iPhone Composition Photography Tips
by Melanie Cowie

Even though we’re all carrying around phones with professional-quality cameras these days, not all of us know how to take professional-quality photos.  Great photos can help you get noticed on social media — both humans and social media algorithms appreciate interesting visual content.

1. Shift your perspective

When we start taking photos, it’s only natural that we take them from about the same position we see the word from. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for the most exciting photos.

To step up your game, try taking photos from outside your regular sitting or standing position. You can do this by shooting your subject from high or low angles.


2. Look for detail in close-up shots

Good photography is all about showing people the world in a novel way. Shooting close up can make everyday objects look unexpected.


3. Turn on grid to follow the rule of thirds

One simple iPhone photography trick is called the rule of thirds. This rule divides the field of your image into a three-by-three grid.

Placing your photo’s main subjects along these lines creates more visually compelling images.

4. Find leading lines

When you incorporate long, straight lines into your photo, you provide viewers with a roadmap to your image that helps them make sense of it. These lines are called leading lines because they lead the eye around the picture.

5. Create a sense of depth

When we first learn to compose a shot, we usually only think about the frame in two dimensions. But our eyes love to be tricked into seeing depth in a flat object like a photo.

Take advantage of this by emphasizing depth in your composition. As we just saw, you can do that with leading lines, but that’s not the only way.

Placing a close-up subject against an out-of-focus background is a simple way to create a sense of depth.

6. Play around with symmetry

Our brains like some symmetry, just not too much. To strike a balance, eye-catching compositions often have unequal elements on opposte sides of the frame.

This trick gives your photo a sense of organization without being too predictable.

7. Keep it simple

If you’re taking iPhone for social media don’t forget that most people will see your work on small mobile screens.

A complex composition that looks great in a large print hanging on a wall can become busy and confusing on a mobile device.

Paring your compositions down to a few key elements makes them easier to understand on a small screen.

8. Pick the right orientation for your subject

In the same way that you wouldn’t use a cake recipe to bake a loaf of bread, the recipe for a great landscape photo isn’t the same as the one for an action shot.

The choice between portrait (a frame taller than it is wide) and landscape (a frame wider than it is tall) orientation may seem simple, but there are a few things to consider when making the decision.

As the name suggests, portrait orientation is the go-to format for iPhone portrait photography. It’s also usually appropriate anytime you’re shooting a single subject.

9. Use portrait mode for portraits

In iPhone photography, “portrait” can mean two things. One meaning is the frame’s orientation, which we discussed in the previous tip.

“Portrait” can also refer to one of the iPhone camera app’s settings. Selecting portrait mode will make your portraits more striking. You can find the setting just next to photo mode, above the shutter button.

10. Stage your shot

Your choice of subject will determine which visual elements you have direct control over. This means that the best way to compose your photo depends on what you’re shooting.

If you’re shooting a small or moveable subject, don’t hesitate to move things around to get the best lighting and composition.

For larger subjects, don’t just shoot from the first place you find. Moving around the scene can change the composition of your photo even if all the elements are anchored in place.




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