If you’re wondering how to take good pictures for Instagram, you’re in luck. The humble iPhone has lots of tricks that can take your simple point and click photos to the next level. We’re all guilty of whipping out our phone to shoot a cute family moment or outfit of the day shot without properly thinking about how the photo will look. But it’s not all about investing in an expensive camera. You can take incredible photos with just the phone you own.
The IPPA (iPhone Photography Awards) have been going since 2007. Some of the winners’ and entrees shots are seriously next level. We decided to take some inspiration and tips from them, whether you’re snapping holiday shots or trying to take your blog or Instagram to the next level – this is the inspiration you need!
1. Don’t be afraid of the details
It’s hard to believe that some of the shots came from a simple phone, but sometimes it’s all about the details. Create a backdrop for your subject if you’re getting in close and make sure the colors compliment each other. Use the AE/AF Lock to get the perfect shot, just tap on the camera screen and a yellow square will appear. AE stands for Auto Exposure while AF stands for Auto Focus.
You can hold it down to lock it to one point or play around with it to get objects in the background in focus and change the exposure. Instead of just pointing and shooting, get down into the details and see what happens.
2. It’s all in the edit
You need to take a beautiful photo first before you can edit it, it’s not always a case of point and click, but of set-up. Try different angles, and play with the light, have as much light behind you as possible to see how the subject turns out. Check out the best photo editing apps here.
Most of the winners of the IPPA awards use some kind of photo editing software. The most popular photo editing apps amongst professional iPhone photographers are Snapseed, VSCO cam, and Lightroom for mobile. The shot above of the rose was processed with VCSO cam using the P5 preset, while the winner of the Portrait photography category used Snapseed and Lightroom to create a photo worthy of a DSLR!
3. Always think about personality
Even something as simplistic as a pet photo can look incredible with the right tools. When you’re shooting a subject, whether it’s an outfit photo for your friend or another snap of your dog for Instagram, think about the setting and how it conveys their personality. There are thousands of photos of people, places, and pets on Instagram, how can you make yours stand out. Tell a joke, use a prop, try something fun to bring out some personality.
Try to see your iPhone lens as another set of eyes, get your subject to look at the phone as if it was another person, not as if they’re posing for a photo. It might be tricky with your family pet, but you can get creative with your scenery to take this to the next level.
4. Play with the modes on your phone
Your phone has plenty of modes to play with. The photo above captured the motion of birds in flight using the Burst mode. You can also use Live Mode to capture a small ‘gif’ of the motion while you take a photo, portrait mode to create a depth of field effect similar to a DSLR camera, and burst mode is super easy to activate too – just hold down the button instead of tapping it as you usually would.
This photo was also processed with VSCO as well you’ll probably be interested to know, a lot of the winners use VSCO to create beautiful photos – and this one used the hb2 preset.
What do you think of these photography tips? Do you have any of your own to share?
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