Friday, February 6, 2015

How To Take Amazing Blog Photos With An Iphone Camera

How To Take Amazing Blog Photos With An Iphone Camera

Hi everyone! Some of you have been asking about how I take my blog photos with my iphone 4s camera. As many of you know I've put out a few posts on blogger tips & tricks, so I thought this would make a perfect addition to the series!

How to Take Amazing Blog Photos With An iPhone Camera

1. Lighting


A photo posted by Chelsea Marrs (@chowdownusa) on


If there's one thing you take away from this post, let it be lighting. Lighting will honestly make or break a good picture, especially one taken with an iphone. Be sure to never use your flash. Pretend you don't even have a flash! Iphone camera flashes will only make an image look cheap, unfocused and grainy, and usually with a dirty yellow tint. No thank you!

Instead, make an effort to find natural lighting. Wake up a little early if you have to, and find a space near a window or outside if possible. Natural light gives you effortlessly high-quality photos, which look bright and crisp. I know it's tough in the winter, but there are ways around that. Some bloggers buy a softbox which provides artificial natural light. I don't use this personally, but it's a great option. 

2. Camera Features: HD

Did you know your iphone camera has an HD option? HD stands for high definition, aka amazeballs photos. When you're in HD mode, keep in mind that you have to be careful and hold the camera super steady until it's done taking the picture - usually around 3 good seconds.

3. Camera Features: Focus

While in camera mode, you can tap on the screen to focus on a certain spot in your frame. Many of you probably know this one, but may not realize it's various uses. This focusing feature is key in grabbing the perfect lighting for your image. Try tapping on different parts of your screen until you find the best lighting - usually this will be a bright yet clear picture.

4. The Selfie

We all knew this one was coming. My main tip here is to never use the backwards, selfie mode camera to take selfies, because this mode has a worse lens than your regular front-facing camera. I always use the front-facing normal camera mode and stand in front of a mirror. I use the reflection to guide my picture, and look at the result each time to see how I should adjust for the next picture.

5. Editing Apps

I often edit my photos before posting them. That said, it's important to avoid over-editing too. The idea here is to enhance your images - make them just a little brighter and sharper, make their colors just a little bolder. 

My top two favorite editing apps are Snapseed and VSCOCAM (both free). Snapseed is a little tougher to get the hang of, but it's worth it once you do. It's like a mini photoshop- you can adjust the brightness, contrast, ambiance, saturation, even shadows in your pictures.

With 200 likes, the below picture of my flight into Boston is one of my most popular images on Instagram. As many of you know, I'm way into bold colors and saturation, and this is a great example of that. I used Snapseed to bring out the naturally beautiful pastel shades of the sunset and clouds.

A photo posted by Chelsea Marrs (@chowdownusa) on


VSCOCAM is great because it has ready-made filters that you just select and voila-you're done! Their filters tend to give the images a more dreamy feel, such as the bloody mary bar scene shown below.

A photo posted by Chelsea Marrs (@chowdownusa) on

6. Setup: Background

Your background is important, since it can really complement or take away from your centerpiece. I like to place my items down on a table with plenty of open space around it. That way, the background can be either a blank, undistracting canvas, or there can be room for a few props. Many beauty bloggers will use magazines as a backdrop for their products, which makes for a professional and fun shot.

7. Setup: Props 

Don't be afraid to use fun, relevant props in your images! For example, for posts I put out around Thanksgiving I used mini pumpkins that we decorated with glitter. Christmas posts can have candy canes, Valentines day posts can have hearts in them, and so on. I think little touches like this make it funner as a photographer to spice things up. 

8. Setup: Framing

There's a photographer's trick to framing, known as the Rule of Thirds. The idea is to imagine your shot broken into thirds, going both horizontally and vertically (so you have 9 sections altogether). You then want to have the subject of your shot to be placed along these lines or their intersections (see below image). 


How To Take Amazing Blog Photos With An Iphone Camera
Image from Slide Guru

This "rule" is more of a guideline, but it really can make your photos look more professional and unique. 

9. Inspiration

I think it's really crucial to follow top bloggers and/or instagrammers to see what quality photographs look like. This gives you a goal to shoot for and even if your images aren't perfect, it's a great source of inspiration to keep striving for and learning from. 

10. Practice, practice practice!

Last but not least, practice is key in developing your eye for a good shot. Keep pushing yourself, and remember to have fun along the way!

There you have it - my top tips on taking amazing iphone photos for your blog! I know it seems like a lot, and I'm certainly not the world's expert on the subject, but I've found that with patience and practice, focusing on the above tips, my photos have really evolved over time. I hope you find them helpful and be sure to leave your own tips in the comments!

Be sure to check out my tips for growing your blog on Twitter and the top Pinterst community boards for food bloggers!

Comment Challenge: Do you use an iphone for your blog images? What are your best photography tips?

