How To Capture Captivating Photos Using an iPhone Camera

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

Are you ready to take impressive pictures using just your iPhone? We've laid out some helpful tips for producing good-looking content from anywhere!

1. Shoot Horizontally

Maybe the easiest tip on the list, shoot pictures with your iPhone on its side, almost always. There are a few reasons you want to do this.

Shooting horizontally allows your subject to be displayed naturally. Our eyes are set horizontally and we see a more wide than tall field of vision.

This horizontal picture of the Eiffel Tower not only captures its subject but also the surrounding areas, making for a stunning photo of urban Paris.

In addition, a horizontal photo allows more of your subject to be captured, making it much easier to crop your photo to the right dimensions.

You want to take pictures vertically if you're trying to convey a sense of height or when you want your viewers to focus their attention on specific elements in a photo, like with tall buildings or taking a picture of a model, where you'd like to see the styled hair and makeup and also their designer shoes (without capturing unimportant background).

This vertical shot was taken to convey the great height of the Eiffel Tower.

2. Use the Grid Mode

An IPhone Camera screen with the grid option turned on.

Using the grid option on your IPhone while following the Rule of Thirds can turn a standard, oftentimes awkward picture into a visual attraction.

Rule of Thirds? The Rule of Thirds is a photographic guideline that divides a picture into nine equal parts, separated by two equally-spaced horizontal and vertical lines. The theory behind this guideline is to place points of interest on the intersections of the lines and/or along one of the lines, where our eyes are naturally drawn to.

The picture on the left has the subject (the rock formation) centered, while the photo on the right follows the Rule of Thirds, making for a more pleasant and natural-looking shot.

If your phone’s camera is not already set up with grid mode: Settings>Camera>Swipe Grid.

3. Utilize a Depth-of-Field Effect

The depth-of-field effect allows you to focus sharply on your subject while blurring its background, creating a portrait-type picture. Here’s an example:

If you own an IPhone X, IPhone 8 Plus, or IPhone 7 Plus, you are probably familiar with the “Portrait Mode” setting already installed on your phone. This uses the dual-lens camera of the IPhone, where one lens captures your subject sharply while the other captures a blurred background.

If you own a different IPhone than mentioned, you can still get lovely portraits utilizing an App!

Our favorite depth-of-field app is the Blur & Bokeh (also called Portrait Mode Depth) app because of the ease of use, natural looking edit, and absence of a watermark on the finished photo (many of the other apps we tested put watermarks on the edited pics).

4. Take advantage of Filters and Editing

Simple edits can bring to life specific elements of your photos and exude the message and feeling you’d like display for your viewer.

Take a look at this tropical shot taken from a beach in Maui, Hawaii.

Using only the pre-set filters on the IPhone, we can elevate this picture to the type of aura/ambience we'd like to pass on to our audience. Check out the edits below!

Although filters are a good starting point to editing, you can completely customize the lighting and color aspects of your photos using the intricate editing features under the Light, Color, and B&W options (see below!)

Play around with the different levels to find your favorite settings!


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