos of things you find interesting on your walk. It can be a simple flower, an interesting object, a bike - it can be anything. Try different angles, compositions and take lots of pictures. The intention for you is to learn more about your camera and how it works.
Sharing and learning from the community:
If you are interested in improving your iPhone photos, I invite you to use the hashtag #CreativeConvex for all your iPhone photos on Instagram. We can check each other's photos there, share feedback and improve help each other. So what say you? I am super excited to see you in there, so make sure to tag your next iPhone photo with #CreativeConvex and browse the hashtag to find others.
Now that we are done with the getting started guide, I will be delving into each of these topics in more detail in upcoming posts. So stay tuned for that. Don't forget to download the awesome iPhone guide that I 've created for you:
Now its your turn!
I can't wait to hear your thoughts on iPhone photography. What are your biggest takeaways from this post? Let me know what more you'd like to learn about taking photos on your iPhone!