As a blogger I spend way to much time on the Internet and social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbledUpon… Well, you get the idea.
For many years I resisted the urge to buy a mobile phone because when I’m out and about I want to be present and see the world, not send tweets or answer emails.
But the lure of Instagram (follow me here)sucked me in. I loved seeing other people’s Insta photos and wanted to share my own so I bought my very first mobile phone ever, an iPhone 4S in 2011.
I love my iPhone but not because it can send texts, take phone calls and remind me when to get my cake out of the oven. What I still love best about my iPhone is taking photos, playing around with them using photo editing apps and sharing the best photos with friends and readers.
It’s been almost four years since I bought that iPhone and I’m sorry to say that I now use my iPhone far too much, and not just for taking photos and Instagram. In fact that’s something I could probably be doing a bit more of as these days I tend to only share on Instagram when I’ve got new travel photos to share.
But you don’t need to visit an amazing travel destination like Zimbabwe, Italy or Canada to take good photos and share them with people, whether publicly on Instagram or privately by email. There are interesting photo opportunities everywhere if you look for them and an iPhone helps you make almost any photo look amazing.
Yet I’m still astonished by the below average photos people sometimes share on social media in general because I know they could do better. Don’t get me wrong – my photos won’t win any prices and I’m no Instagram pro like Lauren Bath, nor do I have an expensive camera. The great news is you don’t need to be a pro or own an expensive camera to create great photos on an iPhone.
iPhone photography: 5 reasons an iPhone is the best camera
What I love about my iPhone is:
1. My iPhone is small and almost always handy.
2. It takes good photos.
3. iPhones allow you to edit and improve any photo to make it as good as it can be using in-camera editing tools or other apps.
4. Taking photos on an iPhone saves heaps of time because I can email the images or upload them to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter straight from the iPhone.
5. iPhone photography is convenient because I can edit photos while I’m on my travels.
iPhoneography is brilliant for travel bloggers (and I was inspired and educated by style blogger Nikki Parkinson at Styling You) but I think anyone can benefit from the joy of taking good photos. Many of the tips covered here I learnt from Nikki and this brilliant iPhone Photography ebook.
For bloggers Instagram is a great way to be creative, share photos instantly and keep your blog fresh (by sharing the Instagram stream on your blog) even when you’re not publishing new posts. So in a short time I went from iPhone curious to hooked on iPhoneography because my iPhone and Instagram make all my photos look better and save me time.
How iPhoneography saves me time
As a travel blogger taking, editing and preparing photos for Get In the Hot Spot can take hours. Obviously I can’t save time on taking photos but I can save time on the editing and web preparation stage using my iPhone and a few handy apps.
15 iPhone photography tips
1. Get the ProCamera app
You’ll take better photos straight away because it has a full screen trigger meaning you can touch the screen anywhere to take a shot so you don’t have to hunt for the little square and can focus on your target. ProCamera app costs $7.99 which is a LOT less than an SLR and that’s just one of the fancy things it can do. I only use a fraction of the feature including using the improved exposure and fast trigger features so I can click off heaps of photos fast and then pick the best one.
2. Pop your photos on Instagram
You’ll need the Instagram app for this which allows you to crop photos to a square, choose a filter and upload them to Instagram in minute or two. It means you can share photos fast while you’re travelling and then put them in a blog post later.
If you use Instagram try to focus on a niche be it nature, your kids or some travel inspiration. I share mainly photos of nature, wildlife and scenery so there’s a unified theme to my Instagram stream and automatically share the same photos on Twitter and Facebook too.
3. Reuse your best Instagram images on your blog
Once your photos are on Instagram you can then reuse those photos on your blog as they’ll be ready to go. Just be careful you don’t use too many different Instagram filters and styles in one blog post or it will start to look messy.
4. Experiment with cropping and filters
You can really turn an average shot into a good photo in a few seconds just by cropping it and adding a few filters, either using the already installed iPhone camera and photo tools, the Pro Camera App, Instagram or all three.
I went a bit mad when I first laid my hands on those apps but if you play around with the filters and settings you’ll soon start to get a feel for what works and what looks too crazy.
Snapseed is another (free) app that I use constantly.
5. Add text
I use the A Beautiful Mind app to add text to images for an added pop.
6. Create collages
The InstaStitch app is great to create photo collages as is the PicFrame app.
7. Email photos to yourself from your iPhone
I find it quicker to create and publish blog posts on my computer and the easiest way to get the photos off my iPhone and onto my desktop for use is by emailing them to myself.
8. Back up your photos
Use Dropbox to back up your iPhone photos so you don’t lose them if you mislay or damage your phone. Just download the Dropbox app, create a free account and do it now before it’s too late.
Get your photos uploading at home where you have free WiFi and change your iPhone auto shut down setting to off as it may take a long time to upload all your photos.
9. Clear your iPhone photos regularly
Go through all your iPhone photos and delete the ones you don’t need. We all take several shots of the same thing so delete the bad shots and just save the best often.
If you do this from the beginning it will make it easier to find photos later on and ensure you have space for new photos too. There’s nothing worse than taking a photo only to find out you can’t because your iPhone memory is full.
The joys of digital photography, and especially iPhone photgraphy, is that it’s free and you can do it anywhere. Find some great photographers to follow on Instagram or follow @seeAustralia who always tweet the best Aussie photos.
See which photos you like best and try to emulate them. It’s not copying, it’s inspiration.
11. Switch the focus
Did you know you can choose what part of the image your iphone focuses on? Just tap the image you see on screen and the camera will focus there. There seem to be three different options and the change of focus will completely change the lighting too giving your photo a very different effect.
12. Master the selfie
Flip the screen round to take a self portrait and hold the iPhone high for a more flattering angle. The best thing to do is hold your finger over the take photo button and just remove it at the last minute. That way you can enjoy taking the photo without having to worry about where the button is.
I might have added yet another social networking site to my name but I’m glad I did. Taking photos with my iPhone and playing around on Instagram is fun, creative and free. We can never spend too much time on things like that.
13. Think before you take the photo
Pay attention to basics like light, what’s in the background your photo and making sure you don’t cut people’s feet off. Those little things will make a big difference to the final photo.
14. Challenge yourself
Fat Mum Slim issues a take a photo a day challenge each month which will get you in the habit of taking daily photos and taking photos of things you normally wouldn’t capture – like your toothbrush!
15. Get inspired
Once you’ve done that you can set your own challenges around anything from colour to nature to people and places. Choose a theme for the week such as red, clouds or profiles and get snapping.
Get more iPhone photography tips
If you’re in the slightest bit interested in taking better photos on your iPhone I totally recommend the iPhone Photgraphy ebook. It’s so good I even signed up as an affiliate because I love it so I get a teeny tiny referral fee if you buy it using that link.
Remember to follow me on Instagram here if you don’t already. Thank you.
Have fun with your iPhone photography.
Have you got any iPhone photography tips?
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