Memory Keeping, Photography Tips

Getting the Most out of Your iPhone Images

6 Tips to Master your iPhone Photography with composition, lighting techniques, and the right apps

This is an update to a post I wrote at this time last year. Basically everything still applies. The one difference?

My iPhone Photography is even better than it was then.

Honestly, if you’ve seen my Instagram you know I’ve stepped up my game this year, thanks in a large part to understanding more about how Instagram works, and learning some badass iPhone editing tools.

Here’s my proccess for creating my iPhone images and, more importantly, getting those images into a layout, an album, and in printed form so we can all enjoy them each as much as we want, whenever we want.

Because, after all, that’s why we document life (to celebrate it!).


It’s December in New England – a very dark, cold, grey time of year.

And it’s really hard to get a good picture.

Like, AT ALL.

There just isn’t enough sun. The days are too short and even when we do see it, it’s a dim, low-set sunlight with harsh angles and WAY too-high contrast.

Basically, it’s the worst time of year to take photos that are worth a second look. (Side not: It’s also the worst time of year for replenishing your vitamin-D, so if you’re not taking it yet, I highly recommend it!)

When you think of your favorite pictures – aesthetically speaking – indoor, low-light photos, or over-exposed harsh winter afternoon photos, are generally not anyone’s favorite. Even worse, if you’re using a camera phone they’re probably really grainy and really blurry.


With so little sunlight, there is a very short period of time where you can capitalize on natural light in your photos. So short, in fact, that many days I “miss” my photo window altogether because of things like “lunch” and “laundry”. And that means most of my pictures were dim, dark, grainy, and blurry.

Thankfully, there are apps for that. And I’m sharing my favorite ones here today.

My Photos

About 80 percent of the photos I take are with my iPhone. If you have an iPhone, you know that – even with the high quality improvements on the iPhone 6s – an iPhone camera is still just a phone camera. It’s just not capable of taking the high quality photos that a DSLR can take.

And that’s okay.

Because you can fake it REALLY good with the right apps.


iPhone Camera > PicTapGo App > Collect Photo App > Project Life App

iPhone Camera > PicTapGo App > Collect Photo App > Project Life App

Favorite iPhone Apps

Other Great iPhone Apps

  • Photogene 4
  • Camera +
  • VSCO Cam
  • Mextures
  • After Focus
  • Tiltshift Creator
  • ProCamera
  • Afterlight

6 Tips to Next-Level your Instagram feed by mastering your iPhone Photography using composition, lighting, and apps


First, there are a few things you can do to get a good photo with just a few seconds.

  1. Try to find a neutral background whenever possible. If it’s not possible, have the subject stand farther away from the background, so that they can stand out more.
  2. When you’re in camera mode, tap on the subject to focus your camera. The camera will place a yellow box around that subject. Move it as needed until you have the right focus point.
  3. After you tap the subject, you’ll see a little sun appear next to the yellow box. If you swipe up, you’ll get more light. Swipe down, you’ll get less light.
  4. Tap the shutter once for one picture, hold it down for burst mode (multiple pictures) – a great feature if you’re in low light or chasing a toddler.
  5. Try different angles and notice how it changes the subject. For instance, if you’re capturing a person, shoot from slightly above and farther away to give them a thinner appearance.
  6. Take a bunch of pictures. This is the most important rule. Think, for instance of a photographer – how many images do they take, just to get a couple great shots? HUNDREDS. Don’t give up after one picture. Keep trying.

Honestly, it’s SUPER simple. And the process can be really quick once you have the editing tools mastered. So take some time to learn your camera, master editing, and in NO TIME you’ll be taking gorgeous selfies and the most appetizing food pictures you’ve ever imagined.

To Learn More

Still want to learn more? Believe me, I’m the same way! Check out the class iPhone 6 Photography on Creative Live. It’s a quick, comprehensive, super high quality demonstration by professional photographer Julia Kelleher.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.05.25 PM

iPhone 6s Photography: a comprehensive video-based class designed to help you master the iPhone camera (no matter which model you have) by using the built-in tools, basic photography composition and lighting techniques, and apps to get the most out of your camera.

It’s absolutely worth the investment and I promise you won’t regret it!

And if you buy it this month, you can take advantage of their SITEWIDE 40 percent off sale!! It’s such a good deal, friends! I can’t tell you how many times I have watched the free live broadcast and purchased classes through them. Honestly, I could list 100 other classes to take… but instead I’ll save that for future posts. 😉

Short version: their classes are SO so worth it.


Happy documenting!