The Trendy Sparrow: How to take amazing iPhone photos

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to take amazing iPhone photos

I've been getting a lot of questions lately via my Instagram about my photos... How do I take them? What equipment/cameras do I use? What apps do I use to edit? 

So I decided to do a post today to sum up the majority of those questions with a single answer: 
my iPhone.
The truth is I actually take the vast majority of photos that I use on my Instagram via my iPhone 5s. I think a lot of people shy away from using the iPhone as their primary source of photography because 

Here are 5 ways you can improve your iPhone photography:

1. Clean the lens - I can't say this enough...clean the lens on your iPhone camera before EVERY photo. You would be baffled by how dirty your lens gets on your phone, and the impact this has on your photo quality. Think about it...we handle our phones constantly. We throw them in our pockets, purses, etc. They end up dirty and smudged with finger prints. That shows in your photos. Simply wipe off the lens before you start taking photos, and you will be amazed at the dramatic change in photo quality.

2. Invest in thick white poster board - A lot of you have been asking about my backgrounds for my photos. The easiest background to have is a simple white background. White backgrounds are great for balancing light as well to give you better photos. I like to keep several very thick particle/poster board on hand (as it really doesn't last long with all of the scuffs/dirt it picks up). They are really cheap, and I get mine from Walgreens.

3. Take photos using the "square" function - I don't know about you, but I have a hard time with cropping photos. I obviously know how to crop photos, but when I am taking pictures I have a hard time picturing what a photo will look like once it is cropped down to a square on Instagram. On your iPhone's camera you have the option to change the type of camera you would like (photo, square, panoramic). I find that taking photos in the "square" function makes taking great instagram photos much easier since I already know what they are going to look like.

4. Use natural lighting - Obviously this isn't possible all the time, especially if you are taking photos at night. But like with any other form of photography, the best time to take pictures with your smartphone is during the day time with natural light. I often like to take my photos next to the large windows in my apartment. The more you have natural light coming in the better your photos will look natural, and the less you will have to edit them. 

5. Edit within the Instagram app - One of the biggest questions I get is "What apps do you use to edit your photos?" Again, it's much simpler than you would think. I just used the built-in editing options within the Instagram app. Note that I never use the filters. I hate them. I'm not a filter person. For me, they make photos look over-edited. When editing, I usually use 3 functions: brightness, contrast, and shadows. I just tweak with these three settings until I find a look that I enjoy, and is cohesive with my brand.

When it's all said and done, you end up with a beautiful photograph (like the one below) that you can share with your social media followers.

Purchase my "Building My Empire" mug via my Etsy store.

Do you use another apps or have other tips? Share them below!

Check out my Etsy store, The Trendy Sparrow, for wedding paper goods, chic art prints, and mugs.

Thanks for reading, dolls! Come back for more!


  1. I don't like such photo editing tools. Lightroom can do a much better photos without any long setting. I've found an editing soft with some plugins which can help you to make a new level photo.

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