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How to Achieve Gorgeous Photos with Your Phone

posted on September 13, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein

How to Achieve Gorgeous Photos with Your Phone

Today’s post is written by Lucy, a twenty-something events planner and writer living in Dublin, Ireland. She co-writes the blog I Love, I Need with her sister and is constantly posting photos of life abroad on her Instagram feed.


You don’t need a fancy DSLR to achieve gorgeous photography. That little device that’s always in your pocket can do more than you think when it comes to quality photos. You just need to learn some secret tips and tricks to you can master your phone’s photography skills. So check out my advice below and you’ll always be able to capture life’s moments beautifully.



• Use the focus box: and this isn’t just for faces. If you tap the screen where you want the lens to focus – a green box will appear. This is the best way to make sure the focal point of your photo is clear.

• Capture details: I always find my favorite photos are ones that give a little insight into someone’s life. iPhones aren’t meant to rival professional cameras, but they are the perfect complement to capture the small bits of your life.

• Don’t be afraid to get up close: never use the digital zoom button because this will ruin your picture. When at all possible, zoom with your feet! Photos are better when you get up close.

• Natural light: the sun is your friend and is key to beautiful iPhone photos. Especially when taking photos of people, get the sun behind your subject and I promise that you’ll have that soft, lovely light.

• Always take a few photos – especially with people and try switching from landscape to vertical.

• Try turning on the “grid lines” function in your settings options. This is a great way to focus on the composition of your photos and practice the rule of thirds.

• Clean your lens! I always forget, but it makes a world of difference.



Photo editing apps are key to gorgeous phone photography. Try branching out past the Instagram filters with a few of my favorite apps. Just to note, I often use a few apps on one photo to get it just right.

• VSCO Cam (free): This app has a ton of really soft filters that often lighten up your photos. The hashtag #vscocam on Instagram shows some gorgeous examples. It’s absolutely my go-to photo-editing app.

• AfterLight ($.99): I love this app. They have a ton of different filters (including weekly guest filters) and really fun additions, like letting you change the shape of your photos into circles and triangles.

• Big Lens ($.99): This app is perfect if you really want to punch up your photos. The main highlight of the photo is its blur feature. Great for action shots as well.


What’s the point of having all of these fabulous photos without actually printing them out? I love how many sites/apps/etc. allow you to print straight from your iPhone. In my experience here’s my favorite sites to use when printing:

• Stickygrams: A favorite by a lot of bloggers, but it really is the perfect way to print out your pictures to magnet form and with free international shipping.

• Printic: This app prints out Polaroid style pictures and ships incredibly quickly. You can print off from Instagram, Facebook and your camera roll and it allows you to add a message as well. I like to write on the back of the photos and use them as cards!

• Artifact Uprising: This website is strictly geared toward Instagram photos, with beautiful photo books designed for mobile pictures. While products are a bit pricey, the quality is unrivaled and their wooden calendar is perfect.

What are some of your tips for mastering phone photography?