iphone photography tips

21+ Essential iPhone Photography Tips and Techniques to Take Better Photos

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The rise of iPhone photography popularity has revolutionized the way people capture and share moments. No matter if you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, the advancement of technology has led to the ever-improving capabilities of iPhone cameras.

As a result, photography has become more accessible and convenient over time. Even so, as simple as shooting images with your phone sounds, you might find yourself wondering how to take good photos with iPhone cameras. That's where our iPhone photography tips will come in handy!

21+ iphone photo tips

The Basics of iPhone Photography

Professional cameras provide you with more control over certain settings than your everyday iPhone. These features include aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to name a few. However, iPhones are far more convenient for everyday shooting and editing on the go.

Can iPhone photos look professional?

Absolutely! You can take good photos with iPhone cameras. In fact, taking professional-grade pictures is a breeze, and shooting your professional headshot using an iPhone is great in a pinch.

Before you start taking iPhone photos, it's smart to go over the iPhone photography basics below. Today, we're here to cover key concepts like composition, lighting, editing, and more. 

Choosing the Right iPhone for Photography

A general rule of thumb is that you can take better pictures with iPhone cameras in the newer lineup of iPhone models. For top-tier photography with iPhone cameras, the top 3 iPhone models include the 15 Pro Max, the 15 Pro, and the 14 Pro Max.

Of these three iPhone models, iPhone 15 Pro Max excels as the iPhone with the #1 best camera thanks to its specifications. For starters, the main camera has an aperture of 48MP with f/1.78, a 24mm focal length, and sensor-shift optical image stabilization as well as support for 48MP and 24MP photos.

Its ultra wide camera offers an aperture of 12MP with f/2.2 paired with a 13mm focal length and a 120° field of view. Meanwhile, its telephoto camera is equipped with enhanced zoom capabilities compared to the non-Max iPhone 15 model.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max provides you with additional features as well, namely night mode, deep fusion, smart HDR, photographic styles, and ProRAW. With such advanced details, it's no wonder people are curious to hear how Apple plans to surpass these impressive features when it releases the iPhone 16

Understanding iPhone Camera Settings

Did you know that iPhones have a range of settings that allow you to adjust how your photos are taken? For instance, High Dynamic Range (HDR) makes it easier for iPhone users to capture better detail in terms of shadows and highlights.

There's also the option to take Live Photos when you want to immortalize moments with a few seconds of movement and sound before and after the moment each image is taken. Also, camera modes like Portrait incorporate depth-of-field effects, allowing you to adjust the perspective of the focal points in your photographs.

For even more customization when capturing photography with iPhone cameras. In the settings, you can play around with grid lines for composition's sake, adjust the resolution of videos, and toggle on various formats, such as Apple ProRAW to edit in greater detail. 

photography with iphone 15 pro max

Adjusting Focus, Lighting and Exposure

If you ever want to readjust the focus or alter the exposure when taking pictures with an iPhone, open your camera and lightly tap on the screen. After focusing via this one-of-many iPhone photography tips, swipe up or down next to the focus box to make the image brighter or darker.

For even more control, press and hold the screen to lock the focus and the exposure that you decided on in place. This will initiate what is known as the AE/AF Lock feature.

Then, you'll be able to recompose your shot without losing sharpness or altering the exposure settings. Also, for even more options, remember that Night mode automatically enhances low-light shots whereas the Exposure Compensation Control in newer models lets you set and lock exposure adjustments for the duration of an entire camera session. 

Achieving the Perfect White Balance

Perfecting the appropriate balance of white light will affect the overall color accuracy and tone of your photographs. This will help to create a pleasing color palette that also enhances the visual impact of your images.

For more tips for taking photos with iPhone cameras, keep in mind that iPhones automatically adjust the white balance according to the scene captured in the frame. However, you can also make use of the filters in the camera app to manually shift the mood or correct the color composition. For finer adjustments, editing tools in the Photos app or other third-party apps come with features like temperature adjusters and tint sliders. 

