In today's society, most people rarely tote around an expensive camera on a daily basis. Why should they when their smartphone probably has a camera feature with all the whistles and bells? More than 90 million people in the United States own iPhones, and it's much easier to slip the slim device into your pocket than it is to carry a bulky camera. Now, many professional photographers would argue the benefits of a DSLR or non-smartphone camera, but sometimes convenience beats quality.
There are a few things you can do to maximize the quality of the photos you snap with your iPhone. Here are a few steps you can take to capture important moments quickly (and clearly).
Keep It Simple
Capturing too much in a photo often results in blurred faces, poor lighting, or a distracting image. The simpler you keep the photo, the more professional it will look. Try to find boring backgrounds to help highlight your subject, and really pay attention to the other objects that might creep into your photo unintentionally (birds, fast-moving pedestrians, blinking lights, etc.).
Use Two Hands When Shooting
When taking a picture, pretend that your iPhone really is a nice camera. Flip your phone horizontally and hold it with both hands. Not only will this technique reduce blur in your photos, but it will also allow you to capture more of the scene. If you have shaky hands, try to rest your arm on something and avoid moving as much as possible. Nobody can appreciate a photo that's unfocused or fuzzy.
Remember That Lighting Is Everything
Honestly, this is just a general rule of good photography, but it's especially true when it comes to shooting with an iPhone (or any smartphone, really). The iPhone camera has a fairly small lens, which means it can't always take in as much light as some other cameras would be able to. That's why your photos occasionally look grainy or extremely washed out. Really make an effort to pay attention to how your subject is lit. If possible, seek out natural lighting while avoiding harsh shadows or direct sunlight. Evening and early morning are considered the "golden hours" of photography, so really take advantage of those well-lit times.
Avoid Shooting Objects in Motion
As we've talked about, blur can be a real issue with iPhone cameras if you have unsteady hands or shoot something that's moving around a lot. In most cases, it's better to just avoid focusing on objects that can't sit still. If you really want to capture your son playing soccer or the dog playing in the backyard, consider taking a video and then screenshotting parts of it later on. That way, even if the photos seem blurry, you'll have the clear video at a minimum.
Stay Away From the Zoom Feature
Even though your iPhone camera can zoom in on far away objects, professionals recommend that you forget the feature even exists. Instead, use your body to get closer to the subject. It will undoubtedly result in a clearer picture with less grain and more detail.
Invest in a Waterproof Phone Case/Bag
If you really do plan to use your iPhone as your main camera, then a waterproof case or bag is a must-have. Otherwise, how are you going to snap shots on the beach or near the pool? Trust me, you don't want to face the tragedy of a fried phone that accidentally got splashed.
Don't Get Lazy With Your Editing
Instagram and dozens of other apps have reduced the art of editing photos to a mere click of a button, and although it might seem easy to slap a filter on your image and call it a day, that's not always the best option. Photography editing is not a "one size fits all" process. Take the time to make your own edits that perfectly enhance your specific image. Sometimes, it's as easy as simply upping the contrast or reducing some shadows. Remember, simple is better 99% of the time, so avoid over-the-top filters.
Clean Your Phone
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised by how many people rarely wipe their phones down with a disinfectant wipe or glass cleaner. Failing to give your phone's camera lens a nice cleanse every now and then can really impede your photography. No one likes a photo that's blurred by a ginormous fingerprint smudge.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you preserve more memories (and strengthen your social media game, of course).