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

How to Choose Your Photography Collection

Hooray!  You’re engaged.  The venue is booked, maybe a bridal gown made you fall in love all over again.  Perhaps, you’ve even found the perfect photographer. 


As you begin looking at packages and pricing, your eyes glaze over.  Ugh.  This is not the fun part of marrying your man. 

How do you know what you want in a wedding photography collection? 

Early in the planning process it’s tricky making large price-point decisions with little knowledge and experience.  There are four areas of investment when booking a wedding photographer.

1. Images

2. Time

3. Services

4. Products




Before anything else, consider how you would like to receive your actual images.  That may seem obvious, but every wedding photographer is different.  Some photographers require you to purchase the digital files (especially high resolution files) in addition to a package or their time.  Make sure you check what is included in the most basic coverage. 

I highly recommend investing in this, as a top priority.   Then, you have your images, digitally, and can use them in creative ways. 

All Debra Eby Photography Co. brides receive digital files.  These files are web resolution images (for online sharing) and high resolution images (for personal printing). 




This is one of the biggest areas of question for inquiring couples.  How many hours of wedding photography do you need on the wedding day?

The answer is completely different for each couple.  For most couples, eight hours is enough for all of the essentials.  But, if you want complete coverage, and have a special send-off, you may need to invest in more. 

Let’s walk through a few wedding day samplings to get an idea of your coverage needs.


Wedding coverage typically begins towards the end of hair and make-up.  It then lasts until the final important event of the evening. This could be a first dance or a sparkler send-off.  


6 Hours

This is for a wedding requiring simple coverage.  These weddings tend to be shorter, or couples who are on a tighter budget.  It’s worth hiring an amazing photographer, even if it’s only for six hours.  Remember, when on a tighter wedding budget you want quality over quantity.


Sample 6 Hour Schedule

  • 1:00 pm - Getting Ready
  • 2:00 pm - In Gown
  • 2:30 pm - First Look, Portraits
  • 4:30 pm - Ceremony
  • 5:30 pm - Family Portraits, Cocktail Hour, Reception Decor
  • 6:30 pm - Reception begins
    • Announcing in bridal party
    • First Dance
  • 7:00 pm - Photographer Departs


8 Hours

This is the ideal amount of time for most wedding coverage.  It is my most popular booking since it covers most of the essentials, telling your wedding story. 

Depending on how late your celebration lasts, 8 hours may not see you to a send-off.  Consider what you want to do at your reception and what you need captured by a professional.  For dancing pictures, the first hour will always be your best images of the night.  As time passes -  speaking as the sober girl at the party - it gets a little sloppy.


Sample 8 Hour Schedule

  • 1:00 pm - Getting Ready
  • 2:00 pm - In Gown
  • 2:30 pm - First Look, Portraits
  • 4:30 pm - Ceremony
  • 5:30 pm - Family Portraits, Cocktail Hour, Reception Decor
  • 6:30 pm - Reception begins
    • Announcing in bridal party
    • First Dance
    • Dinner Service, Toasts
    • Dancing
    • Cake Cutting
  • 9:00 pm - Photographer Departs


10 Hours

Ten hours of wedding photography allows for full coverage, for most couples.  This sees you from those final hair and make-up moments to your send-off. 

Sample 10 Hour Schedule

  • 1:00 pm - Getting Ready
  • 2:00 pm - In Gown
  • 2:30 pm - First Look, Portraits
  • 4:30 pm - Ceremony
  • 5:30 pm - Family Portraits, Cocktail Hour, Reception Decor
  • 6:30 pm - Reception begins
    • Announcing in bridal party
    • First Dance
    • Dinner Service, Toasts
    • Dancing
    • Cake Cutting
    • Bouquet and Garter Toss
    • Bride & Groom Exit     
  • 11:00 pm - Photographer Departs




Each photographer is different with the services they provide their clients.  This part of the experience is based on what a professional does for you vs. a tangible product. 

