How To Use iPhone Camera To Take Incredible Photos

Are you struggling to take good photos with your iPhone camera? It’s actually easy to take stunning pictures with the iPhone. You just need to know how to use the camera settings to their full potential. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use the native camera app to take incredible iPhone photos. And you’ll discover some hidden iPhone camera features that you never knew were there!

How to use iphone camera app

Table Of Contents: How To Use iPhone Camera

Click any title link below to go straight to that section of the tutorial:

  1. Swipe Left To Quickly Open The Camera App
  2. Turn On The Camera Grid
  3. Choose A Shooting Mode
  4. Set The Focus Point
  5. Adjust Exposure
  6. Lock Focus & Exposure With AE/AF Lock
  7. Use HDR For Better Exposed Photos
  8. Use Burst Mode When Shooting Moving Subjects
  9. Shoot Live Photos To Bring Your Photos To Life
  10. Use Portrait Mode To Blur The Background

1. Swipe Left To Quickly Open The Camera App

How often have you missed a great shot because you haven’t been able to open the iPhone camera in time?

It doesn’t have to be like this! There’s actually a super quick way to open the iPhone’s native camera app. And you don’t even have to type in your passcode to unlock your iPhone.

If your iPhone is locked, press the round Home button to wake up your phone, then swipe left across the lock screen. On the iPhone X, press the Power button instead of the Home button.

How to open iphone camera app 4

When you swipe left, the camera app opens immediately. With this trick you can start shooting in less than a second!

There are other ways to open the camera app too. This video from my iPhone Photo Academy online course shows you three ways to open the camera. Click here to find out more about iPhone Photo Academy.

My iPhone Photo Academy online course shows you how to take incredible photos that everyone adores. Join now and discover how to create pictures that you’ll be proud to look at years later.

If you’re already using your iPhone when you want to take a photo, use one of the following techniques to open the camera app.

If the Home screen is visible, tap the camera app icon. It’s best to add the camera icon to the dock at the bottom of the screen so it’s easy to find.

How to open iphone camera app 3

To add the camera icon to the dock, tap and hold the icon until it starts to jiggle. Then drag it down to the dock section at the bottom of the screen. Press the Home button when you’re done.

If you’re using a different app, there’s a quick way to open the camera app without having to return to the Home screen. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center. On the iPhone X, swipe down from the top right. From here, tap the camera icon to open the app.

How to open iphone camera app 2

Knowing how to access the camera in a second or two means you’ll never miss a great photo opportunity. It will definitely improve your chances of taking the perfect shot every time.

2. Turn On The Camera Grid

The native camera app has the option to display an on-screen grid. The grid has two horizontal and two vertical lines that divide the screen into nine equal parts.

How To Use iPhone Camera App Grid

To switch on the gridlines, you need to access the iPhone camera settings. Go to Settings > Camera, and ensure the Grid option is on (green).

How To Use iPhone Camera App Grid

Switching on the grid will help you create a better composition. For example, you can use it to compose your shot according to the rule of thirds.

This rule states that it’s better to place your subject off-center, rather than in the middle of the frame. So you can use the grid to position your subject where two of the gridlines meet.

How To Use iPhone Camera App Grid

When shooting landscape photos, position the horizon along the top or bottom gridline, rather than across the middle.

The grid is also an amazing tool for keeping your iPhone level when taking photos. Use the gridlines to ensure horizons and other lines are level before you press the shutter.

By enabling the grid feature, you’ll also be enabling the leveling tool. This tool assists you in taking level photos when shooting straight up or down.

It’s perfect for food photography and still life photography where you need to shoot from above. And it’s great if you want to shoot straight up, for example, to photograph a decorative ceiling.

How To Use iPhone Camera App Grid

When you point your iPhone up or down, you’ll see a pair of white and yellow crosshairs in the middle of the screen. When your iPhone is parallel with the ground or ceiling, the crosshairs merge into a single yellow cross.

3. Choose A Shooting Mode

The iPhone’s native camera app has several shooting modes. These help you take the ideal photo or video in different situations.

