How to Take Great Portraits With an iPhone

It’s largely been accepted that smartphone cameras are nothing to scoff at. In fact, when you’re traveling, they might just be the best gear you can carry: inconspicuous, lightweight and pocket-sized. And if you ever wanted to do more than take simple landscape and street shots with your phone, portraiture may be the next big step. Here’s how:

Hosting this quick three-minute video is Jack Hollingsworth, a full-time iPhone photographer who shares his tips on how to best capture portraits using the iPhone 6s Plus.

how to take great smartphone photos

Top 10 Tips for iPhone Portrait Photography

  1. Always ask permission—you can more often get a better shot with a comfortable subject.
  2. Expose for skin—Not the sky, not the buildings, but their skin tone.
  3. Find soft light—Harsh light is obviously not ideal for human portraits.
  4. Keep the eyes in focus—If nothing else, make sure they are, because the eyes are what draw people’s attention.
  5. Stay an arm’s length away from your subject—it’s neither too close nor too far.
  6. The default iPhone app is best—This one’s debatable, but Hollingsworth is pretty convinced.
  7. Bracket exposure with the compensation slider—That way you can blend them afterward, or at least be sure you got a correctly exposed shot.
  8. Keep HDR mode on—Because, well, why not?
  9. Share photos with your subjects—It’s weird to take a photo of someone and then walk away from them.
  10. Try both horizontals and verticals—Since you can’t adjust your lens, you should feel free to adjust whatever you can.

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