21 iPhone Photography Tips to Take Better Photos

1. Keep Your Lens Clean

Ensuring that your iPhone camera lens is free of smudges and dirt is essential if you want to capture clear and sharp photos. To prioritize this, make it a habit to check and clean your iPhone lens regularly.

Gently wipe the lens with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. If the lens is particularly dirty or has stubborn stains when taking iPhone photos, lightly dampen the microfiber cloth with a small amount of lens cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol. Then, clean both the lens and the case separately to ensure thorough cleaning and prevent debris buildup.

2. Using Apps for Advanced Photo Techniques

As you gain inspiration from the many iPhone photography tips out there, keep in mind that you can rely on iPhone apps for advanced photography features. From manual control and RAW shooting to custom filters and more, iPhone apps like ProCam, Halide, Manual, ProCamera, and Camera+ 2 are worth trying out.

3. Time-lapse Photography with Your iPhone

Want to set up and capture time-lapse videos using the iPhone's camera? The best iPhone photo tips to apply in this situation include placing your iPhone on a stable surface or using a tripod. From there, frame your shot and get ready to shoot.

Tips on Stabilization and Subject Selection

  • If you're shooting handheld, brace your arms against your body or a stable surface to minimize camera shake.
  • Consider using accessories like smartphone gimbals or stabilizers.
  • Common subjects that undergo noticeable change over time include passing clouds, bustling city streets, changing weather patterns, or growing plants. 
iphone photography tricks

4. Exploring HDR and Smart HDR

Next on our list of iPhone photography tips is to experiment with HDR settings, especially if you want to create dramatic silhouettes or shadows. You can capture silhouettes in particular by placing your subject between the camera and the light source. Use the exposure slider to darken the foreground as well.

5. Leveraging Natural Light for Better Exposure

The more you play around with your iPhone, the more iPhone camera tricks you'll come across. To save you some time, allow us to let you in on one of the best iPhone camera tips, that being the art of leveraging natural light for better exposure.

To avoid overexposed shots, tap and hold the brightest part of the scene in frame before recomposing. Also, take advantage of natural lighting for optimal exposure when taking photos with an iPhone.

6. Capturing Movement with Burst Mode

One of many iPhone photography tips that are ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects is using burst mode. This feature also makes it more likely that you capture the perfect shot in dynamic situations. To use burst mode, hold down the shutter button to activate it and capture a series of rapid-fire shots.

7. Utilizing iPhone's Panoramic Mode

Hold your iPhone horizontally and tap the shutter button to begin capturing the panoramic scene. Slowly and steadily move your iPhone in the directions indicated on the screen. Keep your phone leveled and aligned with the guiding arrow as you move. 

8. Advanced Portraiture with Portrait Mode

Looking for iPhone photo tricks to utilize when you want to capture stunning portraits? Start by positioning your subject within the frame. After you ensure that they're well-lit and in focus, use the depth effect slider to adjust the level of background blur.

9. Use the Rule of Thirds

There are a handful of iPhone camera tips that are a tale as old as time, and the rule of thirds is one of them. For the best photos taken with an iPhone, try applying the rule of thirds by aligning key elements of your composition along the gridlines or their intersections to create visually balanced and appealing images. Enable gridlines in your camera's settings to make use of the rule of thirds more effectively. 

10. How to Spot High-Quality Photo Compositions in the Wild

Did you know that the visual impact of symmetry and patterns in photography can make all the difference? It might sound hard to spot these compositions with the naked eye, but they're easier to pinpoint than it seems, and you can use your iPhone to capture them.

Start by using leading lines to guide the viewer's eye through the photo. Frame your subject within doorways, windows, branches, or archways. By bringing these details into the frame, you will also add depth and context to the scene. Also, try exploring different angles and perspectives when taking photos to add interest and uniqueness to your compositions.

Incorporate these iPhone photography tips for identifying high-quality photo composition opportunities in your day-to-day life and capture them with your iPhone! 

iphone camera tricks

11. Master the Art of Reflections

The list of iPhone photography tips is seemingly endless, but one of the most interesting ways to enhance the look of your photos involves the use of reflections. You can incorporate water, mirrors, or other reflective surfaces to create symmetrical compositions or add an artistic twist to your images. Play around with the angles, and as you do so, pay attention to the quality of light and how it interacts with the reflective surfaces.