Swipe left or right to scroll through the different iPhone camera modes at the bottom of the screen. You can choose from Photo, Square, Pano, Video, Time-Lapse, and Slo-Mo. On the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, you’ll also have a Portrait mode.

iPhone Camera Shooting Modes

Photo mode is the default camera mode. It captures rectangular format photos whenever you tap the shutter button. Square mode shoots with a square aspect ratio. This is perfect if you like to share square format photos on Instagram.

Pano mode lets you capture super-wide panoramic shots. This is great for wide open landscapes and cityscapes. Hold your iPhone in vertical orientation, then tap the shutter button. Move your phone across the scene in the direction of the arrow to capture your panorama.

iPhone Camera Pano Mode

Video mode allows you to record video footage on your iPhone. Use it to make home movies, or share short video clips on social media.

Slo-Mo mode captures slow motion video. It’s great for any moving subject that you want to capture in slow motion. Time-lapse mode creates sped-up video. Try making a time-lapse video of a busy street scene or clouds moving across the sky.

Portrait mode creates a shallow depth of field effect to blur the background of your photos. It’s perfect for portrait photography as it helps your subject stand out.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

Portrait mode is only available on the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and X.

4. Set The Focus Point

If you want to learn how to take professional photos with iPhone, you need to master getting the focus perfect. One of the most important iPhone photography tips you can learn is to set the focus when taking a picture.

iPhone Camera Focus

If you don’t set the focus point yourself, the iPhone will choose which area of the scene to focus on. It may focus on your intended subject, but it won’t always get it right. So it’s best to set the focus yourself. That way can be sure that your subject will always be sharp.

Setting the focus point is very easy in the iPhone camera app. Frame your shot, then tap the area on the screen that you’d like to be in sharp focus. This would usually be your main subject. When focus is set, you’ll see a yellow square indicating the focus point.

iPhone Camera Focus

Setting the focus point is particularly important when shooting close-up photos. When the lens is close to the subject, you’ll get a shallow depth of field. This means only a small area of the scene will be in focus, while the rest appears blurred.

Setting focus on the wrong part of the scene can result in a blurred subject and a sharp background. You can see an example of this in the photo below.

iPhone Camera Focus

Getting the focus perfect is an easy way to start taking better photos with your iPhone.

5. Adjust Exposure

Knowing how to take high quality photos with iPhone has a lot to do with exposure. Exposure refers to the brightness of a photo. An under-exposed photo looks too dark, while an over-exposed photo looks too bright.

Under and over-exposed photos reduce the overall quality of an image. You’ll lose color and detail in areas that are too dark or too bright, so it’s important to get the exposure right when you take a picture.

iPhone Camera Exposure

When you tap to set focus, the camera sets the exposure (brightness) of the photo. It sets exposure based on the area that you tap.

If you tap a bright area of the scene, the camera exposes for the highlights. This means the bright areas of the scene will be correctly exposed with plenty of color and detail.

In a landscape scene, you can avoid the sky being over-exposed by tapping an area of bright sky. This sets the exposure for the bright sky. But keep in mind that the darker areas of the scene may appear under-exposed.

If you tap a dark area, the camera exposes for the shadows. In other words, you’ll see color and detail in the dark areas of the image. However, the brighter areas may appear over-exposed.

Iphone camera exposure 5

But you might not want the focus and exposure points to be the same. For example, you might want to focus on a subject in the foreground while exposing for the sky.

The iPhone provides an easy way to adjust exposure after setting the focus point. After tapping to set focus, the exposure slider with a yellow sun icon appears next to the focus point. Swipe up to make the image brighter or down to make it darker.

Iphone camera exposure 4

The 7 Best iPhone Photography Apps

There are thousands of excellent photo apps on the App Store, and the things you can do with apps are absolutely incredible. With that said, the number of photo apps out there is overwhelming, and it's really hard to know which apps are worth getting. 

That’s why we created this free report revealing the 7 best iPhone photography apps that you should start using straight away. Click here to download this free report. 

6. Lock Focus & Exposure With AE/AF Lock

The native camera app allows you to lock focus and exposure when taking photos. This locks in the current focus and exposure settings until you choose to unlock them.

