Photography & Classes

The Guide: iPhoneography

We taught a class on iPhoneography and thought we'd share some tips for taking better iPhone pictures.

// April 7, 2015

We recently taught an iPhoneography class at the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). While we normally use traditional cameras for our photography we have to give a shout out to the iPhone. We use iPhoneography for our Instagram feed and love it. We always have our phone so we can snap the perfect picture when we are out and about. The first camera phone image was taken on June 11, 1997 – technology has come a long way! We’ve seen iPhoneography used in professional photography, so even though this camera is really accessible, treat each image as if it were shot on a conventional camera with quality in mind.

Here’s some resources we discussed in class.

Creativity: Amazing iPhoneographers to follow.

We love these photographers because they have a deep understanding of technology, are skilled photographers, show beautiful editing and a consistent vision. For inspiration, make sure you check out their iPhone images.

Resources

Technique: Photography Best Practices

  • – Use natural light
  • – Flag and use cards to enhance light
  • – Composition
  • – Color temperature
  • – Know your limitations
  • – Three basic camera angles

If you are shooting an object on a table, like food, get the hero shot! Turn your iPhone upside down for the hero shot.

Rule of Thirds

This is a basic composition principal that you can use for any photography or visual composition. It can really help!

Technology

I mean seriously, a bill board with an image shot in an iPhone. The world is a changing place. The technology is there!

  • – The average iPhone lens is 37mm wide angle. Zoom in to have a 50mm look.
  • – Don’t zoom too much, it can degrade quality.
  • – The best zoom for your camera is your two feet. Use em.
  • – Use the grid for the rule of thirds and a straight horizon line.
  • – Use the focus and exposure point in your camera or app.

Popular Image Editing Software

  • – iPhone camera
  • – VSCO* (Visual Supply Co)
  • – Hipstamatic*
  • – Snapseed*
  • – Pro Camera 8
  • – Afterlight
  • – Instagram for their platform

* We asked our photographer friends which apps they like and these three apps kept coming up. Our favorite is VSCO.

Try different apps and see which one is a good fit for you. Each app has different filters and can product different looks. Find an app, identify your favorite filters and edit your filters. This helps your image stream view more like a mini portfolio.

Color Temperature

The light you shoot in can make some nasty funky yellow light or it can be clean blue light. Look in the app you choose for color temperature and test out correcting it. Check out the sample images below. I snapped these at the conference because there was overhead yellow toned light. See the warm image that looks super yellow, and the extreme blue image on the right? That’s just from changing the color temperature in VSCO. Crazy, right? You can really change the mood of an image or correct undesirable lighting. AS a rule of thumb we try to avoid these situations, but it’s good to understand color temperature so you can process the best image.

Edit Yourself

I’m some kinda serious about this! Don’t post bad images. I know y’all really want to see 42 images of our dogs shot in yellow light. Yeah, no, really, why not? Cause it looks bad! Master the #latergram so you have a beautiful image to post if you want to post daily. We take several images in a situation and edit one image for Instagram. Depending on what you’re photographing and posting to, this rule could vary. Again we don’t need to see 3 images of your dinner shot from slightly different angles. I’m very careful about this if I’m at an event or emotionally attached. I try to step back for a second and think, which images communicates the best.

Resources: http://davidmolnar.com/blog/

Community

The iPhoneography community is amazing. The best advice our friend Will gave us was to participate in the community, specifically the Instagram weekend hashtag projects #WHP. Food52 has a nice community if you are into food. Follow the hashtag #F52Grams. If you like Hipstamatic they have the Big Hipstamatic Show where you can participate in contests.

Fun stuff!

We love the Canon Selphy. It’s under $100, has wireless printing and is really small. We had to buy it for a job and seriously love it. It’s really fun to actually see the images you take with your iPhone printed. This is a quick photo for parties too.

Photojojo is a fun site for accessories, for both iPhones and regular camera. Our favorite non-camera strap is from here. And everyone needs a drone banner, right?

Resources:

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