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5 Tips to Upgrade your iPhone Photography for Instagram

April 11, 2019

 


It's true that many professional photographers have invested a lot of time, (money) and energy into ensuring that their photographs look good.


One thing that professional photographers won't admit, though, is that iPhone Photography allows you to take better photographs, and faster, with just a few key techniques!


Read:  iPhone Photography: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

With these tips, you'll be able to compose and shoot beautiful and interesting imagery, either close-up with some striking bokeh to velvety silhouettes — all on your iPhone to your Instagram.

1. Minimalism is Key

To take photographs that look expensive, and professional with your iPhone, you need to think simply.

Why? Because it's not only better — but it's much easier to simply pick one interesting subject and make that the focal point of your image.
The sure sign of an amateur is someone who tries to fit way too many subjects into their imagery.

"But, then my image will be full of empty space!" you might protest. That's perfectly fine. Professional photographers call empty space, 'negative space', and this is another technique that makes your focal point stand out.
The best way to do that is to move closer to the subject, and remove anything in the shot that might distract the viewer.

As you continue to practice this, you'll come to find that minimalism is the most shared on platforms like Instagram, because photographs with ONE focal point stand out on smartphone screens.


2. Get low

It goes without saying that your camera roll shouldn't be full of selfies. In the same way, your camera roll shouldn't simply consist of images taken at chest height.

One of the fastest ways to upgrade your iPhone photography and create images that stand out is to shoot from a lower angle than what you're used to. You don't have to get too low either, just shoot from lower than what you're used to.

When you shoot your subject or focal point from such a low angle that the sky is the only background, what you end up doing is following both Tip 1 and Tip 2 — making the image extremely attractive on a platform like Instagram.

And when you're finally comfortable with the idea of looking, "extra" according to some people, then you can start squatting and even kneeling in order to get the best low-angle images.

Read: The Best iPhone Accessories for Winter | Skiing, Snowboarding, Hockey

3. Dept of Field

What does “depth of field” mean? Blurring backgrounds, of course!
Everyone knows that an image with blur looks far more interesting than an image where the background and the foreground are in focus.

When you utilize lens accessories in order to convey a sense of depth in your images, i.e. Telephoto lenses, you will be able to draw people's attention — whether you're photographing accessories for Instagram, or simply taking a landscape photograph.

Besides getting your hands on iPhone accessories, a simple technique like using "leading lines" that direct the viewers' attention to whatever it is that is being photographed is a great way to create depth. For instance, taking a picture of a road, railway tracks, a river bank, fences and paths are a fantastic leading line!

Once you've found your leads, you can create some depth in the foreground by using found objects like rocks or leaves or anything else for that matter... When you absolutely cannot find anything in the foreground that would add an element of interest, then just go back to Tip #2 and "Get Low"! Shoot from a lower angle and you'll be surprised.

Keeping with the idea of creating depth…


4. Get Up-Close and Personal

Okay, so by now you've probably figured out that each of these tips builds up from the previous tips so that by the time you've mastered this entire list, you're practically a pro!

It may be hard to believe, but a lot of iPhone photographers make the mistake of simply not getting close enough to the focal point. Especially when they're photographing something with a lot of detail — i.e embroidering or hair for Instagram.

When you shoot from far away, the photograph ends up being a bit dull and impersonal, but when you get close to the object, you suddenly have a photograph that comes to life — especially when you shoot portraits of others or even your own selfies. When you move closer to the subject, you can properly capture facial features and emotions that will engage with the viewer.

Of course, even the newer iPhones are still not able to shoot HQ images of subjects up close and personal; that's why you'll need to get your hands on a macro lens, like the TrueLux macro lens...

What this lens will do is allow your camera to focus extremely close to whatever you're shooting, and add some visual interest (and depth) to your photograph, simultaneously.

Read: What Makes An iPhone Photo, A Good Photo?

5. Don't Be Afraid of the Silhouette

This one seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people are still afraid to embrace silhouettes on their Instagram grid. Firstly, what is a silhouette? It's basically when an object's shape is captured against a very bright light. It's not the same thing as a shadow...

Silhouettes add an air of mystery to a picture and against a very bright background, a silhouette can really look quite gorgeous!
Another great thing about this particular photography technique is that it's quite easy to create images of a silhouette on your iPhone. You just need to know what you want to take a picture of, and then shoot towards the light. That's it!

If you want to make sure that your subject's silhouette looks unmistakable and still dark, head to your iPhone camera app, tap the screen to set the focus, and then swipe down to darken the camera exposure — you can still darken the subject even further with photography editing apps.

Read: The Best iPhone Must-Haves For 2018: A Holiday Gift Guide

The best time to take silhouette photographs, even with your iPhone, is during what professional photographers refer to as the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. When the sun is low on the horizon, then you can easily position the light source behind the subject. This means that you will get a nicely coloured sky as the background — taking advantage of tips 1 to 4.

You don't necessarily have to wait for the golden hour to take silhouette photographs, as long as your light source is behind the subject.
For instance, when you're shooting indoors, you just have to place your subject in front of the window (to take advantage of natural light), or in front of a ring light/ softbox if natural light is not an option.

Play with these 5 tips either individually or together and you'll notice a vast improvement in your iPhone photography, and maybe you might even gain a few new Instagram followers on your way.

Good luck!



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