To lock focus and exposure, tap and hold the screen for a couple of seconds at the point you want to focus on. A yellow box with AE/AF LOCK will appear at the top of the screen.

iPhone Camera AE/AF Lock

Note that you can still swipe up or down on the screen to adjust exposure manually if you wish. To unlock focus and exposure, tap once on the screen.

So why would you want to lock focus and exposure? One reason is that it lets you take several photos of a scene without having to set focus and exposure for each shot. Set it once, then keep shooting as many pictures as you want. This is great for trying out slightly different compositions and shooting angles.

iPhone Camera Features 13

Another situation where you would use AE/AF Lock is if anything is moving in the scene. If you don’t lock focus and exposure, the camera might re-focus on anything that moves within the frame.

AE/AF Lock is particularly useful in street photography. Without AE/AF Lock the camera might re-focus on anyone who walks into the scene.

It also lets you set up a shot in advance. You can frame the photo, and lock in the focus and exposure settings that you want. Then wait for a person to pass through the frame and press the shutter.

How To Use iPhone Camera For Street Photography

7. Use HDR For Better Exposure

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This is one of the most useful iPhone camera settings for creating perfectly exposed photos.

HDR is perfect for high contrast scenes. For example, if you have a bright sky and a darker foreground or main subject.

iPhone Camera HDR

In situations like this, switch on HDR in the camera app. The camera will create a well-lit photo with plenty of color and detail in both the shadows and the highlights.

To open the HDR settings, tap HDR in the camera app. You can choose from HDR Auto, On or Off. Auto lets the camera decide when to use HDR. But it’s better if you decide whether you want it on or off.

Iphone camera hdr 5

Switch HDR on if you’re not getting good exposures in high contrast scenes. Otherwise, you can keep HDR switched off.

In general, it’s best to use HDR for landscape photos and scenes where the sky takes up a large part of the image. This allows you to capture more detail in both the bright sky and the darker foreground.

iPhone Camera HDR

So how does HDR create a more balanced exposure? When you switch on HDR and take a photo, the iPhone camera actually takes three pictures at different exposures. It then blends the best parts of these images to create one photo that has good exposure throughout.

The photo below doesn’t use HDR. The foreground is quite dark, while the bright clouds are over-exposed with no detail.

iPhone Camera HDR

Below is the HDR version of the same photo. HDR mode captures detail in both the bright clouds and the darker foreground. The colors are also more vivid throughout the image.

iPhone Camera HDR

Non-HDR photos will sometimes look better than HDR images. Luckily, the camera app can save two versions of the photo: HDR and non-HDR. To ensure the camera saves both versions, go to Settings > Camera. Switch on Keep Normal Photo in the HDR section.

How To Use iPhone Camera App Grid

8. Use Burst Mode When Shooting Moving Subjects

Burst mode is one of those hidden iPhone camera features that you might not even realize is there. But once you discover it, you’ll see a huge improvement when photographing moving subjects.

iPhone Camera Burst Mode

Burst mode lets you take ten photos per second for as long as you hold down the shutter button. This makes it easy to capture the perfect action shot with minimal blur.

To activate burst mode, hold down the shutter button for half a second or longer. Your iPhone will start taking a continuous sequence of photos in quick succession.

iPhone Camera Burst Mode

After shooting a burst of images, you can choose the best photos from the sequence and delete the rest.

Use burst mode whenever there’s movement or unpredictability in the scene. It’s perfect for photographing children, animals, birds, and water splashes.

iPhone Camera Burst Mode

It’s also great for capturing magical moments in street photography. Try using burst mode to capture the perfect stride or pose.

iPhone Camera Burst Mode

9. Shoot Live Photos To Bring Your Photos To Life

Live Photos is an exciting iPhone camera feature that brings your photos to life. Rather than freezing a moment in time with a still photo, a Live Photo creates a wonderful moving image.

It works by capturing the moments before and after you take the picture. The result is a 3-second video, complete with movement and sound.

Below is a Live Photo shot at the beach. Hit the Play button to see how it captured the movement of the water and people.