12. Use Color Theory to Enhance Composition

Another one of our many iPhone photography tips is to implement color theory. This entails learning how to manage the presence of contrasting and complementary colors.

To begin, contrasting colors include combinations like blue and orange or red and green. Keep in mind that contrasting colors can create dynamic and eye-catching compositions because, together, they can draw attention to specific elements when implemented effectively.

On the other hand, complementary colors are duos like blue and yellow or purple and orange. With complementary colors, you can harmonize the look of your images because complementary colors add balance to the overall composition, resulting in visually pleasing images. 

13. How to Use the Shoot Button Steadily

Ready for more iPhone camera tips? Well, if you're interested in improving the stability of your images when capturing photos with your iPhone, you can use the volume buttons on your iPhone or the volume buttons on your headphones to take photos more steadily.

For steady frames instead of shaky and blurry outcomes, you can also ask Siri to open the camera app and take a picture for you. This makes it possible to capture moments when you can't physically tap the shutter button yourself. 

14. Shoot in RAW for More Editing Control

Let's keep the iPhone camera tips going with a suggestion involving RAW formatting, shall we? If you don't already know, a fun fact about newer iPhone models — the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular — these iPhone models have the capacity to capture RAW images, which is known as ProRAW.

If you don't have an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max phone model, you're not out of luck! You can download and use third-party camera apps to shoot in RAW format, resulting in more details when post-processing your images. 

15. Schedule Your Sessions at the Right Time in the Day

Have you considered planning to take your photographs at certain times of the day? That's the next of our iPhone photography tips!

Take advantage of the golden hour — either just after sunrise or right before sunset — to benefit from warm lighting and long shadows. If you're looking for soft and diffused lighting with a blue tint instead, opt for blue hour, which is just before sunrise or immediately following sunset. This is when you can rely on natural light for a serene and calm aesthetic. 

16. Embrace Negative Space

To create simple yet impactful compositions, focus on your subject. Leave the areas surrounding the main subject in a photograph unoccupied. When you apply iPhone photography tips like this one, you can easily evoke various degrees of calmness, solitude, or isolation with your pictures, depending on the intensity to which you utilize this idea. 

17. Discover the Beauty in Detail with Macro Photography

Use a macro lens attachment or get close to your subject to capture the intricate details that are often overlooked. Close-up shots of textures can add depth and interest to your photos, so look for patterns in nature or urban settings to capitalize on for professional iPhone photography. 

tips for taking photos with iphone

18. Create Depth with Layers

Our list of iPhone photo tips would be incomplete without the suggestion that you add depth to your photos. This is a breeze when you incorporate objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background.

By carefully arranging elements within each layer, you can successfully guide the viewer's eye through the scene and create a more immersive viewing experience. This is applicable no matter if you're working with landscapes, portraits, or still-life images. 

19. Photographing Water

Love the serenity of an ocean background or waterfall setting? As one of many iPhone photography tips, when photographing water, try experimenting with different shutter speeds to capture the water's movement. A slow shutter yields silky smooth effects and a fast shutter renders a freeze-motion effect. 

20. Practice Mindful Photography

When taking iPhone photos, slow down and observe your surroundings closely. Mindful photography practices can lead to the discovery of unique compositions and subjects. As a pro tip, instead of applying the rule of thirds, place your subject along diagonal lines for dynamic and engaging compositions.

21. Regularly Backup Your Photos

While many iPhone photography tips are flexible and optional, regularly backing up your phone is essential. This is one of the only ways to protect your memories because iPhone back-ups ensure that you never lose important moments that you've captured with your iPhone.

When backing up your iPhone, you can use cloud storage services like iCloud, Google Photos, or Dropbox. By doing so, you can streamline the process if you ever want to transfer photos from iPhone to Android devices. Also, to make things easier for you, set up automatic backup options to streamline the process further. 

