Tips for Making Pretty iPhone Pictures

While having a fancy camera is pretty amazing, I can honestly say that my iPhone does a fabulous job for those daily moment captures.  Convenience usually trumps lugging out all the gear for a sweet moment with my littles.  Especially since that moment is usually long gone by the time I get everything ready.  

Learning to use basic tools is a really valuable skill, especially if you do want to graduate to higher quality camera equipment.  Here are a few tips on how I maximize the quality of my iPhone camera.  

Tips for making pretty iPhone pictures | Debra Eby Photography Co.
 

1. Find the Light

Lighting is critical with any type of photography.  If you don't have good lighting, your image will be grainy, dark, and shadow-y.  If you like a moodier look, that's okay, you still have to find a way to harness that light so that it's not simply muddy.  

Natural light is the prettiest.  Find a large window or glass door if you are indoors.  If you are outside (and it isn't soft evening light), find open shade.  Meaning, no dappled lighting.  You can also shoot with full sun, but that's more atmospheric, don't try to get anyone to "cheese" for that picture (all the squinty eyes).  

White, pale blush, and light tans all work really well as reflectors to enhance the light and natural skin tones.  

iPhone lay flat image of whites and golds.  | Debra Eby Photography Co.
White posterboard is a cheap and easy solution for a backdrop.

White posterboard is a cheap and easy solution for a backdrop.

When renovating our house, we filled it with all the shades of white to maximize that studio look.  

When renovating our house, we filled it with all the shades of white to maximize that studio look.  

 

2. Angles Are Everything

Most of us girls know that the phone better go up high for that fabulous selfie.  But, also think about your arm placement as well, keep it out from your body so there isn't "arm squish".  Do a 360 to see where the sun falls best on your face and what the ground looks like around you.  

I love tips from Tyra Banks.  My go-to's are:

  • Keep your chin up and out
  • Elongate your neck
  • Lean forward
  • If you don't have heels, stand on your tip toes for muscular calves.  
  • Knees facing in

You got this, girl!

Practice is the best way to master the angle and awkward arm stance.  If you're super hard core there's always the selfie stick.  A sense of humor is always necessary, of course.  

Tips for taking selfies | Debra Eby Photography Co.
 

The best way to get great iPhone angles is by moving around.  Get out of that chair, walk to the other side of the room, play around until it looks right.  Sometimes a flat, direct shot, is best.  Try an aerial view of food, beverages, or interesting textures and textiles.    

Images from The Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida | Debra Eby Photography Co.
 

3. Edit

A little tweak with simple editing tools can go a long way.  I love using the ColorStory app.  It gives me the simple tools that I need to tweak my iPhone images.  Play around with it to find your style.  Personally, I raise the curve, add a little contrast, and sometimes use one of the filters.   

iPhone editing using ColorStory | Debra Eby Photography Co.
 

4. Moments Trump Perfection

The beauty of an iPhone is that it can be so quick to capture an otherwise lost moment.  Don't allow rules or an ideal to keep you from documenting life.  There are many pictures taken on my phone that simply melt my heart or take me back to a special moment in time.  They aren't "instagram" lovable, but they speak to me.  That is art, something you see, touch, feel, or hear that moves you.  

A little tip?  Black and white edits always make it feel more documentary when colors and clutter collide.  

This is one of my favorite images of my children.  It is messy, but full of emotion.  My Juliet (pictured right) is a bit of a drama queen and my Larissa (pictured left) is my peacemaker.  I don't remember what happened, but I love that two sisters are sharing a moment.  

This is one of my favorite images of my children.  It is messy, but full of emotion.  My Juliet (pictured right) is a bit of a drama queen and my Larissa (pictured left) is my peacemaker.  I don't remember what happened, but I love that two sisters are sharing a moment.  


Go get started!  Follow me on Insta so I can see all of your amazing shots.  

xoxo Lovelies