The Live Photos feature is only available on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus and newer. On these phones, you can switch on Live Photos by tapping the circles icon in the camera app.

iPhone Camera Live Photos

When the circle icon is yellow, Live Photos is on. When you press the shutter button, the camera will save footage of the 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after that moment.

After shooting a Live Photo, play it back by pressing down firmly on the screen. You need to press harder than you’d press for an ordinary screen-tap.

When you’ve captured a Live Photo, you can apply a Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure effect if you wish. To access these effects, open your Live Photo then swipe up.

iPhone Camera Live Photos

Loop turns your Live Photo into a continuous video loop. Bounce makes your Live Photo play forwards and then in reverse.

Long Exposure creates a beautiful slow shutter effect, blurring any movement captured. This is perfect for creating a silky smooth effect on waterfalls and rivers.

Use Live Photos whenever there’s movement or sound in the scene that you’d like to capture. It works particularly well when photographing people – especially children. And it’s great for capturing scenes with flowing water.

Live photos is also perfect for situations where the sound adds an extra sensory element. For example, birdsong or the sound of water when you’re shooting in nature. Or why not capture the sounds of a bustling city scene?

You’re unlikely to use Live Photos for all your shots. But it’s perfect for preserving those moments that you couldn’t capture in a still photo.

10. Use Portrait Mode To Blur The Background

Portrait mode lets you shoot photos with a shallow depth of field effect. Use this mode when you want your subject to appear sharp against a beautiful blurred background.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

Portrait mode is available on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. It uses the dual lens system on these phones to simulate a shallow depth of field effect.

Normally you could only achieve a shallow depth of field with a DSLR camera. But Portrait mode lets you recreate this effect with your iPhone.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

This mode is perfect for shooting portrait photos of people. But you can use it to make any subject appear sharp against a blurry background.

To shoot in Portrait mode, select Portrait from the list of shooting modes next to the shutter button.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

If you’re too far away from your subject, you’ll see a prompt telling you to move closer. If you’re too close to your subject, the camera will tell you to move further away.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

If the scene is too dark, it will tell you that more light is required. Ideally, shoot outdoors where there’s plenty of light. But avoid bright direct sunlight as this can create harsh shadows on your subject’s face.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

When you’ve composed your photo, tap the screen to set focus and exposure. Or tap and hold to lock focus and exposure so that you can take multiple shots with the same settings.

On the iPhone 7 Plus, the words Depth Effect appear in yellow when the depth effect setting is active. This indicates that your photo will have a shallow depth of field when you press the shutter. On the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, you won’t see the words Depth Effect.

On the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, Portrait mode also includes a Portrait Lighting feature. You can use this to apply various studio-quality lighting effects to your photos.

The default Portrait Lighting setting is Natural Light. This setting doesn’t apply any lighting effects to your photo. To select a different effect, swipe through the Portrait Lighting icons (shown on the right of the viewfinder in the screenshot below).

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

Studio Light brightens the highlights. This can make it look like you took the photo in a photography studio. Contour Light darkens the shadows on the subject’s face. This can create a more dramatic portrait.

Stage Light makes the background appear black. Stage Light Mono is the same as Stage Light, but it converts the photo to black and white.

You can apply Portrait Lighting effects at the time of shooting, or in post-processing using the Edit option in the Photos app.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

It’s worth noting that Portrait mode simulates a shallow depth of field digitally. So you won’t always get perfect results like you would with a DSLR. For example, some of your subject’s hair might appear blurred when it should be sharp.

In most cases, it does a great job. But you can always revert back to the regular version of the image without the depth affect if you wish.

To do this, open the picture in the Photos app, then tap Edit. Tap Portrait at the top of the screen to switch off the depth effect. To switch it back on, tap Portrait again.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

How To Use iPhone Camera: Conclusion

At first glance, the iPhone’s native camera app might look basic. But once you know how to use it, you’ll realize its full potential as a powerful camera.

If you want to know how to take good pictures with iPhone, start by mastering the camera settings. This will ensure you always use the best modes and settings for the scene you’re shooting.

Best Camera App For iPhone

The first thing to remember is that you can open the camera app in less than a second from the lock screen. Swipe left and the camera will open immediately so that you never miss a shot.

