with Courtney Slazinik
iPhone Photography Tips and Inspiration

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
Use these iPhone photography tips to grow your photography.

As a photographer I am struck by little bits of beauty throughout the day. I can’t help but notice how pretty the light changes through a window as a cloud cover passes.

Shadows and shapes catch my eye and my mind immediately thinks up a dramatic black and white composition. Contrasting colors or soft tones have me searching for another element to add to the scene that would make that image really pop.

Photographers are creative people.

We are story tellers who want to share what we see. Carrying around a DSLR became too much for me everyday. But that didn’t mean I wanted to stop collecting moments and the everyday details of my life.

The iPhone has given me a sense of freedom, a carefree approach to photography that was slowing me down by only using my Canon. I use the same principles of creating a beautiful image in camera on my DSLR as I do with my iPhone. With a lot less pressure of nailing the shot! Shooting daily with your iPhone should be fun and a great way to strengthen your creative mind.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

My 365 iPhoneography Challenge

I love following #cmglimpse on Instagram. Having a daily prompt to create an image of my own interpretation from any given word is fun and inspiring! Each week a new list of daily photo prompts are shared. Having to come up with an image that is different from what someone else may share is only part of the challenge.

Shooting everyday has strengthened my creativity by not always going with my first idea. Or maybe I think about the word in a different way, not what that word meant to me after first thought. Really work on your story telling skills. Following a daily photo challenge will not only get your creative juices flowing, but you will be inspired by seeing how other people interpret that same word.

Building a community of fellow photographers who share that same love of capturing everyday details has been wonderful. So many times I am completely blown away by the talent and what people can do with their camera phones.

Make friends on Instagram.

There are so many other photographers who are also shooting and posting everyday. Be sure to like their pictures, follow their feeds, and if you really like an image they post leave a comment. I love my IG family, as I affectionately refer to them as. It has been such a fun way to get to know other photographers from all over the United States, as well as other countries.

In April 2014 I will have completed my first 365. All images have been taken with my iPhone. I’ve been using the app Collect to create a daily photo diary. It really is quite an accomplishment when you see the end of the month and each day has a photo captured. Not to mention it looks really cool when the month is complete filled with your beautiful images. I strongly encourage you to remember to print the images from your phone. I love using Postal Pix and Artifact Uprising. You can also easily create a photo book using AU, right from your phone. The quality is beautiful, and it’s always fun seeing your images in print.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Tips for staying creative

My number one piece of advice is to look for light. Good light makes the image with your DSLR; it is no different with your camera phone. My obsession with light has only become stronger by using my iPhone. Incorporate shadows, use lines of light to lead your viewer to the subject and of course have fun with sun flares!

Do you have a clean table surface, or even floor space? Use that area as a neutral background. My white kitchen table is the background in many of my images. Having a clean background let’s you create and style the scene to your liking. Play with different perspectives. Shoot from above, or at eye level by resting the phone on the table surface or floor depending where your subject is. Adjust your exposure to enhance your vision.

You can tap on the screen of your iPhone to select exposure and focus. If you want the image to be underexposed, tap on a bright part of the screen. Want an overexposed look? Tap an area on the screen that is dark. Create depth by placing objects behind or in front of your subject. You can tap on the screen to select focus. Notice how the depth of the image changes by including foreground. Images with purposeful blur or out of focus are also a fun way to experiment and show motion. It’s also helpful to use the grid on your camera phone. Use the rule of thirds to create your composition.

A must have fun accessory for your iPhone is the Olloclip. With this lens you can take images with the effect of a fish eye, wide angle, and macro lens. The details you can capture with the macro lens, and a steady hand are amazing. I also like to use the macro lens to create out of focus images. Instead of getting up close to capture the smallest of details, you can pull just far enough away from the subject to see the form. By using the lens this way you can also achieve some pretty awesome bokeh.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone article-12
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Experiment with post processing

There are many editing apps to choose from. I like the quickness of taking an image with my iPhone, so my editing is a quick process as well. All images are taken with the camera on the iPhone. I will then pull an image I want to edit into VSCO.

