Take a photo on your iPhone like a pro

Whether you’re new to the photography game, or you’re a seasoned photo-snapper, we’re here to help. We have assembled a basic checklist to get your brain ticking through those basic processes that, when combined, can make the difference between a good photo and a great one.

Sometimes in this fast-paced world we can get too carried away with all the bells and whistles of technology. We think it’s important every once in a while to check back in with the foundations of your craft – whether that be taking a grammar class, attending an inspiring conference, or just revisiting those basic skills you learnt in your first year of uni or back in high school.  

Our basic tips:

Landscape or Portrait

Determining whether a portrait or landscape shot is the right choice can make or break the way you use your photo. Depending on how you plan to repurpose your photo will often determine whether a square or default size (usually 4:3) is your best option. For example, if you plan to use your photo on Instagram, often a square photo looks best. So, before you start snapping, consider what you plan to use this photo for to save yourself from some tedious cropping in the future.

Symmetry and Horizon Lines

It sounds simple, but the human eye tends to find images that are visually balanced to be more appealing. Things to consider are symmetry, object placement, colours/contrast and if you’re shooting a scene then a straight horizon line is also vital. If you’ve got an eye for it, you’ll know straight away – if it doesn’t feel right you could change your angle, move your objects and achieve that sweet spot of balance! 


It happens more often than it should – when a poor, unsuspecting victim becomes the star of a photo for accidentally assuming a bizarre or compromising position in the background. We see this time and time again, when a weird object occupies the background and once it’s been spotted, it becomes very difficult to be unseen. Note to self: if you’re taking mirror selfies, clean your bedroom/bathroom first.

The Overall Aesthetic

Although Instagram and other social media apps have the capacity for you to edit individual photos before you post them, the overall aesthetic of your feed is important, too. A consistent feed tends to look more appealing than one that is mismatched, so we suggest choosing a specific style and sticking to it. For example, would your feed be predominantly sepia-tone with a splash of pink hues every now and then? Would it be consistently black and white, or perhaps high-contrast and pastel colours? It’s something to think about before you accidentally end up with a very confused style!

And lastly…


Like your teacher always said at school, always check your work. If it doesn’t look great try changing the angle, the orientation, or anything we have mentioned above, as this could completely change the shot. Check the lighting and whether any automatic filters are on, it’s something that can easily be forgotten.

We suggest that you always take loads of photos and just delete the ones that didn’t work out, and make use of the ones that did. At the end of the day, no one knows about all the photos you didn’t post – but they will certainly see the ones you did! 

Emma Bartlett