Always choose the most appropriate shooting mode for the subject. If you’re shooting landscapes, try out Pano mode to capture a super-wide panorama. If you’re photographing a person or pet, try using Portrait mode to blur the background and add lighting effects.

iPhone Camera Portrait Mode

And don’t forget about the different video modes, including Slo-Mo and Time-Lapse. These are great for creating interesting and unique video footage.

If you’re photographing scenes with movement or sound, try using Live Photos. This camera feature creates wonderful moving images that bring your photos to life. And it also lets you easily create a stunning long exposure photo.

iPhone Camera Live Photos Long Exposure

If you’re struggling to get a balanced exposure, switch on HDR. This setting is perfect for scenes with a bright sky and dark subject or foreground.

Remember there are a few hidden iPhone camera features that aren’t obvious when you open the camera app. For example, you can tap to set focus, and swipe to adjust exposure. Or hold down the shutter button to activate burst mode when taking action shots.

iPhone Camera Burst Mode

And don’t forget you can turn on the camera grid in Settings. This is a really useful tool for creating better compositions with level horizons.

Now you’ve mastered how to use your iPhone camera, you can explore other techniques for improving your photos. Knowing how to take good photos with iPhone involves more than just knowing how to use the camera. Click here to discover 10 iPhone photography tips to quickly improve your photos.

  • Faye

    Good tips! I need to practice using focus and exposure more. Thanks, Emil.

  • Neha

    Great tips… Very useful .

  • gsingh

    Great tips, especially using the earphone volume button to take the pic and manual focus

    • Thank you, these are great features that people should use more often!

    • La Mo

      Dear Emil,
      It is a very useful tip that I never see about iPhone photography. I’m just start it a few months ago bit love it so much. I use DSLR for many years special for landscape and Macro but now start. With iPhone because I have no money to buy expensive gears.
      Here you are my photo of macro, with iPhone 5S and iPhone app, please advice.

  • Linda Apple

    I have to say, your blog ROCKS! I cruse though a lot of blogs, but I park at yours. Thank you again and again!

    • That’s a great compliment Linda, thank you! I’ll do what I can to make it even better in the future.

  • Emmichelle Salazar

    Your every article about iphonephotography brings new ideas and knowledge to me. Thank you ao much Sir Emil.

  • Alakowe

    Just learning you can lock the focus.thanks.

    • Happy to hear that, it’s a great little-known feature!

  • Waleed

    For those who want to enjoy more and more focus and exposure, should use “Procamera 7” app which is also recommended by Emil. I love that app. As it allows u to set the exposure and focus manually so easily and perfect way 🙂

    • That or Camera+, both are great. This article was about the native camera app, but these apps are great for people who want even more control over their images.

  • Gwyn

    Awesome! So glad to learn about the focus/exposure lock.

  • Mojo Bazaar

    I see the functionality of my iPhone 5’s camera in a whole different mindscape. I’m addicted to iPhonography and utilize it moreso for my business’s merchandise photography. Can’t wait to use these tips! Thanks mate!

    • Thanks Mojo, happy to hear that! For merchandise you also want to have bright, dissolved light and use a tripod to avoid any camera shake.

  • Bonvivantgal

    Thank you so much for your tips…! I use my iphone to take food pics for my restaurant & now I feel you opened many, new possibilities for making them awesome..& scrumptious !!

    • Thanks, happy to hear that! For food make sure yo have bright, dissolved light and use a tripod to avoid any camera shake.

  • John Heggaton

    Hey Emil, great tips, #5 is probably my favourite

    • #5 is definitely useful, people should use it more often.

    • Zemira A. Bianchi

      I agree. Thanks Emil!

  • Rao

    Good more usefull thank u

  • shrutika

    this is certainly useful. Thank you so much emil 🙂

  • Great article Emil!

  • Roman Ivanov

    Thank you for advices)

  • Mark

    Cool tips. Didn’t kno you can lock focus and exposure settings. Useful to kno.

    • Thanks Mark, it’s a great “hidden” feature of the camera app.

