I must admit. I LOVE my iPhone camera and iPhone photography. In fact? I may or may not have upgraded my phone simply for the camera and Instagram awesomeness.
I use my phone so often now rather than lug my big d700 around. Even my girls love it. They really don’t mind stopping for a picture when I use my iPhone instead. Also, I don’t see my iPhone as a device for snapshots and think of my “real” camera as if it’s reserved for everything else.
My phone is simply another tool to capture my vision.
In my mind, it’s pretty equal to my other camera; therefore, I use it in exactly the same way. It just plays music and games, too.
If you are new to iPhone photography or Instagram? Here are some of my favorite tips on how to get great images with “just” your phone.
iPhone Photography Tips
1. I look at my phone’s screen the same as if I were looking through the viewfinder on my Nikon.
I search for the same compositions. The same leading lines and light. My style is very “head choppy” with blown out backgrounds and slight haze or contrasty black and whites. I don’t reserve that style for just the d700. It carries over to all devices that I use.
I also shoot from above quite a bit. That is very easy to do with a phone camera. Just hold it above your subject’s head and snap!
2. I expose my iPhone photography shots, too.
Did you know you could do that? I do this a lot. For example, in the shot below, I wanted my girl to be in silhouette so as I was setting up the shot I tapped the window behind her. Exposing for the window. If I wanted to expose for her, I’d just tap on her instead.
The same for the image here. My camera wanted to expose for my dog, but I wanted her in the shadows of the light that was falling in. So, I simply tapped where Lulu was on my screen and…tada…she’s in the shadow.
And this one. It was pretty late in the afternoon and my house was not very well lit. The only light was from the refrigerator and a nearby side window. By the way, I was just going for a fridge shot here, but my 4 year old ran up and started searching for a snack.
3. I use the camera on my phone 95% of the time rather than shooting right in Instagram (IG).
Why? Because the IG app seems delayed and I often end up with blurry shots. Also, I like to have the freedom to have more than one chance at getting the shot. When you shoot right in IG, you have to fiddle around, delete that one, and start all over. Most times, it takes too long and I am really impatient.
4. Once I take the shot, I pull it into Instagram.
Zoom and position the image the way I like it. I use the tilt shift option most of the time and I like the “rise” filter.
5. Sometimes, I use more than one filter on an image.
If I want an image with more color I will choose the “lo-fi” filter first. Upload that image to IG (so that it saves to my phone), delete it from IG and upload that “lo-fi” image from my phone. Then, I will choose the “rise” filter and use tilt shift.
6. I use IG to document our daily lives and I want to keep those images to use in my Project Life book.
I’d say I take about 4 or 6 IG shots a day. I use the Frametastic app to create a collage of those images. About once a month I upload each day’s collages and have them printed through the Postal Pix app. I choose the 4×4 option for size and I have absolutely loved the prints when I get them back! Both apps were free, the prints are rather inexpensive and they look super cute! It’s a great and simple way to document your days.
You can also create the collage with unedited images, save it to your phone, upload to IG and then apply the filters.
7. My family enjoys keeping up with my girls and just because they aren’t on IG doesn’t mean they can’t follow along.
I can send them to my online IG stream so that they can have a peek. Just go to instagrid.me/*your IG username* and you can view all of your IG images, too.
And that is how I use my iPhone camera and Instagram. I must say, I’m addicted to IG. You can follow along with my family if you like. My IG username is freckledmommy. I’d love to see you there and follow you, too!
Finally, here are some other popular apps that go right along with IG and your phone’s camera.
Now, go out and use that camera on your phone just like you’d use your “big girl camera”!
About the Author
Melissa is a former teacher and happy hobbyist living just south of Atlanta. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has three little girls. Capturing the lives of her family is something that she is passionate about. Some of her most favorite things are music, blogging, sushi, and Instagram. And of course, like everyone else, long walks on the beach. She is a prime girl shooting a Nikon d700.
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