By using the slider you can strengthen the filter from 1-12. I like to add warmth, take the contrast down -2 and usually have to straighten out my image. If I feel like spending more time creatively I will pull the saved edit from VSCO into Snapseed. Here you can selectively brighten or darken, add saturation to specific areas of the image vs. the entire image. I also think it’s fun to play with the tilt shift filter.

I’ve also recently become intrigued by light leaks and textures. The app Afterlight is a fun app that has many options to make your iPhone image look like an image taken with film. Sometimes I will use the IG square crop on my images, but most often I use the app Squaready. This app preserves your original crop so that you don’t loose any of the details in the composition.

iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch
iPhone photography tips and inspiration by Kristin Dokoza via Click it Up a Notch

Creating images and expressing myself creatively has become a part of my daily routine. The ease of capturing a moment and sharing it instantly is addictive and fun!

  • March 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Looking forward to trying some of these tips! I really used to shy away from taking pictures with my phone, but I’m doing it more and more these days!

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      I hope my tips help you out Michelle. It’s really fun to experiment with your camera phone – I’m sure you will be rocking it!

  • March 27, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Love these tips. You have convinced me I need to start participating in #cmglimpse more often & also that I need an olloclip :D

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      Great Jen! I look forward to seeing your #cmglimpse images on IG, and yes you definitely need an olloclip – they are totally addicting!

  • March 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    just goes to show that it’s not about the equipment, but the artist behind the equipment. these images are gorgeous. now if i can just find my olloclip again….

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Thank you so much Katie! I’m laughing because you don’t know how many times I’ve misplaced my olloclip! ;)

  • Tracyd
    March 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Which olloclip? There are quite afew to
    Choose from

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Hi Tracy! With my iPhone 4S I was using the olloclip 3 in 1. I just recently upgraded to the iPhone 5S and bought the olloclip 4 in 1 photo lens. They both have fisheye, wide angle, and macro. The 4 in 1 has an additional 15X macro ;) ~ Kristin

  • March 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Thanks for the tips! I have just started getting into Instagram regularly and I am amazed by the great pictures I can get out of my little phone!

  • March 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Pretty images!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration and tips!

  • Debbie
    March 27, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I have a samsung will the apps you mentined work? Also where do I find these. And I’m new to cell photos, how do I print from my phone? Whew thank you

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      Hi Debbie ~ I just did a google search for VSCO and it says it is available for Samsung / Android phones.
      Postal Pix and Artifact Uprising are free apps through the apple store – both are great for prints. Once you have the app loaded on your phone, step by step directions on selecting photos to print from your gallery will be posted. All can be done directly from your phone.

  • Britney
    March 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Thank you for this article! Your Instagram feed is so beautiful, you are very talented!

    Where do we see the weekly list of daily photo prompts to participate in #cmglimpse ?

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 8:48 PM

      Hi Britney :) if you follow @clickinmoms on IG a weekly list is posted each Sunday. Share your images and tag them #cmglimpse

  • KWolff
    March 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Thank you for the tips! I find myself using my iPhone more and more for photos. I am trying to locate #cmglimpse on Instagram and have not had much luck. Suggestions?

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      You can follow @clickinmoms on IG *instagram – a new list is shared every Sunday :)

  • Nicole S.
    March 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Wow, if I could take photos like these with my iPhone I’d do it every.single.day! Thanks for sharing!

  • March 27, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    There are so many awesome tips here and I relate to this post enormously. I am currently at day 270 of my first 365 Project and I would say 80% of my photos are taken with my phone. Everyday moments I look back on with extreme fondness. Thrilled to have found another amazing photographer who is inspiring and so generously sharing their knowledge. Thank you.

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 27, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      That is wonderful Karen! Thank you for your kind words <3

  • March 27, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Thank you, Kristen. Your images are so gorgeous and i loved learning how you approach your IPhonography. <3

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 28, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Thank you Lisa! <3

  • March 27, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Kristin, your work is beyond fantastic! I appreciate all your support, IG wouldn’t be the same without you!!