  • vinayak thakar

    Thanks for good tips,shall follow.

  • Stuart Guest

    Thanks Emil. I will definitely use burst mode more so I increase my chances of capturing that perfect moment. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Stuart! Burst mode is great, and now it’s super easy to quickly select your favorites and discard everything else.

  • Cecilia Dinio-Durkin

    Great tips! I will share and subscribe

  • amyfrenchink

    Great tips! I will be back. Pretty much daily, I predict.

  • Susan

    More awesome tips. I love using the headphones to take shots when I need to keep the phone still.

    • Thanks Susan, that’s a great technique that I really use a lot!

  • Susan

    Also thanks so much for sharing that you can access the iPhones’s camera simply by “swiping up” the small camera icon (which I’d never ever noticed before) at the bottom right hand of the iPhone screen at any time (even when your phone is “locked.” Absolutely brilliant.

    • That little trick is often the difference between missing a shot or not 🙂

  • Neago

    hello, thanks for tips!
    How can i maintain the edited photos (with effects) and copy them onto my laptop?
    Each time i copy those photos i find only the original ones
    Any clue?

  • khentouchthis

    I’m really surprised to find out that you can lock exposure and focus on the stock camera! Thanks for the tip 😀

    • Awesome, happy to hear you learned something new from this article 🙂

  • Jeffrey Ramos

    Thanks emil! I just started iPhone Photography last month and i can say that all my photos were based from your tutorials..though, still have a lot to learn.. so keep it comin’ bro:)

    • I’ll try my best, though I’m really busy with the Academy right now 🙂

  • Daniil

    Latvia? My country featured here? Baffled…. Also great article!

  • Soo

    #5 is a great tip. #8 sounds good too, but I didn’t like the example of using it as a sneaky way to take photos of people who might not want their photos taken. If it’s not a group shot and the person is identifiable, I usually ask if it is alright to take a photo of them, especially if there are children involved. Please respect others’ rights to not have their image taken.

    • 71Magi

      Thanks for posting that, my thoughts exactly, I was surprised being sneaky was included in photo tips.

    • Soo

      I realize taking photos of people in general often helps make your photography more interesting. That said, I used to work for a community magazine and every recognizable person in my photos that were not in crowd scenes had to give permission to be published. It’s only right to get someone’s permission if you’re going to put their image in print and online.

      Even now, on my blog, I try to continue doing that. There will be some that got away, such as the man in Nicaragua riding the ox as our shuttle went by, but, I did get the okay to take photos of children in Guatemala, vendors in Costa Rica and celebrating Panamanians, etc.

      If you don’t have permission, consider taking profiles or other shots that don’t infringe on their privacy. Also, tilt-shifting works well in blurring faces and surroundings to add some mystery or focus!

    • Deborah Polley

      Sometimes you may need to…if I were taking photos of someone being violent or committing a crime, I sure wouldn’t want to ask them permission first.

    • Soo

      I was referring to photography in general. Of course, the two situations you mention would be the exceptions.

    • Nathan Thomas

      that’s literally what street photography is – taking photos of people in their most natural moments. if it’s a public place, a photographer has every right to take someone’s photo and cannot legally be forced to delete the photo. it’s their copyrighted property and they can do with it what they please. generally, if we take a photo of someone and they ask us to delete it, if it’s unimportant then we will, but otherwise we reserve every right to keep that photo of that lady walking her dog across the street.

    • Soo

      I understand that street photography is mostly candid shots. I guess it’s the “sneaky,” dare I say “under-handed,” ways to take shots that put me off.
      In Central America, residents are more protective of their privacy. I deleted images by request and was very respectful to get permission to snap close-ups of children. Some people feel that you are trying to take part of their soul. No casual street photo, to me, is worth seeing someone become distressed over it.
      Also, under some circumstances, with commercial interests involved, a street photographer cannot do with it as they please. (Ask actress Katherine Heigl.)

  • Very good article, Thank you dear Emil

  • Ron.Pia

    THank you for great tips. Number 2 & 3 have my interest as I take photos of animals. Lately my shots have lost sharpness since loading IOS 8, especially shooting indoors. I think it’s me more than the camera. Suffering from subject movement and low light. You have given me some ideas to experiment with.