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33 comments

  1. Great post! You take awesome photos :)


    Sues

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  2. you gave such useful and helpful tip! i might not need it for my blog but i definitely need to step up my selfie game on instagram haha, talking about instagram, mine is http://www.instagram.com/bumascloset maybe we could connect


    www.bumascloset.com

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  3. Very useful tips! Have a great weekend

    www.girlandthepolkadot.com

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  4. Saving this post - so many great tips!! I also bought nova flash which is different types of flashes depending on what you're doing and it's amazing!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  5. This is great! I recently took a free IG webinar and the girl doing it had some similar tips. I also love the afterlight app. :) Using the timer setting on my iphone 5 really helps when I'm taking photos that I'm in. And it will do 'bursts' which are 10 photos in a row, so I can pick the best ones. I also recently started using little boxes and a weighted jar with a rubber band to rig up my phone to take shots from the right height across the room. :) Love this! XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  6. I'm using iPhone 6 and I'll have to say the camera is so much better than my previous 5. I shamefully have to admit that I only found out about HD picture mode when I used my 6, didn't know anything of it when I was using 5, can you tell I am a little clueless? Eeepp!

    Great tips as always and your blogging tips&tricks posts are fast becoming one of my top favourites!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  7. Love this! I hardly ever use the HD mode, not sure why either! thanks for the helpful tips!

    Jenny xo - www.jnylng.com

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  8. Great tips! Definitely going to try the HD mode now. I don't use my iPhone, but sometimes I just think it would be easier! And iPhones focus great too xx


    xbeccabe.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. What advice would you give for impromptu/unscheduled photos?

    Lizzie Dripping

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  10. Great tips, now i want an iphone my cellphone is not good for pictures

    xx,Abril

    The Color Palette

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  11. Great tips! I keep hearing a lot about VSCOCAM - I really have to check it out!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  12. this is amazing!! it's kinda difficult to do this when you're having dinner in a dimly lit room... but thanks to picmonkey, I've been able to neutralize the color and brighten it up :) I will have to read this thoroughly later..

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  13. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    ♥♥♥

    Jeanne

    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

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  14. I love this outfit amazing style <3
    www.outfittrends.com

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  15. Lightning makes such a big difference! Great post!

    DAISYPERSON | BEAUTY BLOG

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  16. Some really good points here! The iPhone camera is really underrated in my opinion, even in some low-light situations it can be really effective!

    theunknownbrothers.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. Great useful post. I don't personally use iPhone but I am practising a lot with my bb10

    Mrsinlondon.co.uk

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  18. These are such great tips! I completely agree with not using the iPhone's flash, it can make your photo look 'cheap' x

    FARFROMPERFECTIONXO

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  19. great post honey!!! i never use the i phone flash!!! you are right ;)

    Check it out my new post:
    http://honeyandcotton.org/sockes-and-heels/

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  20. Love this post, the tips are wonderful! I use my iPhone for blog photos when I don't have my camera with me; I find that proper lighting definitely has the biggest impact on the quality of my photos.

    xo, Dolce http://www.mydailysweet.com/
    Leave me a comment; I'm always looking for new blogs to follow!

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  21. Great tips! Catpturing a good photo can be hard at times for sure!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  22. Thanks for your adorable comment Chelsea! Wish you an amazing weekend!

    ♥♥♥

    Jeanne

    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

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  23. Amazing tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Hannie at // CHAPTERS LIKE THIS //

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  24. Hello Dear ! This post is really helpfull ! :) You have an amazing blog ! :)

    Maybe we can follow each other ? :)

    http://kasjaa.blogspot.com/

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  25. Visiting from Sunday Blog Share, and came with no expectations. Wow. I've been too lazy to explore my options on the iPhone, and my photographs show it. This is fantastic. Will tweet a link to this, and am also dragging it into my special info. file. Thanks.

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  26. Yes, I love Instagram. I edit most of my photos from VSCOcam too!


    xo Angelus, angelus-officially.blogspot.com

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  27. Brilliant post! I'll be checking back here whenever I use my iPhone to take pics (they always go horribly wrong for me)

    Emily x

    http://wondersofafairytale.blogspot.co.uk/

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  28. Love these tips - it's so handy to know the tiny little things that can all add up to great photos!

    Lo at Notebook 54 xx

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  29. great advice!

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  30. Just recently found your blog and must say I love it! I use my iPhone for my blog pictures and vscocam as well! I say lighting is a big one for a great photo and background too! I don't want to buy a foam board so I use my white walls or even a white cover over my table! ;)

    Shazzashots.blogspot.co.uk

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  31. Great tips! I love using my phone camera 4 photos bc its so quick and easy for capture/editing!!!

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  32. This is really good, practical advice! Much appreciated :) Btw...I already downloaded both apps, can't wait to use them- thanks!!

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