The one thing you can do today to eliminate crappy cell phone photos

Since I began my blog series about using the iphone camera, I have gotten several emails from readers telling me their images look “crappy”. Well truth be told, I too used to have a phone filled with crappy photos. The reason? It had nothing to do with exposure, lighting or the iphone camera. The problem wasn’t with the phone at all but with my ATTITUDE!

That’s right, I was a DSLR snob and I had no respect for the iPhone camera. My years of working as a professional and using top of the line cameras and lenses had so prejudiced me that I considered the iPhone nothing more than a sub par point and shoot camera. I gave little thought to the image, what the background was or even what the lighting looked like. I would just pull out my phone, point, shoot and…done.  I gave the photos no thought because I was simply using my iphone to grab a quick shot. This negative attitude resulted in crappy photo after crappy photo.

I first started to question my attitude when I read a few blogs written by professional photographers who were shooting with the iPhone. At first I was very skeptical and thought they were just lazy or not really professional. Then a few photographers that I follow and admire revealed that the majority of their work assignments were taken with the iphone and used the term iphonography and iphonograpers. Seriously???? Iphonewhat??

It was at this point I stopped disrespecting the iPhone camera and looked at it more seriously. I learned about the camera’s features and editing Apps but most importantly, I started to give the same attention to the composition and lighting as I would had I been using my DSLR. My photos drastically improved overnight.

Here is a perfect sample. On the left is an image of two pillows that I might have taken when I put no thought into taking the photo. I would have just pulled out my cell phone and grabbed a quick image. On the right is how I photograph now. I looked at the pillows carefully, realized one was upside down, decided a lower angle would be best, adjusted for the back lighting (by sliding the sun icon up the screen) and then took the photo.

OB-pillows badgood

See how the image on the right is more pleasing simply because I took the time to think first and shoot second?

So if you think you have crappy iphone photos try spending a bit more time and effort before you rush to point and shoot. Take a moment, look at the lighting, is it flattering to your subject? Are you holding the phone too high or too low? Is there a better angle to shot from? Is there something distracting in the back ground that can easily be moved (i.e. the classic plant growing out of someone’s head). I guarantee you my friends,  if you simply change your attitude and give your photos a bit more thought and time, those crappy photos will be a thing of the past.

By the way, I want to give a shout out to my friend Deborah Main who made the beautiful custom green and red pillow on the right in my above image. She is a true pillow goddess and you can see her work here.

12 Responses to The one thing you can do today to eliminate crappy cell phone photos
  1. Marie Mouradian Reply

    Attitude is everything!
    A few minor tweaks and voila’
    Great post,Linda
    Deborah Main’s pillow is groovy!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Marie, Just a little bit of thought first and it makes such a difference.

  2. Donna Reply

    Linda – this is a great article with helpful advise! I will keep it in mind when taking photo’s on my iPhone.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Donna! I hope you are doing well!!

  3. Julie Reply

    Awesome, Linda and so true. Life analogy …treat people or things with respect and you will receive good things in return! Thanks for sharing. Question to prior post…I want to invest in a tripod to take interior design photos. Do you think it worth the purchase so I can publish the photos on Houzz, etc. or would I have to hire a professional in your opinion! Thanks in advance?

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I think you should try a tripod first Julie. I don’t have one for my iPhone but think I will be buying one soon. You can at the very least get some good vignettes and detail shots. Maybe saving money by hiring the professional to just shot the more difficult overall shots.

  4. Deborah Main Reply

    Thank you dear Linda for the shout out!! Its amazing what a difference a little thought into the images can make. I don’t have an iPhone, but a droid camera. I’ll have to see if it has any special settings I can try. 😊

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Oh goodness, you are so welcome Deborah. I love my pillow and it has a place of honor in my home. Looking forward to the other one no matter when it arrives!

  5. Maria Murphy Reply

    Excellent Blog!!! Thank you so much Linda.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      So glad it was helpful for you Maria. It’s funny how sometimes the littlest changes have the biggest impact.

  6. Anne Reply

    Re: the tripod. I bought an attachment for the iPhone that lets me use any standard tripod, and it came with a remote. I haven’t had much time to play with it, but so far can report that the remote has a very short battery life!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      I think I will get one as well Anne. I just had a situation where I really needed one so I guess it’s time.

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