    • Happy to hear you found these tips useful 🙂

  • Chantel

    This was very helpful

    • Glad to hear you found it useful Chantel 🙂

  • deni2s

    Paldies, Emīl!

  • waw4

    Great tips! I learned so much! Thank you Faye!

  • Kanik Raj

    Superb article with awesome tips..
    Any free app u suggest the best??

    • Snapseed is one of the best free photo editing apps.VSCO Cam also has a great selection of free filters as well as adjustment tools.

    • Kanik Raj

      Thank u so much for suggesting those apps Kate., i wud like to knw the best app to manage the photos as well Kate pls..

    • I like to use the native Photos app to create albums and organize my photos:

      The Cleen app is good for mass deleting of images:

      Hope that helps 🙂

    • Kanik Raj

      It definitely helped Kate.. thank you so much 🙂

  • Aldair

    I’ve always had an iPhone and I’ve always bought cameras separately cause i though the iPhone camera was not good enough to take a good picture, i feel like i have a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ram Sabarish

    Thanks Emil , ryte now i understand how important burst mode .

  • Larry Moran

    Emil… When taking photos of my computer screen (on MacBook Pro), why do I get moire patterns on some photos but not on others?

  • Larry Moran

    When cutting cord to make dedicated remote trigger from old earpods, do you tape the cut end or is that unnecessary? I want to use for taking macro photos using Camera +.

  • John Gregory Wyman

    Thank you for the most helpful tutorial!

  • This article helped me a ton. Started off photography illiterate and was mainly just point and shoot. The focus lock alone is a big improvement. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Ryan. Glad you found this helpful 🙂

  • tip #4 and #5! 🙂 thank you for this useful guide.

  • Barry Steil

    is there any way to impose a date on the photo. Legal types need to have date stamp on photos

  • Sam Nipius

    Wow. I found this article randomly through Google and now I see that it’s written by you! Great article Emil! How’s life?

  • Kathy

    Could you walk us through the proper way to use/set flash? I seem to always get color distortion. Thank you!

  • Gwenn

    Thank you so much. Just really started paying attention to using my iPhone 5S camera. I usually always have my Nikon with me. These are great tips for when I do not. Much appreciated.

    • So glad to hear you found these tips useful Gwenn 🙂

  • Mk Word

    Really want to improve your iPhone photos? Get the Camera+ photo app. It pioneered several of the new features you find on the regular iPhone camera, but adds several more, as well as possibly the best set of filters available. It also allows you to make full use of the 16:9 screen and shoots photos to fit. I’ve used the OME camera on various iPhones and I’ve tried a lot of the other various camera apps available … but I always come back to using Camera+.

  • Chomps Snack Sticks™

    Good stuff!

  • Roosvansia Sipahutar

    Nice… Thanks for sharing.

  • Fuad Efendi

    What about “How to use optical zoom” and “How and when to use digital zoom”? I cannot find. Thanks for excellent article!

  • boomeractivist

    very good help on how to use the iPhone to best advantage

    • Happy to hear you found this helpful 🙂

  • I have had iPhones for years & didn’t know half of these options existed – thanks for sharing such useful tips!

    • It’s amazing what great features are hidden away within these apps isn’t it! Glad you found this useful Becky 🙂

  • Tia

    I had no idea that I could use the headphones as a remote! Very helpful tip, thank you!

    • Laine Rudolfa

      I’m happy to hear that you found the headphones tip useful, Tia! 🙂

  • Khizer Hayat Khattak

    Hi wonderful tips for a beginner like me and I really liked the idea of taking photos with volume buttons. Well I am looking for a photo effect/filter where you can actually blur the edges/corners of your photo

    • Je-ann

      You can do this in Snapseed Khizer 🙂

    • Khizer Hayat Khattak

      Thank you so much for your reply. Can you please let me know how can I do that in Snapseed

    • Je-ann

      HI Khizer, you need to use the Lens Blur filter for this. Here’s a tutorial that may help:

