Social Media Photography...with your iPhone

Written by Lexi Carroll, The Buzz Brand Summer Intern

It’s 2018, shouldn’t our phones be able to do everything we want by now?

Well, I am here to tell you that even though it may not be able to do everything- there are a lot of ways we can use our iPhones to be social and let our photography skills loose! Now, I say iPhone because that’s what I know (and love). I apologize in advance if you are an avid Android user, but I am currently going to work with the iPhone and its perks.

So, let’s get to it.

Many people think that just because you don’t own a fancy camera, you aren’t able to have a worthy post, but they are so wrong.

First things first. Do you know how to use the sliding feature on your camera app to use the different modes for capturing your shot? If your phone is updated you will have the options for time-lapse for capturing a full sunset in a matter of seconds , slo-mo for the giant cannon ball splash into the pool, video, photo, portrait mode for a more professional look, square mode for you Instagram folks or pano for that lovely, wider-lense landscape shot. Each fits a specific look and it’s important to figure that out for your post first!

For social media purposes, I suggest setting your phone to "square" or just normal photo mode. This will allow it to fit perfectly in your Insta feed (square) or Insta story (normal photo mode).

After you determine your mode, two of the most important things to note when capturing that wonderful moment is.

1) Is my lighting enhancing or tarnishing what I am seeing?

I suggest getting close to a window to allow natural lighting to pour into your shooting space. If you notice that when you shoot under a light there tends to be a strange, yellow tint on your photos. 

2) Do I have a good angle?

For example, in the photo I share below, it is a "flat lay" styled shot; with this style the best angle approach I can take is directly above the items with my phone parallel to the floor. Any other angle would have made the photo awkward. 

These are the two most important factors in any shot. While on the topic of angles, can you create a dimensional element? What I mean is, can you help your post have depth by allowing certain objects to be at different levels. I will put a photo below to explain a little better. The natural eye sees things with dimension, so when creating photos, its always great to add depth. 

social media photography with your iphone

You see here that one object takes the space of one plane surface while the other creates space on another plane. The cup pulls the space closer to the top while most of the other things remain on "ground zero." The stacked napkins and plates add a mid-level dimension as well. 

Next, you will probably find that you may want a little more pop or a tone down of color. I love to use filters for a couple reasons, sometimes I want to create a certain pattern for a profile vibe that is visible when someone visits my feed. Secondly, I LOVE that with just a little help you can make a photo come to life.

So with that said, if you don’t already have VSCO, go download it on your mobile device now! You might even want to mess around with it and discover its features. This is a free app with in-app purchases for more filters and features if needed. I love this app because it is easy to use, and has filters that really know how to enhance any photo. There are also options to let in more light exposure to the photo or take it away, along with contrast, split-tones, saturation options, and so much more. If you need more inspiration, view the feed of VSCO and how others have used this app to help enhance their work!

One last pro-tip is to add what we call the "human element" to your post. This can be anything that makes your photo feel “lived in.” So this can be a plant, a piece of food, or even a little cup of your favorite drink that maybe has a sip taken from it (like my sunglasses added in the photo I shared above). This will add interest and help viewers connect with what is happening in your post. On a side note- human elements can add new textures! Why? Because... Textures. Are. Fun. In the example photo, we used many textures such as the confetti, metal from the sunglasses, the wooden spoons and paper plates to name a few. A texture can help bring your photo to life. 

Lastly, when you have perfected your image it is ready to be shared! Head onto Instagram or whatever social media platform you wish to post on and make sure to upload the new, saved image that you created. You can easily develop an ongoing aesthetic with simple photos from your iPhone + a little help from color editing, positioning and extra elements to give your post that extra 'umph.'