5 Tips for Taking Flawless iPhone Pics


It’s the era of the smartphone, and if you’re like us…you haven’t taken that point & shoot camera out of your closet since iPhone pics and selfies became a thing. It’s all useless if you can’t harness the beast, though.

Follow these tips to boost your iPhone pics instantly:

1. The Hardware Shutter Is Your BFF

Avid coffee drinker? Sweaty hands? Wearing gloves? Or just can’t quite keep your hands steady when snapping a shot? Opt for your hardware shutter. The volume buttons on the side of your phone work just like the on-screen circle button. Or plug in your headphones and use that volume button as your shutter. Even better if you have an Apple Watch - - its camera app can function directly as a shutter for your phone.

2. HDR’s Your Friend AND Foe

You’ve seen that HDR text at the top of your camera screen, and you may or may not have any idea what it is. “High Dynamic Range” photos mix three different exposures of your scene, so you’ll see more detail when your shot is super bright or super dark. It sounds like a great idea…But you’re going to want to keep the original as well. When it doesn’t look awesome, it looks really bad. Turn it on by accessing Settings > Photos & Camera.  

3. Master Portrait Mode

If you’re still cruising in the era of the iPhone 6, you’re going to want to skip this tip… The Portrait Mode feature is available on iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and X (and it's artsy AF). Portrait Mode focuses the lens on one subject only, then it blurs everything in your background. In posh photography circles, it's known as “bokeh” (keep that fun fact in your pocket for your next dinner party convo or trivia night).

To get the best results, stand about 8ft away from your subject, then drag the exposure down juuuuuust a touch. You’ll have a soft, IG-worthy pic in seconds.

4. Know Your Portrait Lighting Options

Now that we’ve got you stoked about Portrait Mode…folks with an iPhone 8 Plus and X have even more goodies to access. Next time you shoot in Portrait Mode, pay attention to the little yellow hexagon at the bottom of your viewfinder. It’s labeled Natural Light, but if you tap it twice, you’ll see four more options.

  • Studio Light is the "foolproof" option: reliable results, and subtly and realistically brightens up the subject's face.

  • Contour Light can get tricky. It adds more shade and may improve the sense of definition in a shot, but if used incorrectly, it'll make your subject look low-key unshaven.

  • The other two settings? We think they’re just meh, so we’re not even mentioning them.

5. …OR, Just Capture It All and Figure It Out Later Using Burst Mode

Hold the shutter button down (whichever shutter you use) and your camera will keep shooting. Now instead of having just one shot, you’ll have multiple options to choose from. This eats up loads of space on your device, but it’s easy to fix. Head to your pic on your Camera Roll then tap Select - - scroll through each of your shots, tap the ones you love, then click Done. When iPhone asks if you want to keep everything or just the favorites you've selected...just keep your favs. Space saved!

STILL don't have the perfect shot?

You can't always control lighting...or focus...or even the subjects in your pic. And when you're quickly snapping pics on your phone, you probably aren’t worried about all that anyway. Here's where we'll shamelessly mention that Mendr connects you to a pro who can fix those pics in minutes. Download here