iPhone Photo Tips | Guest Post by Andrea Vehige

Ever wonder what the best techniques are for using your iPhone to take photos when you're out and about? Check out this awesome guest post from wedding photographer and Etsy shop owner Andrea Vehige! These simple tips will get you started on taking better photos with you phone for social media and will definitely up your selfie game. ;) Thanks Andrea!


iPhone Photo Tips

Using the grid & keeping it simple

Big fancy cameras are great and you won’t ever find me complaining about a good high-quality image, but sometimes they can be a pain. Like when you are on vacation and you don’t want to carry a 5 lb camera on a 3 mile hike. Or when you are out with your friends and just want a quick picture to document the evening. Lugging around a DSLR for these moments would be a pain, but you still want your images to be the best they can be. That’s why, for this week’s favorite, I’m sharing my 5 favorite iPhone photography tips! :)


If you go to settings > photos and camera > and use the toggle on the grid option it will turn on a 3×3 grid while you are taking pictures. You can then use this grid to 1) Ensure that you are photographing horizons straight and 2) use the 2/3rds rule, which means keeping the subject of the image in the outer 2/3rds of the grid.


Most people ignore it, but that little sun means something when you are taking pictures. If you touch and slide up or down it adjusts the exposure of your image. (up: brighter, down: darker)


Okay, so this isn’t exclusively an iPhone tip, but it will no doubt help you master the iPhone shot. Light -and how you use it- is the most important part of photography. The picture below shows my lighting situation for the pictures of the cactuses. A big window is lighting the right side of the desk and a white poster board is popping light back onto the cactuses from the left. If you are taking pictures outside some general tips are to stay out of direct/harsh sunlight, find shade, shoot backlit, and use natural light if you can. :) If you find a natural reflector like a white sidewalk or building to pop light back onto your subject while shooting backlit, you’ll really be mastering the shot!


Without getting too techy, there is big difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom, like your DSLR has, uses the optics of a lens to bring the subject closer and can keep the image high quality. Digital zoom, like your iPhone has, uses in camera image processing to zoom in and causes an image to lose it’s quality. Because of this, you would be much better off to walk towards or away from your subject, instead of just zooming in or out.


Do your best to eliminate distractions when shooting with your iphone. It is a little harder to get bokeh on an iPhone, (it is possible though if you tap to focus!) so keeping your backgrounds clean + simple will make your photos look a lot sharper + better!

And last step is to post on Insta, because I want to see your amazing photos. ;) I hope these tips help you rock it out with your iPhone camera!

Katharine Hannah

Katharine’s work has graced the walls of institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harold Washington Library of Chicago, and local galleries such as Dreambox Gallery, Siragus Gallery and Blick Art Materials. She has also been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, Phlearn, Fstoppers, Tigress Magazine for Girls, Bitchtopia, and Golden Boy Press.

In addition to photography, Katharine has been a mentor and educator in the arts since 2013. She has worked with students in various organizations and projects over the last two years, including Hive Chicago’s PROjectUS initiative and Digital Youth Network’s Digital Diva’s and Chicago City of Learning programs.