First published in July 2017.
Let’s face it. Unless you’re a professional or hobby photographer, 99% of your photos are taken on your phone. Am I right? I know for myself that phone photos are always the quickest and simplest way of capturing a moment.
In the writing and blogging industry, there’s a saying “write what you know”. Often for me this means I write about weddings; how to plan weddings, weddings I’ve been to and weddings I’ve photographed. But it turns out I know a thing or two about photography as well! So buckle up. Today there’s very little mention of weddings, but a whole lot of mention about photography for the non-photographer.
Phone photography (sometimes referred to as iphoneography) is an art in itself that takes time and practise to perfect. And let’s be honest, even after all of that you’re still going to take some pretty miserable photos every now and then. But I’ve got three practical tips that can help you take your photos to the next level straight away.
1. Show scale.
Want to show us that new beach you’re visiting? Or the Ferris wheel you are about get on? Whatever it is you want to share, make sure you show more than just your face. Showing scale in a photograph is a great way to set the scene, which can then be followed up by some close-ups of your subject.
2. Straighten your horizons.
This is one of my biggest gripes in any kind of photography. Unless you’re doing it on purpose, don’t do it! Now that I’ve told you, there are no excuses for laziness. Hold your phone with two hands, straighten up the horizon, and bam! You’re a magician. Bonus tip: if you forgot to do it before taking the shot, there’s a straighten function in pretty much every good photo editing app.
Of course, there are a thousand exceptions to the rule, but it’s still always good to know what the rule is before breaking it.
3. Change your perspective.
Get down low. Get up high. Look up. For the love of God, just mix things up a little bit. Here’s an example of a breakfast I purchased in New York. I took one photo from where I was sitting and it’s pretty plain. But in the next image, you see that I’ve gotten lower and closer to the subject. This gives my image more depth and shows off the iPhone 7’s beautiful “blur” or bokeh capabilities.
Some more iPhone 7 photos: