iPhone Photography ideas to help you improve your shots

When it comes to using an iPhone for photography, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or a pro, or have an older iPhone or the newest edition, there is always room for improvement and new tips to learn. That’s why we’ve composed this guide of our top 8 tricks that we think will completely transform your photography skills and take them to the next level! 

1. Learn to navigate iPhone photo mode

When you open the camera app on your iPhone, by default you will be in ‘Photo’ mode. However, there are numerous styles and settings available on your camera, including video, slo-mo, time-lapse, portrait and pano, so we recommend having a play around with them – it’s amazing what shots you can achieve!

What’s more, any iPhone with two or more cameras on the back (so the iPhone 11 upwards) comes with both optical and digital zoom capabilities. Optical zoom magnifies the lens to fill the canvas with a smaller section of the scene in front of you, while digital zoom essentially crops the canvas to move you closer to it. As such, photos taken on digital zoom are usually lower quality, so it’s definitely worth trying out both settings.

2. Customise the composition

Did you know there are composition tools available on iPhones that can help you arrange key elements and subjects in your photos? The best photographers take composition very seriously, so if you want to improve your images, head to the ‘Settings’ app and go to ‘Camera’. Here, you can make changes such as:

  • Enabling grid – this allows you to better align the subjects of your photo
  • Enabling mirror front camera – this ensures your camera takes a selfie as it sees it, rather than in reverse
  • Enabling lens correction – this fixes any disorientation that appears when taking a wider shot

3. Set the flash options

Many people think that flash mode is just for taking photos in the dark, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. When used correctly, it can help to fill shadows and create some really interesting effects. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to use it all of the time, so knowing how to turn it on and off is really useful. 

All iPhone cameras are set to automatically use the flash in Photo mode when needed, but you can control the settings manually. On the iPhone X and earlier models, tap the lightning bolt symbol and choose between On, Off or Auto. On the iPhone XS or later, you can tap the lightning bolt to turn the automatic flash On or Off, or tap the arrow button followed by the lightning bolt to choose between On, Off or Auto.

4. Shoot faster

A style of photography that has become very popular amongst iPhone users is the ‘burst’ mode. Designed to help you capture a moving subject, it allows you to take several photos in quick succession. Plus, taking burst photos is a great way to have a variety of shots without stopping and starting and missing good lighting and angles.

To take burst shots, simply drag the shutter button to the left as you take your photo. Or, you can go to ‘Settings’, ‘Camera’ and select ‘Use volume up button for burst’ if you’d find this easier.

5. Take a time-lapse video

If you’re interested in capturing a specific scene for a long period of time but don’t want to have to watch hours of footage afterwards, you can set your camera to time-lapse mode. It works by taking lots of individual photos which are then assembled to create a seamless sped-up video. 

This feature is great for filming workouts, sunsets, unique weather events and even moving traffic. The results are really dynamic, so if you’re looking for some unique Instagram content, this could be it. 

6. Play with portrait mode

Portrait mode has grown increasingly popular due to its ability to shoot studio-quality images without the cost. It does this by making the background softer and focusing more on what’s in the foreground, highlighting the finer details. 

What’s great about Portrait mode on iPhone is that you can select what you want to focus on and also adjust the image settings using the wheel on the screen. For example, you can choose between natural, stage or studio light and play around with the ratio of focus to blurriness. 

7. Master night mode

One of the newer features that you may want to have a go at using is night mode. This lets you take high-quality photos in low-light conditions, and the great news is that you don’t have to activate it, your phone will detect when it’s needed. 

Night mode extends the shutter for longer, allowing the lens to bring in the right amount of light to get the best picture. It does require a steady hand, however, but a little bit of practice will see you master this in no time. 

8. Switch photographic styles

A feature that’s currently only available on iPhone 13, 14 and SE (3rd gen), the Photographic Styles tool allows you to set the tone and warmth values of your photos to suit your personal preferences.

This feature is automatically set to Standard, a style that’s ‘true to life’ according to Apple, so to change this, go to ‘Settings’, ‘Camera’ and ‘Photographic Styles’. Here, you can swipe through to see all of the different styles and select your favourite one. Just some of the options available include ‘rich contrast’, ‘vibrant warmth’ and ‘cool style’.

So there you have it, 8 iPhone photography tips that will hopefully help you take your images to the next level!