Not all of us just have 500 bucks to go out and buy a good quality camera, but luckily the iPhone’s camera is pretty darn good. You just need to know how to use it and get the most out of your photos. And honestly, its a lot more convenient than slugging around a camera everywhere you go. When I went on a road trip to Oregon with my sister, we borrowed her friends expensive DSLR with all the fancy lenses and doodads, but we ended up using our phones the whole trip because it was such a hassle to get that thing out of its case and set it up. Its just a lot easier to use your phone, especially when taking unexpected candid photos.
There are a few things I’ll talk about that should be used when taking photos just in general, and then there are some that pertain to just using your phone.
1. Get the clutter out of the background!!! This one I cannot stress enough. It makes such a big difference its not even funny. As you can see in the photos below, the left one has a bike and crap in the background which distracts your eye from the subject.. and it just looks like garbage. In the right picture there is a consistent background with no clutter. Looks a lot better.
2. Lighting is incredibly important. If you don’t have enough light, the picture will look grainy, which is not pretty. If your shooting inside, make sure you have a good light source, like a window or a very bright lamp. Sunlight will always give you the best quality, so shooting outside is your best bet. Left – inside, right – outside.
3. Symmetry and balance are key! Don’t cut off the tops of heads or the bottoms of shoes. And make sure everything is aligned correctly. It takes time to get it right, but it really makes a difference. You can shoot from the waste up if you don’t want a fully body picture or you can even put your subject on a designated side of the photo. If your centering your subject, make sure its all symmetrical. If theres shit on one side of them, there needs to be shit on the other. Or you can just avoid the shit situation which makes for a cleaner photo 🙂
Too much top space and too much bottom space…
Centered to the right, the left and fully centered. Looks much better than those ones up there.
4. Use the portrait setting in photos. There are four options for taking a photo when your in the iPhone camera app: photo, portrait, square and pano. The portrait option gives you a greater depth of field which blurs out the background of the photo and focuses on the subject. This is such a great feature and makes your photos look professional as heck. The right photo is without the feature and the left photo is with.
5. Stay away from the selfie camera. The front camera is so much worse than the back one. I’m not exactly sure why, but the quality is just so much better. In the left photo, I’m using the front camera and in the right I used the back camera. For selfies its good enough, but for taking real photos, stick with the other one.
6. Time your photos depending on the light outside. If you’re shooting outside, there are two different types of light you will encounter: blue light and golden light. Golden light occurs during sunrise and sunset (so early morning and afternoon) and the blue light happens right before and after the golden light (so right before sunrise and right after sunset). Usually people like to take portraits during the golden light period but it’s really your preference. The golden light gives you warm hues and adds a lot of contrast to your photos, while the blue light gives you a cooler tone and doesn’t add much contrast. The photo on the right is during the golden light period and the photo on the left is during the blue light period. As you can see there is a golden hue and a good amount of contrast in the left photo, versus the blue hue and less contrast in the right.
7. Experiment with different angles and candid shots. Angles are very important especially when taking photos of people. You generally want to shoot straight on when taking a portrait. If you angle it up, you’ll show their double chin (…whoops) and if you angle it down they’ll look like midgets (no offense to midgets). Here are some examples of cool angled photos and candid shots.