How to work with your iPhone camera like a professional

How to work with your iPhone camera like a professional Smartphones provide a new friendly way of quick access for the photography community. However, it is not just point-and-shoot, you […]

How to work with your iPhone camera like a professional

Smartphones provide a new friendly way of quick access for the photography community. However, it is not just point-and-shoot, you actually need to have a knowledge of photography theory in order to stand out from the crowd and use your pictures as part of your professional work.

We may ask ourselves, then, ‘How do we get the most from the iPhone camera in regards to professional photography?’ There are several approaches to this issue, and through this guide, we are going to learn how to turn our iPhones into brilliant work partners.


Apps and iPhone Photography

Current versions of the iPhone have seen great improvements in camera sensor features, even if it does lack the impressive mpx size common for Android phones. This can lead to confusion for new users, as they tend to think mpx value determines how good a camera is, although quite the contrary is true.


Having established that the sensors of iPhones are really good, we then need to have apps for enhancement options, since without them you can’t get the most from your conventional iPhone camera.

One very impressive app is ProCamera XL, and it provides users full control over Exposure, Aperture and Shutter Speed, just like a conventional DSLR camera. Even if we know we can’t reach the high level of a DSLR camera, we can reach a more than acceptable level with iPhone’s current features.


We also need to take in consideration that there are apps for the following needs as well:

  • Social Media apps for Photographers: Apps like Instagram, 500px, VSCO cam, etc. give us the option of sharing our pictures worldwide and even adding filters to them prior upload. This can link us to the big online community of photographers, so we can share knowledge as well as receive critique of the work we create.
  • Technical photography apps: Lux, f/8 DoF Calculator, LightTrac, etc. work for us by providing data regarding aperture, shutter speed, etc.
  • Post-production apps: Adobe Photoshop Express and Adobe Lightroom mobile. These are quite handy for creating quick post-production effects in our pictures. Lightroom mobile also give us room to sync pictures with the conventional PC version of Lightroom for further editing. Unlike Lightroom for PC/Mac, this version doesn’t allow you to install presets, but as you can continue your post-production process on the non-mobile version, preset bundles like the ones from Sleeklens can become a good investment.


There are also many apps out there for creating vivid, funny effects. It is up to you to check them, to see if they suit your needs.

iPhone and Gadgets

Fancy gadgets like selfie-sticks are a common topic when we talk about smartphone photography. Moreover, even if many out there may say you look ridiculous while using them, they serve a purpose in the world of self-portraits. There are also many other gadgets for users to test, but essentially you ought to have the following gadgets if you plan to use your iPhone for professional photography:

  • Tripod: Essential for portraits and long exposure pictures. Just as with common DSLR cameras, it is a must have if you plan on becoming a professional photographer. Consider the weight of the tripod and ease of carrying. Extremely lightweight tripods are destined to fail if used in weather conditions, such as on a windy day. In addition, you have to be sure they fit your phone in size (which can become an issue for iPhone 6 Plus users) or if it fits your iPhone case (if you are using one).
  • Remote shutter: Also a must in most conditions. The most basic shutter you can have is the iPhone’s Earbuds. Press the ‘+’ button on the Earbuds in order to fire the shutter release. Other remote shutter devices may require you to enable Bluetooth in order for them to work.
  • Battery pack: If you thought the first two options were essential, here comes the real MUST-HAVE gadget for your iPhone. Even if, in my opinion, iOS has better management of battery usage on apps in comparison to Android, the battery will start to drain, if you use the camera for a long time. So imagine you are far from home, you come across a nice landscape you want to take a picture and you have very low battery power… well, don’t worry! Battery packs can hold up to 6 full charges for your iPhone, depending on the capacity of the battery pack. They are very cost-beneficial, and you should get one and carry it everywhere you go.
  • SD card reader: Quite useful if you are running out of space in your device or if you plan to copy some pictures from somebody else’s camera. Just plug-in the SD card reader gadget and let the iPhone do the rest.
  • External lenses: These lenses, which are quite popular, give us the chance of creating effects such as fish-eye photo, macro pictures, etc. Make your iPhone feel like a good compact camera with this product.
  • A flashlight: Just like conventional photographers use proper illumination conditions at complicated scenes, this work on the very same way. Get yourself a compact flashlight that you can use at your scenes as a Fill Light. In difficult conditions, your photographs can become 150% more convincing than mere point-and-shoot images.


With all of these elements on hand, all you need to do is to apply all the knowledge and creativity you have gained in order to get the most from your iPhone camera. Just as in most cases, practice will show how dedicated you are to your work as well as how much you want to stand out at this very competitive industry.



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