In celebration of two UK residents being named among the winners of the iPhone Photography Awards(IPPA) this week, we’re sharing a few helpful tips to help you make more of your simple smartphone photography.

New Zealand born Adrienne Pitts came first in the travel category of the seventh annual awards, with her image of a snow scene complete with Icelandic cabin. Also receiving recognition for his talent was Gerard Collett, who came first in the news/events category thanks to his candid photograph of a man being arrested on the streets of Stuttgard.

A lot of the images we transfer to canvas start off as smartphone snaps, so we try to share as many snippets of information about getting the most from phone photography as we can. Check out our recent post on food photography for more specialised smartphone tips and take a look at our handy introduction to Instagram. Meanwhile, take it back to basics with our three top iPhone photography tips:


1)   Be part of the action

While it might not offer the greatest photo quality, the iPhone does give incredible convenience and versatility. It allows you to capture moments you might otherwise miss and to record your role in them too. Gerard took his winning photograph while out on the street and took full advantage of the camera’s ability to get close up to an object without reducing quality by overusing the digital zoom function.

Talking about how iPhone photography captures nuances of images that might otherwise be missed, Gerard Collette spoke about this particular benefit: “An iPhone’s focal length forces the photographer to get in close and minutely observe and be a part of the scene that he or she is hoping to depict and share.”


2)   Compose your shot

While a smartphone gives you the means to snap and shoot wherever you may be, you don’t need to abandon the basic principles of photography altogether when you use it. Recognising what will make a good photograph and spending a little time composing the shot will improve your end result.

Award winner Arienne actually went back to take the photograph that went on to secure her prize. As well as being mindful of opportunities, experiment with angles as you would with a DSLR. Without a tripod to help with this, make sure you use two hands to provide stability. Shooting wide will allow you to take your time to compose your shot perfectly and could give you great material for a panoramic canvas too!


3)   Know how to use the iPhone’s features

Reading your phone’s manual is time consuming but it can pay off when it comes to photography. Knowing when and how to use the iPhone’s HDR feature will enhance the quality of your images and the in-built grid can help you maximise the impact of patterns, shadow and light. Remember: don’t keep your flash on auto! You’ll rarely need to use it like this as the best outdoor photographs are generally shot outside of direct sunlight, perhaps with the sky a little overcast.

Do you have a favourite photograph you’ve taken on your trusty smartphone?  Would it make a good print canvas?  Where and how did you take the photograph?  Share your own tips below!

Canvas prints from mobile phone