    • Kristin Dokoza
      March 28, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Awww, you are too sweet Val! Love to see your shares as well ;)

  • March 28, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Thanks for sharing these tips! I am still amazed at what aspiring photographers are doing with just an iPhone camera these days. California Wedding Photographer

  • JRae
    March 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Awesome tips and lots of inspiring things to do…off to take pictures and try these things out! Thanks again!

  • April 1, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    Brilliant post! And I love your work. It’s so true that the most expensive camera is the one that you don’t have with you, which makes iphonography so much fun!
    I’ve just discovered VSCO, so I’m having a lot of fun with that right now :-)

  • Gretchen
    April 4, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    I have a Galaxy s4 not an iphone. I love taking photos with my phone. I’m going to check out VSCO. I use PicsArt all the time to edit my phone photos. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  • April 16, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    I never knew I could tap my iPhone to select a focal point! Thanks so much for all the valuable information.

  • April 16, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    The VSCO app is that Visual Supply Company Photo & Video? just want to make sure I have the right one

  • Jacquie
    April 16, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Thanx for the tip about Collect – looking forward to filling the days xxx

  • July 31, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    YAY!!!! I love me some Kristin Dokoza!!!!!! On IG & on CM!!!! xoxoxo

  • Debbie
    July 31, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Kristin, I take a lot of images on my cell phone. However, never printed anything. Have you, how is the quality and haw large a print with quality can you get?

  • July 31, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    I completed my first Project365 in June and have been languishing around with my photo taking ever since. With the month of August beginning and this gorgeously inspiring post landing in my FB newsfeed I am going to rejoin the photoaday community and take on a new month. How could I resist with so many delicious ideas here. Thank you enormously.

  • Linda Aime
    August 1, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    How do you get the daily prompt from #cmglimpse

    • August 8, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      If you follow @clickinmoms on IG they post the themes :)

      • Jacquie
        September 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

        Am I being thick – I enter #cmglimpse and get all the photos but no little person+ sign – @clickingmoms worked & am able to follow – where will I find the themes?? Will they be on the web-site?

        • September 15, 2014 at 9:52 PM

          If you follow @clickinmoms then they post the themes each week. Look at their feed and you will see it. I believe they post the themes on Sunday :)

  • Tanya Monroe
    September 15, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    Jacque, and Linda, I am also finding the photos but no little person to follow on cmglimpse or clickinmoms. Help anyone please?? Thanks Tanya

    • September 15, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      I’m not sure what you mean by “little person”. If you follow @clickinmoms then each Sunday they post the themes for the week :)

  • Teresa
    September 16, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    How do u get sharp photos? So many of my photos are awful. Out of focus. Would love to try this
    If I can learn to get good results !

    • September 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      If you tap your screen it will focus on what you want it to focus on.

  • Crystal Copeland
    September 29, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Hi! I’m trying to find #cmglimpse on instagram, but only can find a bunch of posts with those hashtags, but no group to follow.

    So I would love to follow your “IG” family and #cmglimpse but can’t seem to find it.

    Can you direct me?


    • September 30, 2014 at 8:48 AM

      The images you see under the #cmglimpse hashtag are the group. People tag their images with that hashtag and that is how you can find other photographers doing the same project. If you want to find the prompts you can follow @clickinmoms as they post the weekly prompts on Sunday. I don’t really have an IG family just yet. Some people hashtag #clickitupanotch so you can find great work there :)

  • October 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Love this! Some great ideas here…very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth
    October 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Thank you so much for this information and inspiration! I searched the app store for “VSCO” and came up with “Fhotoroom X” – is that the same thing? If not, any clue of how to find VSCO (does it have another name?) Thanks!

    • October 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Hey Elizabeth,

      It is under – VSCO Cam :)

      • Elizabeth
        October 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM

        Thanks so much – I found it! :)

  • December 31, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Hi! How do you guys get your name or studio name on your photos that you take on your IPhone??

  • Kevin Olivella
    December 11, 2015 at 3:00 AM

    Hi! How do you guys get your name or studio name on your photos that you take on your IPhone??

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