Tips and tutorials

5 must-read Instagram tips for iphone users

Without a doubt, Instagram has taken its toll on the lives of Smartphone photographers. Just last year, Mashable reported that the popular photo- and video-sharing platform had reached the 150-million user mark, where more than half of it are iPhone users. Since our Instragram account has become our online iPhoneography portfolio, we have to make sure that all our snaps are worthy of comments and the hearts (when followers like your photo).

man with a camera phone
Photo by Nic Taylor Photography via Flickr


In this article, we’ll give you a simple tutorial on the best practices to take Instagram photos in iphone like a professional.

5 instagram tips for iphone users

1.   Maximize your iPhone’s regular camera app

Always use your iPhone’s native camera app when taking pictures. It can yield the best shots, as you can take advantage of the camera’s built-in high dynamic range function (HDR), which comes in handy when taking snaps of still subjects, scenes with high contrast lighting, outdoor shooting, and during bad weather condition. When it comes to framing, however, take note that the iPhone’s camera is capable of wide shooting in the 3:2 ratio, as opposed to the box shot 1:1 ratio of Instagram. This is where your framing technique comes in, especially with cropping photos.

woman sitting on a beach -- instagram
Photo by Daniel Piraino via Flickr


2.   Proper lighting is everything

While you can use your iPhone’s LED flash, opting for a natural light is better to highlight the softness and the shadows created in the composition stage. There are two factors that constitute a proper lighting: depth and angling. As opposed to standard DSLRs, iPhones don’t yield the best depth of field (or the sharpness of subjects at a distance). Instagram’s Tiltshit feature to highlight the depth. For angles, you can use the Panorama function to get a wider field of view

Old man with umbrella under snow -- instagram photography
Photo by Takeshi Garcia via Flickr


3.   Trick your iPhone to upload Slo-mo videos to Instagram

We find that the slo-mo features of mobile camera settings (such as the one on the iPhone 5S) is a great way to photograph fast-moving subject. O2’s spec sheet said that the ability to record slow motion videos came from its larger pixels, aperture, the Burst Mode, and the True-Tone Flash. However, the file can only support YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. MacWorld suggests that you send the file through your email. As soon as you receive the video from your phone, you can download and save it to your camera roll. This way, you can upload it to any third-party mobile app, including Instagram.

flames from a glassware --
Photo by samgphoto7 via Flickr


4.   “Lock it up”

Digital Trends refers to “Lock it up” as one of the most popular techniques that many iOS users maximize when taking Instagram photos. The article explains the following three short processes to achieve this technique. First, you need to tap the screen when composing to focus your subject. Once the blue box shows up, you need to hold it to lock the right exposure and focus. You can proceed to recompose and use the LED flash if the need arises. “Try putting a tissue over the light so you don’t blow out all the lovely natural colors,” the article added.

group photo using iphone -- instagram photography
Photo by Trenten Kelley Photography via Flickr

5.   Master the art of Instagram Selfies

When Instagram was launched, one of the most favored features of selfie takers is the Lux, which throws in a warm feeling on their self-portraits by reducing overexposure. But last March 11, Redmond Pie reported that the photo-sharing tool has rolled out a significant update on the Lux feature, mounting it with a novel slider. Once you’ve taken a selfie or any photo, you can easily tap the Lux icon (a half-filled sun icon). Using the novel slider, dragging it to the left reverses the effect or filter, while moving it to the right increases the vibrance and highlights the details of the shot.

selfie using an iphone --  instagram photography
photo by Leo Hidalgo (@yompyz) via Flickr


Although taking snaps for Instagram should be a walk in the park, these tips with simple how-to can turn your regular snaps into a work of art online.



portrait of sookie

Sookie Lioncourt became an instant iPhoneographer when she first bought her iPhone 4S in 2012. Fast forward to 2014, her Twitter followers ask her tips on snapping filters, composing, and proper angling of shots. For more expert opinion, you can also reach Sookie on LinkedIn.



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