Photography is powered by Vocal creators. You support Kelsey Lange by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Photography is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

10 Tips for Taking the Best Portraits on Your iPhone

Nowadays, if you have a smartphone, you can be a photographer. These are the top ten tips for shooting the ultimate portraits on your iPhone.

Your iPhone might just be your next ticket to fame in the photography world, you never know! We have discovered 10 of the best tips and tricks when it comes to capturing portraits on your iPhone. 

From finding the best light to adding on an iPhone lens, we've got you covered. Who needs to spend $400 on a camera, when you've got the ticket to a great portrait photograph already in your pocket? Take a perfect picture of a sunset on your next hike, a timeless portrait at your family event, or even just a flawless selfie with #NoFilter.

Portrait Mode

Of course, the first step to capturing the ultimate portraits on your iPhone is to discover the portrait mode, found on iPhone 7 Plus, and any Plus models produced after the 7 Plus (or the X). 

Using the phone's dual cameras, the portrait mode will mimic the quality that can be found from a DSLR camera, allowing the subject of the photo to remain in focus, while the background is slightly blurred. As simple as switching to this mode, your portrait photography will automatically be improved. 

If you aren't lucky enough to own a Plus, there are apps for that! Two of which include PortraitCam or Fore Photo

Lighting is everything.

Next, on our list of the best ways to capture portraits on your iPhone, is to always consider the lighting. 

Harsh overhead lighting is not ideal for portraits, while soft and natural lighting is the best opportunity to capture a great portrait. You can find this on a cloudy day, or while shooting closer to the sunrise or sunset, this way you get the soft glow of the "golden hour." 

Try capturing a mood.

Capturing a mood in photography is easier said than done. However, once you have grasped the concept of what a mood in your portraits looks like, your photography will drastically shift, depending on what your desired end result may be. 

Depending on the intensity, direction, and source of your lighting, you will be able to alter your mood. Lighting, as well as background, will allow you to portray an honest expression of the mood you are trying to capture. Also, don't be afraid to have some fun with your portrait subject, add some color, props, and a fun location to highlight your background. 

Add on a new lens.

Want to feel like your iPhone is more of a camera than a phone? Invest in a camera lens attachment for your iPhone. This lens happens to be by Telephoto, a brand that sells products for not only iPhones, but Samsung, Galaxy, and Pixel. It comes with a lens, a lens cap, and a microfiber bag. 

For the best results, the brand also provides a case that allows the lens to be easier attached to the phone at all time. Recommended by professional creatives and videographers such as Casey Neistat, you can trust that this lens is one of the best ways to professionalize your portraits on your iPhone.

Composition is your friend.

Playing around with the composition on your iPhone is a great way to increase your quality. There are tons of ways to practice new techniques featuring your composition, the most simple being filling the entire frame with the subject, leaving space for movement, framing the subject, and using leading lines. 

Depending on the story you want to tell with your photographs, you will be able to do this with your composition. 

Change your location.

Your background and location have a lot to do with the mood of the portraits on your iPhone. Even though portrait mode will blur the background a bit, it will still add to the aesthetic. 

Like everything we've touched on before, play with it, have some fun, and shoot in locations you've never thought of. You can even shoot through objects as a way to spice up your location. Just be sure to also consider your lighting and composition when choosing a background and location for your portraits. And of course, you never want your background to take away from your subject. 

Eyes are your focal point.

Like any portrait photography, you will use the eyes as a focal point. When your subject is a person, or even an animal, your focal point should always be the eyes, a great tip to always keep in mind, especially if you are just starting off with portrait photography. 

A great way to achieve sharp eyes in your iPhone photography is to take advantage of the autofocus on your lens attachment. The eyes will always tell the story, and capturing them is the best way will bring power to your photography, even if they're just captured on an iPhone. 

Don't zoom.

Unless you're using your iPhone lens attachment, you should stray away from zooming with your iPhone while in portrait mode. This will sacrifice the quality and overall appearance of the photograph. 

As one of the best tips for taking portraits on your iPhone, forget that the zoom feature even exists. Instead, physically get close to your subject if you desire a closer portrait shot. This will allow you to create the best composition without sacrificing the quality. 

Try Different Apps

Different editing apps will allow you to not only achieve the portrait appearance if you don't have an iPhone 8 Plus, but it will also allow you to perfect the photo in post-production, for a lot less money. 

There are plenty of editing apps on the app store that allow iPhone users to perfect their photos. From Facetune to Aviary, there is an app for every portrait photographer (as well as any selfie lover). Don't underestimate the power of post-production. 

Don't forget about the details.

Last, but not least, on our list of the best tips for taking portraits on your iPhone, is to never forget about the details. Like many other forms of photography, being able to focus on the details of a shot will better allow you to picture the end result. 

The details, such as the eyes being your focal point, will allow you to find harmony in your photographs. Pay attention to every element of your shot, especially those that can be seen besides the subject. And of course, focus on the placement, posture, and appearance of your subject matter as well. 

Now Reading
10 Tips for Taking the Best Portraits on Your iPhone
Read Next
Best Professional Online Photography Courses to Up Your Game