paper back drop for photos resize Today I am thrilled to have Lisa from The Art of Joy guest posting. She is very kindly sharing her Tips and Tricks for taking better photos with your iPhone (plus the best apps!)

Lisa Jane Humphries is the talented Author of The Art of Joy. She is passionate about sharing her big (and little) life lessons to inspire and support others. She’s living proof that there are lessons, and even beauty to be found in the darkest of times. Lisa is one of the most warm and welcoming and supportive people I have had the pleasure of getting to know though the wonders of the blogging community.

Her photos are lovely and I can’t wait to jump into her post and read all the tips and tricks she has to offer. So without further ado I’ll pass over to Lisa…


Tips and Tricks for taking better photos with your iPhone (plus the best apps!)

My iPhone (5S) has become my camera of choice, as I suspect is the case with a lot of other busy photo loving people! Although I have several other cameras including an amazing Nikon DSLR and an equally brilliant little Lumix; the phone is just too easy!

It is always within reach and the quality of the photos has improved so much. It is a rare day that passes without me capturing and sharing at least hourly happenings with my phone camera!

Interesting fact: the camera in the iPhone 5 is actually not actually much different to the camera in the new iPhone 6 models, in case you were wondering or considering an upgrade for that reason! There are a few small features in the new models however the only real difference is the image stabilisation and in my own testing this does not seem to make a lot of difference to the photo quality.

The way that you use your phone camera can have a huge impact on the quality of your photos, hopefully some of the tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way will help you take some even more amazing photos!

1) Always use the main camera to take your photos, the other smaller camera on the front of the phone does not compare in quality. I know its tempting to line up that perfect selfie however it will not give you anywhere near the same quality of image.

2) Always check that you have the HDR setting switched on, so that you are given two versions of your photo. HDR = high dynamic range and if you have this switched on the camera will take a range of photos from the lightest to darkest exposure. I always have this on and can then choose which of the photos has turned out the best based on the exposure.

3) Never use the flash, ever! The flash on your phone is never going to create a nice photo, if you are going to be taking photos at night then you really need an alternative camera. There are so many ways to use natural light and natural light will always, always look better than flashlight, especially the flash on your phone!

4) Speaking of natural light, I always spend a little bit of time, as much as possible, positioning the shot and using my finger on the screen of the phone to set the correct light for a shot. Depending on the position of the light source, by touching the screen in and around your intended shot, you can make such a difference to how it looks.

5) Use lots of negative space, this always gives a really nice clean look to your photos. If you are not sure what this means, I have taken two photos of the same scene to demonstrate. The negative space is that empty or clean space around the main subject, it makes a real difference to the quality of the image and can create a much more striking photo. If there is little or no negative space as in the second image; the end result is more cluttered than clean and striking.

negative space resize no negative space resize 6) Grab yourself some backdrop papers and fabrics, I always check in the craft stores for scrapbook papers, also in stationary stores for books of coloured and patterned papers. These are great for shooting flat lays, particular styled objects and also food.

paper back drop for photos resize


My Favourite Apps:

Faded app resize Faded

Best for: bright new filters including a huge variety of film and portrait style, I also use the light leaks on pretty much all of my photos at the moment!

VSCO cam resize VSCO

Best for: serious editing, depth of control over filters and quality features that really take your photos to the next level!

Little Moments resize Little Moments

Best for: adding text using a variety of lovely fonts, cute overlay images and also quotes to your pictures.

Afterlight resize Afterlight

Best for: a variety of really lovely soft filters, simple interface and the filters work particularly well on portraits I find. Also the light leaks and the ‘dusty’ filters add some excellent vintage touches.

Scratch Cam resize Scratch Cam

Best for: adding texture and scratches, I use the random button and flick through the creations to find something that I love.

To learn a little more about Lisa and how you can find her please read on…


Lisa Humphries | the art of joy

Lisa is a passionate Mother, blogger (the art of joy), professional fundraiser, event manager and volunteer for many causes close to her heart. Since experiencing brain injury and breast cancer in her immediate family as an adolescent Lisa has been driven to support others by sharing her own story and through her career.

As a motivated fundraiser and volunteer Lisa hopes to instill the values of compassion, philanthropy and kindness in her son who has just turned 5 years old.

As well as the very serious side to her life, Lisa simply loves taking and sharing beautiful photos, cooking for and celebrating with loved ones, painting her furniture white and using social media for good. Lisa lives in Sydney, recently turned 40 and is currently working on several fundraising campaigns whilst volunteering and blogging at ‘the art of joy’, which is her guide to living a life less ordinary.

You can find Lisa at the following links: BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM


Thanks so much Lisa. I know personally I am taking more and more photos with my phone so I loved reading these iPhone photography tips.

I loved her tips… didn’t you? I have not used Faded and Scratch Cam before and can’t wait to give them a go.

Do you find yourself taking most of your photos with your iPhone? Have you used these apps before? Have a favourite app to share? Please drop Lisa and I a line below.




  1. says

    With an iPhone, especially if you got a newly released iPhone 6 plus, with better camera and battery performance, more convenient when you’re out for travelling.

    No need again to take a camera with you, it is heavy and battery will be out soon. But taking a picture from an iPhone is more easier to handle.

  2. says

    Love all these tips LJ! (I do disagree with flash though, I’m experimenting with flash photography – I think it can be edgy and give pics a ‘deer in the headlights’ feel. But yes, generally ixnay on the flashay. I’ll be wearing a black beret and smoking a cigarillo any day now, man.

    • says

      Thank you Karin xx

      Faded has fast become my favourite of late, it is definitely the one I am using most!

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post, hope you have some fun finding and using some nice papers 🙂


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