5 iPhoneography Tips for your Party

May 7, 2012

Capturing party photos has never been easier now that iPhones and smart phones are such an integral tool in our busy lives. I love to whip out my iPhone camera at a party or event and take a few happy snaps (some happier than others).  There are a few simple tips that I try to practise when taking photos at parties and I thought I’d share some of these with you.

1. Hold it steady!

Keep your iPhone as steady as you can.  It’s really disappointing when you get home and realise that most of your party photos turned out blurry.  If possible, try leaning the camera on a bar or bannister for extra support. You could also try an app that has an image stabilizer like Camera+ or Camera Sharp.

Image above: In this shot I was trying to capture the contents of the book. Unfortunately I was a little shaky with this shot and couldn’t hold focus.

2. Choose your focus point

Use your iPhone’s tap-to-focus feature for better focus. Open your iPhone camera, compose your photo and choose your focus point. Touch the screen and you will see a small square appear. The iPhone will use this as the focal point of your shot.

Image above: You can see the little square on the my iPhone screen which notes the focal point of my shot.  It appears once you have touched the area of the shot that you would like to focus on. 

3. Using light for those evening party shots

You have a couple of choices here. You can use your iPhone flash for subjects up to two metres. [Be careful not to stand too close to your subject as they could be captured with a ghostly pale look on their face. If you’re concerned, take a few test shots and then move backward or forward.] Or you could use other light sources such as overhead light, lamp or a torch to create a source of light for your photograph. By using other light sources other than your iPhone flash, you can place light where you’d like them to appear in your photo. See example below.

Image above: Here we used a torch light which we shone down the face of the bottle to ensure all of the details of the wine label were lit.

 4. Zoom with your feet and not your fingers

If you need to zoom in on your photo, it’s best to do so by walking closer to your subject. The iPhone digital zoom feature is not particularly stable and unless you are incredibly still you risk a blurry shot.


Image above: This shot was taken at a local concert at Federation Square. I tried to zoom in on the stage to get a closer image.  What I should have done was move myself closer to the stage to try for a clearer shot.

 5. Change  your perspective

Don’t shoot all of your photos from eye-level.  For example, if you want to photograph your meal, try shooting from a high angle or directly above. If you want to capture a photo of children at a birthday party get down to their level.  Oh and one more thing, consider the background to your shot. You don’t want a shot with your subject standing in front of a rubbish bin or an open bathroom door.

Image above: In this photo I moved quite close to the dish and hovered directly above. Sometimes this doesn’t work and you need to move to a different angle.

And one last tip, edit, edit, edit! There are so many fantastic photo editing apps available on the market. You can turn a mediocre shot into a work of art or at the very least have some fun with your photos (below image).

Image above: This photo was edited in Instagram and then Kabaam.  Kabaam is a fun photo editing app that lets you turn your photos into comic strips with word bubbles and classic comic phrases.

For more photography tips for your party, check out my article, “Pimp Those Party Photos“.

Ciao for now,


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