The 5 key elements you need for capturing better iPhone Photos


When you are a blogger, you probably take photos every day for your blog posts, social media, etc. I understand that you can’t always bring your DSLR with you when you are going somewhere. But there is always one thing we bring always with us: Our phone.

So why not take advantage of the thing we bring with us the most. In my previous detailed blog post, I explained how you can capture professional photos with your iPhone. You can read the full blog post here. It also comes with a free checklist, just like this blog post.

But I still got a lot of questions about how you can improve your iPhone photos even more. That is why I am going to expose the 5 key elements you need to improve your iPhone photos even more.

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1.Shoot in natural lighting

I am going to tell you this until you can say it backward. Shoot in natural lighting! The best lighting for shooting professional photos is natural lighting. And even better: It’s free.

Why do you need to shoot in natural light? If you shoot in natural light, your colors will turn out way better than when you shoot in unnatural light. Your picture will also have a higher resolution since it captures more colors and detail. And that also makes your picture sharper.

What if you don’t have enough sunlight in your surrounding?  If you live in a country where it’s rainy 90% of the time (like me) then I understand that it is really hard to capture your photos in a natural light source. That is why you need a ring light*. A ring light is a LED light in the shape of a ring. And since it is ring-shaped, it won’t create those ugly dark shadows. And if there might appear some shadows, you can reduce them with a reflector really easily. Read more about it in my previous blog post: How to capture professional photos with your iPhone camera. Here is how my photos look like when I use a ring light at night.


2. Use a reflector

If you like to shoot products photos with your iPhone, you probably experienced those ugly and dark shadows around your subject. We probably all want to get rid of them. But if you try to edit them until they are gone, your picture will look washed out. So how do you solve it?

What if I say that you can get rid of them under $15? Yes, I am not joking. How? By using a reflector*.

Why you need a reflector? A reflector will bounce the light, and reduce the shadows in your picture. In this way, you can get rid of the shadows, and your pictures will look way brighter since it bounces extra light to your subject. So even on gloomy days, you can take stunning photographs. You can purchase a reflector under $15 here*.

Related: How to get rid of dark shadows when you’re photographing products


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3. Use a backdrop

If you are like me and you have a messy desk with paint splatters, (Yes mom I will clean it one day) it is difficult to shoot photos with a clean background. The solution to that: Use a backdrop.

Why you should use a backdrop: If you use a backdrop, the background of your picture will look way cleaner! A backdrop can have different textures.

That means you can give your photos various themes. For example, I have a marble textured backdrop in case I want to spice up my photos a little bit.

Where to get backdrops: I printed my own backdrops, so that literally cost me nothing. I searched for a high-resolution image to print on a piece of cardboard. Can you tell the difference between real marble and this printed texture?


4. Use extra props to add to your photo

Try to decorate your photo a little more by adding some extra props to your photo. There are tons of ideas for props to include into your photo. Think about sunglasses, scarfs, ribbons, mugs, tape, etc. You can literally add anything.

Why you should add extra props: You should add extra props to add a little bit more of decoration to your pictures. In this way, you can spice up your pictures really easy.

Where to get props: You can get props literally everywhere. If you don’t have good photo-worthy props, then you can go to the dollar store. There you can get a lot of beautiful props on a budget.

5. Use a professional photo editing app

After you clicked gorgeous iPhone photos, it is time to edit them. I use a free app called Snapseed, and I LOVE it! For a full tutorial, visit this blog post: How I edit my Instagram photos with Snapseed. It comes with a free guide!

Why you should edit your iPhone photos: Editing is just adding the final touch to your photos. With editing, you can make your photos brighter, sharper and more colorful. I always add it to my photo editing process. I don’t post photos on Instagram without editing.

Related: [PART 3] How I edit my Instagram photos with Snapseed

Hold on

That was a lot of information to process. That is why I designed a beautiful free iPhone Photography checklist for you. You can easily print it, and take it anywhere with you! And it’s free! So if you want to take professional iPhone photos every time you are planning to shoot, then make sure to grab your free checklist.

Make sure to share your checklist and improvements on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me (@jointhecreativeside). I will always reply back to you.

Also please give this blog post some love by sharing it on Pinterest.

What is your best iPhone photography tip?

Lots of love,


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Chelsea van Egmond is a creative girl boss who is specialized in shooting professional photos (With both an iPhone and DSLR), hand-lettering and Bullet Journaling. She also runs a blog called Join the Creative Side where she teaches bloggers and entrepreneurs how they can improve their photography and graphic design skills even if they don’t have any experience or a big budget. Her #1 mission: To help you build your visual story/brand.