My services include: engagement portraits, bridal portraits, and a second shooter.


Engagement Portraits

Engagement sessions are the rehearsal of the wedding day portraits.  It is an opportunity for your photographer to get to know your couple personality and how that translates on camera.  The photographer learns your best angles and what makes you light up.  Plus, it's a really fun date experience - life in front of the camera.  

Consider how you would use engagement portraits.  You could have a guestbook make from the images of your engagement session.  Framing portraits for décor, creating save-the-dates, your wedding website, so many options. 



Bridal Portrait

This one is for my southern girls out there.  You know what this is. 

For those of you unfamiliar, a bridal portrait is a photo session with just the bride on a separate day, prior to the wedding usually. 

This is a time for you to have that hair and make-up trial and put on that designer gown.  We get gorgeous you in front of that camera for some serious fun modeling playtime. 

While this may not be for everyone, it’s secretly one of my favorite things in the world to do.  Time alone with a bride, no timeline crunch, we get to play with posing, angles, and Cinderella twirls.  It also saves time on the wedding day. 

One of my brides wrote a sweet message on a chalkboard, “Always Daddy’s Little Girl”, then purchased a print, framed it and gifted it to her father on the wedding day.   Tears everywhere. 

Another bride purchased a massive print, framed and displayed it at the entrance to the reception.  The guests completely gushed over it. 



Second Shooter


A second shooter offers a rich wedding photography experience.   This service adds more images as well as different images when we divide and conquer. 

A second shooter:

  • Captures the guys getting ready
  • Offers alternative angles to things like a first look
  • Captures candids at the cocktail hour
    • If you do not have a first look, this is not something I am able to do without a second shooter.
  • Ensures abundant wedding detail coverage
  • Overall more images of your day

If any of these things are really important to you, then investing in a second shooter is the way to go.  Any large and detail-intensive weddings should invest in a second shooter. 




Many photographers bundle products into their packages.  You choose what you want based on a combination of services and products. 

Products vary from photographer to photographer.  If they offer an album, it can look totally different than another album a different photographer offers.  Make sure you see a picture or hold an album in person to view the quality.  

My products are very high end.  I'm super picky about quality when it comes to wedding products.

My approach to products is a little different.  Everything is a la carte in the marketplace for all Debra Eby Photography Co. couples.  The marketplace is an online marketplace for all wedding photography products.  

The convenient part about a marketplace is that you can invest in heirloom-quality products at any time in this process.  Even after the wedding day. 

You may not know what products are going to be right for you until closer to the wedding day.  That’s okay, because you have time for all that shopping after the planning is further along. 

The guide below helps you understand the product function so that you see if it is the right fit for your wedding experience.



Luxury Fine Art Album

The Luxury Fine Art Album is the most gorgeous wedding album I have ever seen.  The album has thick, lay-flat pages with rich color and elegant sheen.  This is a 12 x 12 album that functions as the art gallery of your wedding day. 

Couples select the images, cover textiles, and lettering or image cut-out through the album design form.  Then, I design the album, create a digital proof, finally, you approve the proof for printing. 

This is my favorite product – by far.  Most of my couples choose to add this to their collection.  This album is built to last for generations to come, truly an investment piece. 



Engagement Guestbook

This is another popular product since it serves such a useful function.  Not only is it a lay-flat album, it can also serve a guestbook on the wedding day.  You can also have it designed as a coffee table book, with no space for writing.



Parent Album

 The Parent Album is a duplicate of the Luxury Fine Art Album.  It is 6 x 6, so convenient for parental bragging on the go.  This product is only available upon purchase of a Luxury Fine Art Album.  It is an add-on product.



Luxury Fine Art Prints

These are images from your wedding day printed through my high-quality lab.  The colors and texture of these pieces of art make them into beautiful wall art.  These can be ordered any time after receiving your online gallery.  Friends and family are also welcome to purchase these through the marketplace. 