Maximizing Your iPhone Camera Features

Looking for more iPhone photo tips? Have you thought about purchasing additional accessories to enhance your iPhone photography skills? 

Tripods and Mounts

A sturdy tripod or mount can stabilize your iPhone, allowing you to capture sharp images and videos, especially in low light or for long exposures. The convenience of hands-free operation facilitated by cell phone mounts is especially useful for selfies or time-lapse photos. You can even purchase a windshield suction mount for even more versatility with your iPhone. 


External lenses can extend the capabilities of your iPhone's camera, offering wide-angle, macro, or telephoto options for different photographic needs.

Lighting Accessories

Another one of our many iPhone photography tips is to incorporate various lighting accessories into the shot. External light sources, including ring lights and LED panels, can evenly illuminate your subjects, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of your photos. 

Protective Cases

When capturing photographs with iPhone cameras, protective iPhone cases from Rokform make all the difference. Not only will these Apple cases keep your iPhone safe from bumps and drops but they also offer mounting options, making it easier to shoot in various conditions.

iphone photography tips

Editing and Enhancing Your iPhone Photos

A well-taken photo provides a strong foundation that you can build upon with various edits. So, while the capturing stage is important, the editing process also plays a crucial role in the creation of beautiful photos. 

By editing and enhancing your iPhone photography, you can amplify certain parts of the photos while correcting or adjusting flaws in the image. Essentially, editing offers vast creative possibilities. From subtle adjustments that enhance realism to dramatic alterations that transform the image into something entirely new, the artistic opportunities are endless. 

What software do most photographers use?

Most professional photographers' iPhone photography tips are that they use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop

Utilizing Filters for Artistic Effects

When creating professional iPhone photography, the impact of different filters is unmatched. There are so many options available through various iPhone editing apps, including Lightroom, Snapseed, and VSCO.

Presets that adjust clarity, add grain, or apply vignette effects can give your photos a more textured, aged, or focused look. While arm-toned filters can evoke nostalgia or warmth, cooler tones convey sadness, detachment, or tranquility.

Tips When Using Filters To Convey Particular Moods or Styles

  • Start subtly and gradually increase the strength of the filter as needed. 
  • Don't hesitate to combine filters or use them in conjunction with manual adjustments.

Creating a Cohesive Edit Style

Wondering how to choose an editing style and apply edits that align with your personal style or brand? It all starts with learning how to ensure a consistent look with your professional iPhone photography.

Start by defining the style you're aiming for, whether that's a color scheme, emotional appeal, or overall ambiance. Consider the emotions or the messages you want your photos to convey.

From there, decide which editing effects reflect your personal aesthetic or brand identity. Think about what you can incorporate in all of your photos to ensure consistency across your images.

After identifying how you'll ensure a cohesive style from one photo to the next, consider creating presets that align with your defined style. This will make it easier to apply your preferred edits consistently. 

iphone camera tricks

Maintaining Image Quality on Social Media

Last but not least, our iPhone photo tips would not be thorough enough without explaining various strategies you should consider when exporting and uploading iPhone photos to social media. There are ways to transfer photos from iPhones to social media platforms without compromising the image quality. It all comes down to applying the following format and compression tips!

  • Save your photos as JPEGs because it's a widely accepted format thanks to its balance between quality and file size.
  • Use export settings that favor higher quality photos, including images in the 80% to 100% JPEG quality range.
  • Sharpening your photo slightly before uploading can counteract some of the softening effects of compression
  • Whenever possible, upload your photos in the highest possible resolution. 

Get Snapping: Put These iPhone Photography Tips into Action!

Congratulations! Now, you're equipped with all the iPhone photo tips and tricks you could ever need to capture stunning high-quality photographs. From the basics of iPhone photography and iPhone camera settings to adjusting the lighting, framing, and spacing of your images, iPhone pictures can be just as captivating and impressive as photos taken with professional cameras.

It all comes down to applying iPhone photography tips and perfecting your editing process. And don't forget to keep your iPhone as safe as possible by purchasing a Rokform phone case

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