Whoever said you can’t take great photos with an iPhone seriously had it all wrong! As a professional photographer, I’m here to tell you that your iPhone is a handy device for taking quality photos. I use my iPhone many times, and you’ll often see a mix of iPhone photos and DSLR photos in my pup, Paisley’s, Instagram feed. With these 6 simple tips, you can take great photos of your pup using an iPhone. Note: All the photos in this post were taken with an iPhone!
LOOK FOR GREAT LIGHT
This is the most crucial aspect of getting a quality photo with your iPhone. This is actually the most crucial tip for taking great photos with ANY camera! Lighting is everything and it will make or break a photo. Filters and editing can’t truly fix a bad photo with bad lighting.
The best lighting is typically in the early morning or late afternoon. The light is soft and even. If you can’t snap a photo during these preferred times, look for shade and even lighting. If you’re indoors, place your pet near the biggest light source you can find, like a big window. View my other posts here about finding good light.
CONTROL FOCUS AND EXPOSURE
Controlling focus and exposure on your iPhone camera is a great way to get crisp, maximum quality photos! Simply put, the focus is how sharp or clear the overall image or your subject in the image is, and exposure is the amount of light entering your camera. Exposure is often referred to as how dark or bright the image is.
When taking a photo on your iPhone, the first thing you want to do is lock the focus since the phone will often focus and refocus automatically. It’s called auto-focus and your phone will decide what it thinks is the most important part of the scene. This usually works well, but if you’re serious about getting the most out of your iPhone camera, you’ll want to have full control. Do this by tapping on your pet’s face and holding your finger until you see an AE/AF LOCK message appear on the screen along with the yellow square. If you want to unlock at any time, just tap elsewhere on the screen.
Next, you can adjust the exposure of the area you have locked focus on. Simply tap and hold on the yellow box and slide the sun icon up and down to your preferred level of brightness or darkness.
Keep in mind, this tip is for those who are wanting to get serious with their iPhone photography and take full control of the camera’s operations. You can skip this step and rely fully on the automation of your iPhone — it usually does a decent job!
USE EDITING APPS FOR CONSISTENCY
As I mentioned above, it’s not best to rely on filters or editing to fix a badly lit photo. It just doesn’t work! Before applying a filter or edits to a photo, be sure you’ve applied the basic photography rules first.
Consistency is always key when it comes to editing (especially for those of you trying to maintain a consistent Instagram feed!) This means that all of your photos have similar editing styles and look like they belong together.
Some great editing apps are Snapseed, VSCO, and Filmborn. You can find a filter you like, apply it and then make small adjustments to exposure, contrast and white balance. Typically, I personally steer away from filters. I make sure my photo is excellent when I take it and make general edits in Snapseed. Read more about editing and best apps in my post here!
USE PORTRAIT MODE
If you have one of the newer models of the iPhone, you will want to make use of Portrait mode! This is actually one of the best features and really can step up your phone pictures. It often times creates a great background blur (or bokeh) to really draw the eye to your subject.
FIND A FUN BACKGROUND
Look for backgrounds that match your style. For me, I love light photos so I always opt for lighter backgrounds, such as a beach scene or colorful wall. Avoid distractions in the background of your photos. This could be people walking by or clutter at home. Simple is always better when it comes to backgrounds — you want the background to enhance, not take away from your pup!
REMEMBER TO BACKUP YOUR PHOTOS
You have all these wonderful photos on your phone and now it’s time to make sure they’re safe! My favorite apps for backing up my phone photos are Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos. Don’t lose your precious memories if you lose your phone!
Now you have all the tips for making your iPhone camera perform at its best! Get out there with your pet and preserve those memories!
I’d love to see if these tips are working for you! Please tag our Instagram accounts (@markiewalden and @paisleytheyellowlabrador) so we can see your photos! You can also use the hashtag #tipsfrompaisley!
Markie & Paisley
Markie Walden is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in South Carolina. Markie and her husband, Rob, love spending time with their pup, Paisley. She is an energetic and loving yellow Labrador Retriever who brings joy everywhere she goes! When not off photographing her wonderful clients, Markie loves capturing Paisley in photos.
See Markie’s pup, Paisley, also on Instagram!