Photo Tip No.1 | Taking Better iPhone Photos

photo tip #1-3

First off, all photos in this post are taken on my iPhone 5S but these tips will work with any smart phone!

The leading theme with all of my photo tips moving forward will be this:

Photography is all about the light.

Learning to see light in a brand new way and utilizing that in your own photography will change your pictures in a way you couldn’t imagine. For me, learning how to see light has very literally changed my life (and my photography!). Wherever I go now, whether it’s simply walking my dogs or driving down the street, when I see gorgeous light there is nothing else more beautiful to me. As silly as that sounds, I promise once you “get it”, you’ll get it for good and you’ll become a light snob like myself  🙂  Now, onto the basics with some visuals.

The first step in learning to use light is starting off with the simplest, #1 rule for creating clean, flattering photos indoors is to:

Put your subject in-between you and a natural light source!

This could be a door, window, skylight, anything that allows in the natural light of the outdoors.

Untitled design

Although there are tons of artsy ways to use light (which we will get into in future installments of Photo Tips), the absolute most flattering light indoors is soft natural light. It is a light source that hits your subject evenly which serves a few purposes: no weird shadows accentuating any dark circles under the eye, diminishes any skin issues that might be noticeable, produces a nice catchlight in the eyes adding dimension to the photo and for cell phones, it white balances the image so that you don’t end up with a predominantly orange image!

Here are some examples using my living room:


My pups will be my subject – unfortunately Millie is in the cone of shame right now and Zoey is completely terrified of her with it on so they weren’t very pleased with me forcing them to take some photos 😉

zoeybadlight2    zoeygoodlight

As you can see the photo on the left: the window is behind her and her face is all shaded, her eyes are out of focus and it’s just a super dull image. I moved her onto my accent chair and turned the chair towards the window, and like that, she looks like a pretty (albeit terrified) puppy!

And now to edit the final image where the light was properly used! Afterlight is my favorite editing app for so many reasons. There are tons of editing presets to use in addition to customizing specific settings such as the contrast, brightness, temperature, etc. It also has really fun overlays that you can use to really spruce up a photo and make it Instagram worthy!

Here are my edits using Afterlight:


Favorite preset is: Guest/Russ, adding light leaks #3 (if I’m trying to make it more interesting) and upping the sharpening!

For resizing images, I love using A Beautiful Mess to resize the image if I want to have the full image view as either a vertical or horizontal. For adding text over top of your photos, I love using Word Swag – so many fun text options!


I am a teeny bit Instagram obsessed and use Print Studio (formerly known as Printstagram) to print my images. They have fantastic packs to purchase of square prints and tons of fun options like giant photo strips as well as photo books which I purchase once a year holding a collection of my favorite images!

And just like that you are ready to go take some amazing pictures! If you are on Instagram, follow me @fullbloomphoto so that I can follow back and see your awesome pictures. Next month’s installment will be diving into what photography gear is perfect for the beginner photographer and what I use as a professional photographer!

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