How to take better photos on your iPhone | Dana Arnold Photography

Let’s face it, not everyone can afford a fancy camera and in some moments, it’s always better to use your iPhone for quick and fun portraits on people and landscape. What is great about the iPhone is that the camera’s technology is always growing. You have portrait mode, can choose to shoot in black and white, or color, and you can even dim or brighten the light on the camera. The iPhone is a powerful tool and can make any user feel like a photographer (sorry, but you’re not, there is more too it than that haha). However, some of my dearest friends come to me asking to edit photos they took on their iPhone and to be honest, the photo could have been better if they just did a few simple things when they took the photo! I am here to share with you some of my secrets when I take iPhone photos because even as a photographer, I don’t always have my fancy camera with me! So, my friends, follow these steps and you will have better iPhone photos!

  1. Lighting Over Background, ALWAYS

I totally get that a lot of people love to have pretty backgrounds but if it means having sun spots on your face or glares in glasses, trust me, it isn’t worth it. Your number one goal is to make sure there is even light head to toe. If you have even light head to toe and you have a pretty background, bonus points. But, make sure the way you look in the camera is your number one priority.

2. Golden Hour is the Best

So, Golden hour is usually right around sunrise and sunset. For example, if the sunrise is at 8 am, the best time to shoot is 7:15-8:20 am. If the sunset is at 8 pm, the best time to shoot is 7 pm to 8:20 pm. The reason why we call it Golden hour is just that, it is the perfect time to shoot because of the light from the sun and that it cast a beautiful color on skin tones and backgrounds. So, if you can help it, shoot at around this time.

3. Find Shade

Obviously 95% of the time, you are out with friends all day, not just at sunrise and sunset. So, if you are out and you want a photo in the middle of the day, simply find shade. This goes back to number one and making sure there is even light and no sunspots.

Here are a few tricks to help you…

  • Find shade and use the shadow of a tree or building to cover the whole body/subject you’re shooting
  • Look for a white/gray/pink/light blue wall that is covered in shade. These colors are great reflectors that will bounce off the ground.

And with respect to all of these, they both will be ten times better if the sun is behind the subject you are shooting! If you cannot find shade, and there are clouds, wait for the sun to go behind the clouds and lower the exposure option on your iPhone so the photo can turn out dark to prevent glare but can be fixed in edit.

4. When inside taken a photo, face an open window

There are plenty of moments when you are inside and want to take a photo of your hair/makeup, with your spouse, or just a nice photo of your dog or cat.

In this case, I always take a photo in front of the window, with the window open, and my face facing the outside. Windows cast the perfect amount of light which gives a natural, organic glow.

If you are trying to take a large group photo or of a couple, have them stand back against the wall and fact the open windows. Be sure to open as many windows as you can to let in as much natural light as possible and the lighter the room color, the more light and vibrant the photo will be!

5. Take Advantage of Photo Apps on your iPhone

One great app I use is called TouchRetouch and with a simple button/click, it erases people, trashcans, birds, and other small objects. Now, it won’t always be perfect. For example, if the trash can or person is right next to you and takes up a lot of space, it will cause blurs in the photo when you try to erase it. So, that being said, make sure unwanted objects are little and in the back, this way it is smaller and no one can notice something was “photoshopped” out.

There is also Lightroom mobile and if you have an account with Adobe, you can use it for free on your phone. It does not have everything that a photographer uses, but it does have basics such as light adjustments, shadow fixes, and warmth increase/decrease that can really make a photo look better.

Next week, I will be writing a blog on how to edit a photo on Lightroom mobile! There will be screen shots and simple step-by-step instructions to show you how I get beautiful edited images taken on my iPhone! Like the ones below…

Before & After
Before & After
This was actually done by my husband through Lightroom Mobile and Touch-Tetouch

May 3, 2019

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