    • Khizer Hayat Khattak

      Thank you again and it was so easy I didn’t know. Sorry to bother again but could you please let me know snapseed can be used to make all the borders of photo blur. I mean edges/borders blur in the background

    • Je-ann

      Can you show me a sample photo so that I can see what you mean? Thanks 🙂

    • Khizer Hayat Khattak

      I really appreciate your reply. I have attached a sample photo for your understanding

    • Je-ann

      I see what you mean. Squaready app will do this. Here’s a review of this app from our blog:

    • Khizer Hayat Khattak

      Thank you so much for the app but I just found Square Edit and it works great. Squaready is a great app but you have to select color of the blurry background manually. if you know more apps please let me know.
      I am so thankful to you for the support you are providing.

    • Je-ann

      You’re welcome 🙂

  • Pat

    Very interesting and informative to a newbie. Thanks! I’m wondering if you can make a recommendation for a telephoto lens to be used with the iphone SE. We tried an inexpensive clip on one but it wobbled. Some have a brace that fits around the iphone. Too many choices and no sense of direction. Thanks!

    • Je-ann

      Hi Pat, Moment produces good telephoto lenses but they are still not available for the iPhone SE. You may also want to check Olloclip as their iPhone 5S lenses fits the iPhone SE. You can check our review of their telephoto lens here:

  • Kavita Mevada

    Raw images are a bit of a problem to handle, this isn’t problem, while,
    as you can’t plan to share them on Facebook and print them out until
    you’ve turned them in to a JPEG. For smartphone photographer now Adobe
    has announced an update to its Lightroom app, within the app they will be capture RAW image and edit it.

  • Doreen

    Super tips, wish I had seen them sooner!

  • Good tips. Apple iPhone Camera Features are awesome.

  • D

    Great Discussion!

  • Towhidul Abedin

    My camera doesn’t work , what can I do ?

  • Joel

    Is there an anti-reflection feature on the iphone 7 camera?

  • Nani Zain

    Great help. Thanks Emil 👍🏻

  • Julie Kertesz

    Great advices, thanks!

    • Thank you Julie, glad to hear you found these tips useful! 🙂

  • EtonieE

    Well done Emil with your easy to understand explanations of these
    i phone features!

    • Thank you, glad you found these tips helpful 🙂

  • Gary Deezy

    HDR: iPhone, by default takes 2 pictures when HDR mode is enabled. Not 3, as stated in the article.

  • Gulab Mohan Sadh

    Good tips I use but in hurry forget sometime.

  • Mark Crable

    Great tips, very useful. I would just add use a tripod when you can and also try a Bluetooth shutter release. My photos have become much sharper using them. I carry a small Joby GorillaPod, it is light weight and and doesn’t really take up any extra room.

    • Good tips Mark – they’ll definitely result in sharper pictures 🙂

  • Renee

    Is there a better way to get light for night time video other than an led ring

  • Harris H. Qureshi

    I have procamera app. Can you please guide me where to set exposure and where to focus. I

  • Joe George

    Great tips

  • Roy Miller Cummings

    I want to take a single shot on a selfie stick with my iPhone SE. How do I do this without it automatically going to time lapse?

  • Nathan Thomas

    “It allows you to take ten photos in just one second, making it easy to capture the perfect action shot with minimal blur.” 1/10th of a second for a shutter speed is VERY slow, and doesn’t properly capture motion… XD

  • Great post here! Love the iPhone tips you share, Emil!

  • NA3IL

    These tips are very usefull!!
    Thank you

  • Sam

    I seem to have locked my iPhone 10 in fixed camera setting, no settings are shown and I can’t take a photo. Help!
    I have tried tapping the top right hand corner still no settings

  • nubwaxer

    so on this site the photos to illustrate how to use the camera has the home button on the right, volume buttons down, but at the site i just came from, imore i believe, they show the home button on the left, volume buttons down. maybe in Appleland it doesn’t matter but when saved to a windows PC or on Facebook and Instagram there’s often a problem of pictures getting rotated or flipped 180 degrees.
    i bought my SE for the camera and it’s a real pain sometimes as even correcting the orientation with windows picture viewer they still revert to incorrect orientation.