5 Tips to Improve your iPhone Photography

Nowadays everyone is a photographer. With high quality cameras available in your back pocket we can all take amazing photos. But there are still basic photographing techniques that you should understand to make an every day photo go from good to WOW! In today’s post i’ll teach you 5 tips and tricks to take your phone photography to the next level.

Tip #1: Composition. Understanding the rules of composition will improve your photographing skills dramatically. One of the most important rules is the Rule of Thirds, it is all about dividing your frame in to 9 equal sections with a set of vertical and horizontal lines. Your phone has an internal feature for your camera to have grid’s pop up while your taking a photograph, you can turn that feature on within your camera settings of your phone. Two basic guidelines to follow for this rule are as following;

  1. You should place the most important aspect of your photograph along one of these lines or where two lines meet. This will give more space for your eye to move around the image and is much more visually appealing than having your subject dead center.

  2. Keep the horizon line in close proximity of the grid (and keep it straight). The horizon line is wherever the sky meets the land. Ocean scenes are the easiest time to spot the line than if your shooting a mountain range or city scape. In all the other situations the Horizon line would be where ever the base of the mountains or buildings meet the ground.

  3. Fill your frame. Make sure that whatever you have in your image, you want in there.

Tip #2: Use the brightness setting on your phone’s camera. A lot of people don’t know that it exists, but when you tap the screen to lock your focus in the photo there will be a little sun icon that pops up and there you can slide it up and down to adjust the lighting that comes in through the camera lens. This will help you make more dramatic images by making the shadows darker, or the highlights brighter.

Tip #3. HDR! I use the High Definition Resolution mode all the time. Especially if it is a bright sunny day and you have a lot of sky in the image. Instinctually your camera will expose for wherever your focus square has been placed. That is you telling the camera that this is the most important aspect of the image so please expose for this. With HDR mode, when you choose your focal point of the image your camera will then take multiple photos all at different exposures and then compress them all together. You will then end up with an image that has the most ideal exposure in all aspects of the image. That way you can get your blue sky’s, and the nice color pops of your subject. You can find the HDR setting in the internal settings of your phone, under Camera.

Tip #4. Editing. There are so many different editing apps that you can download for free to help make your images stand out. My personal favorite is Snapseed, it has all of the image editing capabilities that you would ever need including exposure, spot healing, curves, and tons of filters to play with. Adjusting the lighting and coloring can go a long way to get an image to pop. Don’t forget to spot heal the images as well, get rid of any distracting elements like unwanted power lines or blemishes on the face. If you have a Adobe Creative Cloud account, you can download the Lightroom app for you phone, this is another fantastic tool (that I use all the time) and it gives you more color changing capability’s.

Tip #5: Just have fun! Photography is all about experimenting and having fun, so go out and shoot more. Try different subject matter, and different angles, figure out what you like best. Play around with all of the editing app’s out there to find the one that best suite’s your photography needs. All of this well eventually lead to you discovering what your style is and you will keep improving as a photographer.

Introduction to me!

I am a Fine Art Portrait Photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been taking photographs since high school but the moment my love for the medium really started was the beginning of spring. The first bloom in my home town of Healdsburg is fantastic, and I was instantly inspired. At the time I didn’t have my own camera, so I grabbed my mom’s little point and shoot and went outside to take photos of all of the flowers. I quickly became obsessed!

Photography opened up an entirely new way of creating art for me. Pretty quickly I got my first DSLR and it never left my side, I photographed everything and anything I possibly could, all to learn. I was learning off of YouTube channels, and eventually got a few mentors that taught me the art of Portrait Photography. 

I fell in love with Portraits. I morphed my excitement for people with my passion for fantasy and started to create images that were inspired by the classic fairy tales. Then I discovered Photoshop and that quickly changed everything. Here was a tool that I could use to make my photographs even better and more artistic. If I wanted to change the color of something, I could do that, if I wanted to add a girl in front of a fiery cave, I could do that. If I wanted to turn myself into a blue Avatar with massive eyes, I was able to do that too. I LOVED PHOTOSHOP!!! The idea of being able to edit my images to be what I wanted them to be was an entire game changer in my photographic lifestyle. 

Below are some of my images for my High School AP Photography portfolio.

I later went on to continue my photography education at Seattle University and graduated with a BFA in Photography. Throughout my time there I explored many types of photography, more specifically Landscapes and I developed a portfolio that was filled with images from all of my travels. But I soon went back to my roots, Fantasy Portraits. I now specialize in creating high quality and enchanting images that transport the viewer to a different world. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with talented clothing designers and make-up artists where we all come together to create a masterpiece. You can follow my work at my instagram: @nschlaeppi.photo

I did a Photoshoot!

I decided it was time to actually hire someone for a professional photo shoot. For a few different reasons:

One, it was just time to do it and I needed some great content for my new website!

Two, because I wanted to know what it was like to actually be in front of the camera while someone else is behind it. 

Somethings I learned:

It's a lot harder than I really expected it to be. Here you are making your body moves in ways that really aren't comfortable, all to make that one shot look great. Luckily I had an amazing photographer, David Minard (link to his website below) who made me feel super comfortable and made it lots of fun. 

Another thing I learned, the best images come from the outfits you feel the most comfortable wearing. I tried out a few dresses that I absolutely love but dont wear very often. Obviously, the photos of outfits that I wear more regularly or feel more comfortable in came out the best. Doesnt mean you cant still look fabulous in something new, because you will!

Photoshoots can be uncomfortable, so why not be the most comfortable you can possibly be. If you have an amazing photographer, they will help you feel and look your best. We work with you and we want to make sure you have an amazing time and are IN LOVE with the images. 


Thank you David for taking these beautiful photos!