Couples often order prints through me for the actual wedding day décor.  Engagement and bridal portrait prints are very popular. 

If you're still unsure, talk with any girlfriends who recently were married.  They can tell you things they wish they would have done and will have other tips for you as well.  

The best thing you can do is meeting up with your photographer.  Explain your vision and they can help you customize your dream collection.


xoxo Lovelies




Engagement Portraits 101

You know that moment, when your closet stares back at you?  It feels like there isn't a thing to wear.  You text your BFF asking what she's planning to wear.  You don't want to be the one overdressed or - even worse - under-dressed for the occasion.  For the next 10 minutes you go over options together until you reach the final verdict.  Evening saved.

Picture of ruffles and lace textiles in beautiful blush, purple, and rose hues. | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Most of our significant other's are not quite as sympathetic to our plight.  This is just the beginning.  Living with our love means no roommate or sister bailing us out with the perfect borrowed necklace.  When I married and moved away, my shoe fashion suffered greatly.  

As a wedding photographer, one of my most frequently asked questions is, "What should we wear for the engagement session?".  The tricky part of answering this question is that it depends on your couple style.  You should maintain your look, yet in a best-hair-day-ever way.  Both of you should look the glowing versions of yourself.  

Engagement Style Prep


Beauty Department

Picture of a man shaving his beard for his engagement portrait.  | Debra Eby Photography Co.

For hair, I recommend getting a blowout.  This gives you that salon-finished look that we all absolutely love (um, why can I never re-create this on my own?).  I do recommend wearing your hair down, unless you want to do an up-do halfway through as part of your wardrobe change.  

Since guys tend to get haircuts more often, I recommend scheduling the haircut with enough time for it to grow to the favorite length.  For my Ben, that's a few weeks after a fresh cut.  Also, make sure any facial hair is properly groomed.  I even had one groom shave in the middle of the sesh for two different looks.  It was amazing!

For make-up, this is a great time for a make-up trial for your wedding.  You achieve a professional look while having honest convos with your MUA.  If you opt to do your own, just go a little heavier on the concealer/foundation, especially under your eyes.  Speaking of eyes, play those up, girlie.  Work those brows and wear falsies.  That makes a dramatic difference in pictures.  



Image of a stylish couple having an engagement shoot in St. Augustine, Florida | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Think back to that time when an outfit made you feel smokin' hot.  What did that look like?  Those colors and that cut are likely going to unlock your personal style.  

Consider what colors and cuts look best on your body type - for both of you.  There are oodles of resources out there on Pinterest, just run a quick search, "your body type, fashion" and you'll see so many helpful charts.  Like this one for her and this one for him.  There are resources for skin tone and colors as well, like this one for her and this one for him.

Once you each have an idea of what looks best on you, then find the common ground.  Choose colors that flatter both of you.  

Choose wardrobe with your location in mind as well.  You want your fashion to be cohesive with the overall feeling of the shoot.  


The Engagement Style Guide

This brings me to the exciting part.  We can get super practical by using The Engagement Style Guide.  This is a look-book offering visual concepts and tips as you get your style on.  Take time to see what looks may be right for you, then customize according to your couple identity.  

In this book we break down four different looks:

  • Casual Sophisticate - Uptown modern with down-to-earth fun.
  • Cozy Romance - Fashion meant for cuddling.
  • Dressy Chic - Fashion for an upscale night on the town.
  • Coastal Style - Style for seaside escapes.

Each section offers tips for her and tips for him to achieve a similar look.  Then, you can see how that translates to a real life location background.  Plus, looks from other real engagement shoots.



Engagement Style Guide

click here

This quiz is another tool I use to customize advice for my couples, towards their personal style.

All right, Gorgeous, it's time.  Get back to that closet, or maaaaaybe that Nordstrom sale?  It's photo shoot time.


xoxo Lovelies