Beginner-Friendly Tips and Tricks on Taking Outstanding Photographs on Your iPhone

In photography, capturing breathtaking images doesn’t always require expensive professional cameras. Besides, aspiring photographers may not always have the resources to invest in high-end equipment. Nonetheless, they can still unleash their artistic vision and take equally striking photos using a device they carry every day—their iPhones. Being one of the leading smartphones worldwide, an iPhone boasts high-quality photo capabilities that have transformed mobile photography.

Understanding basic photography rules and compositional techniques are essential to harness the power of your phone’s camera and take striking pictures. In this article, you’ll discover the top photography tips and tricks for capturing outstanding shots on your iPhone. Keep on reading!

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10 iPhone photography tips for beginner creators

As you begin your iPhone photography journey, remember that practice and experimentation are key to honing your skills. Don’t be discouraged by initial challenges—embrace them as opportunities to learn and improve.

Here are top photography tips for iPhone users to help you make the most out of your device and capture stunning images that reflect your unique perspective and creativity. 

#1 Clean your lens 

Over time, iPhones tend to accumulate fingerprints, smudges, and dust particles on the camera lens, which can significantly affect the quality of your shots. Before snapping photos, ensure your iPhone’s lens is clean. If you notice smudges or dust, gently wipe them away using a microfiber cloth or soft, lint-free tissue. Avoid using harsh materials that could scratch the lens or leave lint residues.

A clean lens ensures sharper details and better light transmission, allowing your iPhone’s camera to perform at its best. Moreover, regular cleaning ensures you’re always ready to capture spontaneous and precious moments without unintended visual hindrances.

#2 Master and experiment with the exposure 

Exposure determines the brightness and tone of your images. To achieve well-balanced and visually appealing shots, tap and hold on the screen while framing your photo to lock the exposure. 

This technique prevents automatic adjustments, ensuring consistent lighting in your pictures, especially in uneven or rapidly changing lighting situations. You get to highlight specific details, preserve shadow and highlight information, and maintain the desired mood. Moreover, experimenting with exposure allows you to fine-tune brightness levels according to your creative vision. 

#3 Use gridlines for harmonic composition

Head to your iPhone’s camera settings and enable grid lines before capturing your next photo. This feature divides your screen into a 3×3 grid, creating nine equally sized squares. The grid helps you apply the rule of thirds—a fundamental compositional technique. Align key elements along the gridlines or their intersections to achieve a balanced and visually appealing composition. This technique draws the viewer’s eye, creating a more dynamic and engaging visual experience. 

#4 Experiment with perspectives 

Explore different angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your photos. Instead of photographing from standard eye level, challenge yourself to crouch down low for a worm’s-eye view or shoot from above for a bird’s-eye view. Through these creative perspectives, seemingly ordinary subjects become appealing visual narratives. 

#5 Utilize HDR mode 

High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode captures multiple exposures of the same scene and combines them to create a well-balanced, detailed photo. It is especially helpful in high-contrast situations where you want to retain details in both highlights and shadows. HDR mode allows you to capture scenes as your eyes perceive them, embracing the full spectrum of lighting and tones. 

#6 Play with portrait mode 

If your iPhone has a dual-camera system, use Portrait mode for stunning portrait shots. This mode creates a shallow depth of field effect, blurring the background and making the subject stand out. This artistic technique, also known as bokeh, ensures that the object is in sharp focus while the background gently fades into a soft, dreamy blur. 

#7 Embrace natural lighting 

Lighting is crucial in photography; it shapes the mood and visual appeal of your images. Whenever possible, opt for natural light as it produces softer and more flattering results. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for capturing beautiful, warm lighting. When shooting indoors, make the most of window light to infuse your portraits and still-life photography with a soft and diffused glow.

#8 Edit images with third-party apps 

Enhance your iPhone photos further by using third-party editing apps. Apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and Adobe Lightroom offer powerful tools to adjust exposure, contrast, color, and other parameters, giving you creative control over your images. Moreover, these applications often come with presets and filters that add an extra layer of artistic flair to your pictures, allowing you to apply creative effects with just a tap.

#9 Use burst mode for action shots 

Burst mode is ideal for capturing moving subjects. Hold the shutter button, and your iPhone will take a rapid series of shots. This increases the chances of capturing a perfect action shot, which you can select from the burst later. You can use Burst mode when photographing sports events, wildlife, playful pets, or any fast-paced activity where timing is critical.

#10 Keep your composition simple 

Less is often more in photography. Avoid cluttered compositions and focus on a single subject or a few key elements to create visually impactful images. Consider what elements are essential to conveying your message and remove anything that doesn’t contribute to the narrative. A clean, straightforward composition draws the viewer’s attention to the subject and tells a compelling story.

Essential compositional rules in photography

In addition to the above tips, understanding and applying essential compositional rules can significantly improve your pictures. Here are the main composition tricks to consider when taking photos on your iPhone.

  • Rule of thirds and leading lines. As mentioned earlier, the rule of thirds divides your frame into a 3×3 grid, where you must place your subject along these lines or at their intersections. This off-center placement adds visual interest and balance to a photograph. Leading lines, on the other hand, are lines or pathways that guide the viewer through the image, leading to the main subject or points of interest. Including roads, rivers, or paths in your composition creates a sense of depth and dimension.
  • Symmetry and patterns. Symmetrical details are visually-captivating elements you can find when photographing architecture or reflections. Look for scenes with perfect or near-perfect symmetry; ensure the details are aligned along the central axis to create a mirror-like effect. Patterns, on the other hand, involve repeating shapes, colors, or textures that add visual rhythm and coherence to a composition.
  • Foreground interest. Adding foreground interest is an effective way to create depth and dimension in your photographs. It could be anything from flowers to rocks, which provide context and lead the eye to the main subject. This technique enhances immersion and allows viewers to feel as if they are part of the scene.
  • Framing. Using natural elements like archways, trees, or windows allows you to frame your subject. Framing adds depth, draws attention to the main subject within a frame, and emphasizes the subject’s significance within its environment.

Can you sell your iPhone photos?

Yes, you can! With advancements in smartphone camera technology, the quality of iPhone photos has significantly improved. This has made them suitable for commercial use and stock content platforms. Many beginner-friendly stock websites, like Depositphotos, accept smartphone photos, including iPhone images, as long as they meet certain quality and content guidelines.

Depositphotos is a reputable stock content marketplace with over 250 million royalty-free files, including editorial photos at The platform offers opportunities for creators to sell their images to a global audience. In order to become a contributor on the platform, you must first register as one and upload some of your top works for review. Submitted files will be assessed for quality, relevance, and legality. You must be over 18, the author of the photos, and provide all necessary documents, like model or property releases. This will ensure your images can be used for commercial and editorial purposes. 

After receiving confirmation, you can upload more of your work to the library. Make sure to add keywords and descriptions to the files, so that they can be found by users and sorted by the platform into trendy collections and thematic categories. Each time a user purchases your file, you’ll receive a royalty payment. To get more income, take eye-catching shots by improving your skills and create a comprehensive portfolio on the platform.

Summing up

Your smartphone can easily be a go-to tool for capturing outstanding photos. With the top iPhone camera tips explained in this article, you can boost your skills and master essential compositional rules. So, learn, experiment, and unleash your creativity to capture remarkable moments that could earn you recognition and income on stock photography platforms like Depositphotos.

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