As I’m sure you’ve all heard a million times before, photography is a major part of blogging. It’s what initially draws people to your blog. For that reason you want your photos to look beautiful and professional. A DSLR camera with a nice lens is obviously the easiest way to achieve that. I’m very fortunate to have been able to invest in a nice DSLR, however, I’m aware that not everyone has the budget for that. And, honestly, there are some things that a phone camera just does better. So, in keeping with the photography theme of my last post, I wanted to show you guys how you can get your mobile photos looking in tip top shape.

The first thing that simply and unfortunately cannot be avoided is a need for decent lighting. Phones don’t have the fantastic ISO settings that DSLRs do so you need to be conscious of shooting in good light. Slink up to your best lit window when you’re shooting. Additionally, make sure you’re taking lots of shots with a variety of exposures (tap different areas of the screen to adjust exposure). That way when you head into the editing process you have lots of options.

Taken outdoors, not in direct sunlight.

I know a lot of people don’t like filters and that’s fine. But when you’re working with an iPhone, where you don’t have as much control over the initial shot, filters can be very helpful. They can add a warm, sunny glow or a moody, grungy effect. My personal favourites are the T1 filter in VSCO Cam and the Captain filter in Afterlight.

After applying the T1 filter in VSCO Cam.

Center Focus and Tilt Shift
If you don’t have the Snapseed App, get it. I don’t mean to sound bossy, but just doo eet. It’ll change everything and it’s free. It has a variety of filters and your basic image editing needs (contrast, saturation, brightness, etc). What it also has, that a lot of other apps don’t, is a center focus and tilt shift option. Tilt shift in particular instantly adds a pro look to your photos. It gives you that soft focus finish that could cost you hundreds of dollars to achieve with a lens.

After adding a Center Focus and Tilt Shift effect. Additionally, I edited the center of the watch to make it look clearer.

Contrast/Brightness/Saturation/Colour Balance
After you’ve done the bulk of the work, it’s time to do the final bits of tinkering. Play around with the contrast, brightness, saturation and colour balance until everything looks just right. I tend to do this bit on my computer, rather than my tablet or phone because I feel as though I have optimal control and visibility that way. Photoshop, GIMP and have all served me well for this.

After increasing the contrast and saturation in I also used the Clone Stamp tool to fill in the gaps between the boards.

Finally, when the colours and effects look just right, there’s one thing left to do. Crop your photo. Not much to say here other than make sure you keep trying different things because I’m often surprised by just how much can be cut out.

After cropping.

That’s everything. I hope that helped. If I’ve missed any tips or tricks, please let me know. Also, if you want to see another ADORABLE example of iPhone photography, check out this photo on my Instagram. Gah.