Ask Alphonse: How to Take Better iPhone Photos

Hi Alphonse,

I want to take great iPhone photos, but I don’t seem to have the touch! Most of my pictures come out blurry or pixelated. Please share your ways on how to take better iPhone photos that I can print!

Jack L., Eugene, OR

Hey Jack,

There are some pretty easy steps to take to make your iPhone photos shine! Here are the five steps we take to get crisp, clear shots every time.

1. Clean Your Lens!

Most people never even wipe off their camera lens on their phone. Ideally, this should be done every time you plan to take a shot. Wipe with a soft shirt or a soft cloth, but try not to use anything abrasive like a paper towel or a sweater.

2. Get to your camera quickly.

You may be missing great photos because you haven’t discovered the fastest ways to get to your camera. On an iPhone, you can swipe left from the lock screen and it goes to camera. You can also put the camera in your dock! That way, no matter what app you’re in, you can swipe up from the bottom and a camera button will appear

3. Hold Your Phone Steady

Remember, you are trying to minimize all movements. Steady shots=sharper images.

Hold the phone in your non-dominant hand, so you can have a better grasp on the controls with your dominant hand. If you’re taking a portrait photograph, hold your phone like you’re texting. If you want to take a landscape-oriented image, simply rotate the phone as if you were watching a video. Once you have selected all your settings then use your dominant hand to steady the phone. Keep your elbows close to your body and tap the screen gently to release the shutter.

4. Use different shutter release methods.

You don’t have to hold your phone to use the shutter button on the camera app. You can also use the volume up or down button on the side of your phone or on headphones to take a photo. If you have the iPhone 7 or higher, you can buy a bluetooth shutter release pod, which allows you to set your phone up on a tripod or other surface and take the photo from a distance.

5. Don’t use auto focus.

iPhone’s auto focus gives a great guesstimate of the object you would like to be the focal point in the photo. However, if you have two objects that are different depths away, neither will be in focus. Always tap the intended subject to get better focus. If you hold for a few seconds it will lock the AE/AF (AutoExposure and AutoFocus)