30 Stunning Examples of iPhone Portrait Photography

Last week our iPhone photography contest was about portrait photography, and over 330 great iPhone portraits were submitted. Unfortunately I couldn’t publish the contest results on time due to personal reasons, but here are the winners of the portrait photo contest.





























































Analysis of the Winning Photos

Every week I take a few of the winning photos and do a short analysis explaining what I like about each photo and what iPhone photography lessons we can learn from them.



Besides the pure beauty of the little girl, there are several reasons why this photo really stands out. First, the combination of red and white tones makes this photo hard to miss. Even better, the same tones are also found on the girl, which adds to the harmonious feel of the photo.

The soft lighting, which likely comes from a window nearby, is perfect for creating a lively and interesting image while at the same time avoiding harsh shadows on the face of the subject.

Another thing I really like about this photo is the subtle but powerful post-processing. The image feels very light and pure thanks to the increased brightness, which works great for showing the pure beauty of children.

Finally, I like that the little girl is sleeping in this photo. Sleep is one of the purest states of a child, and it gives you plenty of time to prepare for the best possible shot. If you have kids, try photographing them while they are sleeping!



This photo really got me confused. Is the city flooded? Is the kid swimming in a pool with his clothes on? So I reached out to the author, who explained that this photo was taken at a fountain.

By placing the iPhone just a tiny bit above the water, the author could trick the viewer so that it looks like the entire area is covered in water. Now that’s smart!



This photo is a great reminder of how powerful emotions can be in photography. Whenever you can capture emotions in photography – either positive or negative – the resulting images are going to be very powerful.

And did you notice how post-processing has been used to complement emotion? By making this black and white photo dark and highly contrasted, the author can further emphasize the dramatic emotions that are shown in this photo.

The New Contest Theme

The new contest theme is reflections. You can find out everything you need to know about reflection photography and see some great examples in this tutorial.

To participate tag your best iPhone photos using #IPSReflections hashtag on Instagram.

Your Instagram has to be public or I won’t see your photos. It’s OK to submit old photos as well as new ones, but please do not submit more than 10 photos. All photos must be shot and edited on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. I do not feature photos with watermarks.

The submission deadline is Monday, March 10.

  • suzanne_earley

    You featured a really interesting variety of portraits, showing different ways to frame people in a portrait and show off their personalities. I’m really struck by how many black and white photos you chose to feature — the one I had submitted was black and white, too. I wonder what made us all go B&W this week! All of them are great photos, and I do really like the little girl sleeping, very lovely. Nothing better than a sleeping kid. 🙂

  • 3xMama

    Beautiful portraits this week! Great work by all. Thank you, Emil, for featuring my sweet sleeping Macey. She always seems to sleep with her hands like that under her cheek — like a peaceful angel. <3

    • Thanks for participating. That’s such a sweet photo!

  • Sid Scotchman

    Must of been a great challenge to pick the best ones. I seen all the submissions after I posted mine and was in awe of all the creativity of everyone. Truly inspiring photos everyone!

    • It is a challenge and there are always great photos that I have to leave out. But going through the submissions is always an amazing experience!

  • Whistlingrabbit

    There are some fantastic shots in there. You seem to attract the most creative people to your contests! I love it. I loved the one by @claymac11 from the minute I saw it.

    • Thank you! I’m lucky to have so many amazing people participate each week.

  • David Rothschild

    Really nice selection Emil:) I feel honored to have been selected, especially since I feel portraiture and street are by far my weakest photography skills. I really like Zach’s photo of the older man and his instrument. Really captivating emotionally. Thanks again for all the inspiration and great articles.

    • Thanks David! It’s funny, those are my weak points as well, but I’ll try to do a lot of street photography while I’m in New York City. I think it won’t be that great at first, but we all have to start somewhere…

  • Zach Antonick

    Honored to be chosen! And thank you for the kind words, Dave! Your photos are always extraordinary.