Phone photography tips for non-photographers

Me and my husband have had this quiet competition running through years on who can take better photos with our iPhones. He thinks he is better than me and of course I think I am better than he is. The truth is, none of us is a photographer. But I must say that through years of taking photos on our phones and with a desire to take a winning shot we learned some tricks on how to make better photos. Let me share some easy tricks to improve your iPhone photos.

1. The rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is perhaps the most well-known ‘rule’ of photographic composition. The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Here are some of my examples:

The horizon and main subject in this photo have been positioned on lines or intersections for maximum impact.

Vertical subjects can split a photo in two, in much the same way as a horizon can do horizontally. To avoid this, position them off-centre in your composition.

Here the main subject has been placed at one of the intersections.


2. Angles

Get creative and start using angles. Shoot your photos from an interesting perspective.

Take a photo from top-down. Put your phone above the subject and take the photograph downwards from straight above.

Shot from a lower angle can show the world from a new perspective.

Rotate objects to create a different view and make them a bit different.

Position your phone closer to the ground.

3. Close ups

Get close to the subject and show interesting details. Expose patterns, colours and textures and bring your photos to life.

4. Landscape photos

To me creating a good landscape photo is the hardest. But here are some tips on how to make them better.

se leading lines like the line of the water on this photo to create diagonal balance in your photos.

On this one the composition of the path lines leads from the foreground into the distance. It makes your photo more engaging.

It is similar with this photo. The lines of the chair lift lead from foreground into the distance, creating depth and draw the viewer’s eye into the scene.

There are two points on this photograph that make it interesting. First is a silhouette, which is the dark shape of an object taken against bright light. To achieve this you need to shoot towards the light. Second one is reflection. You can achieve reflection with water, glass, mirror or other shiny objects like metal. It will add another dimension to the photo.

5. Portrait mode

If you have a portrait mode on your iPhone you should use it to create a depth-of-field effect. It lets you compose a photo that keeps your subject stand out, while it blurs out background. Portrait mode is also very good for taking selfies.

6. Interesting objects

What I would say at the end that if you look around you, you can find lots of interesting objects to photograph. Explore, create and enjoy.

Like this guy, staring from a window.

Or a Lego policeman talking to three ladybirds.

Or this grassy car parked in front of your house.

7. Editing

When you take your photos, take lots so you can then select the best ones. Shoot a bigger picture so you can crop them later.

And take them in colour mode. You can always change them to black and white but you can’t do it other way around. There is lots to be said about editing photos so I will go into details with my next articles.

Happy photographing :)!