Blogging with an iPhone: how I shoot and edit photos on my mobile

When I started this blog, I didn’t even own a camera.

Instead, made one big investment. I bought an iPhone 7 Plus knowing it could produce great photos, without the hassle of carrying around heaps of expensive photography equipment.

Okay, this isn’t my phone, but it was shot ON my iPhone

One year later, still no camera. I love using my iPhone for blogging as it means I can blog whenever I want, wherever I want.

Almost all of the photos you’ll find on this blog were shot on my phone, with minimal gear or editing. Here are some of my secrets to taking photos with just an iPhone…




One of your best weapons is research. If I’m shooting a travel post, I research the location and work out the best sights and spots for photos.When I’m there, I search for any unexplored vantage points or vistas to capitalise on.

Harpa Opera House, Reykjavik
  • See more from Reykjavik here

I also study how other bloggers or photographers have captured the area before, it helps me to think about the angles and perspectives I might like to use and how I can make my photos unique.


Berlin Cathedral


TV Tower, Berlin
  • See more from Berlin here

Gondolas, Venice
  • See more from Venice here

Rule of Thirds

One of the most important lessons you’ll learn is the ‘rule of thirds’. It’s employed by photographers and videographers across the world to create visually-pleasing shots.

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-30 at 7.39.51 PM

Imagine a grid of lines across your screen, splitting the image into thirds. Using ‘Live View’ on your phone generates these lines for you.

The grid helps you frame your photo, placing key points of interest in one of the thirds or on intersecting parts of the grid. This makes your focal points pleasing to the eye.


Of course, symmetry is also pleasing to the eye, so don’t feel you always have to apply the rule of thirds but I find it a useful guide for framing.



Brighter images tend to be more attractive so I try to shoot outside whenever possible, using natural light to my advantage.



That said, low light can make some magical photos. I took this shot at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, using the low light and sunshine to create a silhouette.


If I’m shooting inside, I try to find a spacious room with lots of natural light. I open all the curtains and turn on as many lights as possible. If you’re investing in some kit (which I’ll speak about later) it is worth buying lights for taking photos indoors.



I think the best photographs capture a moment, so I always try to add some motion to my photos. Especially when writing a travel blog, it helps to capture the atmosphere of the area you’re in, be it a bustling city or a serene part of the countryside.


Visiting the Duomo in Florence
  • See more of Florence here

If you’re shooting a person or a somebody is taking a photograph of you on the move, find an empty street or location with an interesting backdrop and walk towards or away from the camera, keeping eye contact.

Shot in Stockholm
  • See more of Stockholm here

When posing, try to move frequently and, if you’re shooting, take HEAPS of photos and pick the best ones later.


Although motion in your photos is good, motion when shooting is not. A shaky camera makes for blurred, poor quality pictures.

The best photos are taken with a sturdy hand or the support of a ledge/table. Tripods (see at the end of my post) are also a good investment.



Flatlays are a blogger’s best friend. They’re perfect for taking photos of products or for giving an insight into your life – what you carry in your bag, what you’re eating for dinner or how you like to work.


  • See more from my Champagne Afternoon Tea here

Shoot from overhead to frame everything in the shot, making sure it is flat, even and all the same brightness (yes, you’ll probably have to stand/jump on a chair).


  • See more from my spa trip to Stobo Castle here

Try to use similar tones and colours in flatlays and take the photo at a slight angle to create nice symmetry or lines. I always shoot mine a little wider than I would like, giving me a bit more freedom to crop and tilt when editing.

Also, go wild with extra props to help set the scene…


  • Taken from my Christmas Gift Guide here


  • Taken from my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide here

Portrait Mode

My favourite photography feature of the iPhone 7 Plus and newer models is Portrait Mode. Before this, creating depth-of-field on a mobile phone was impossible without adding lenses.


Depth-of-field places your subject in sharp focus, leaving the background blurry and out of focus. It gives your photos a strong, professional feel.


Your iPhone Camera app will guide you, it will tell you if it’s too dark or if you’re too close or far away from the subject.



I use just one app for editing my photos but there are HUNDREDS. In the past I’ve used VSCO, Prisma and Snapseed, and it’s important to try a few apps and find out which works best for you but now I just use:


ColorStory has loads of free effects and filters for you to use and additional features which you can pay for. I like it as it has an easy-to-use interface, with fast results. I try to keep my editing simple and natural, but you might prefer a different look.

Here’s how I edit:

  • Crop, tilt or straighten: The app lets you crop to your own dimensions or other set templates. You can also adjust the perspective and tilt and straighten your photos to create the framing, lines and angles you want.
  • Curves: My favourite feature. This way you can tweak the highlights and shadows of the photo. I tend to pull the middle towards the top left, brightening the photo. You can also edit exposure and brightness on the app, to increase or decrease the light in the photo.
  • Sharpen: Helps to emphasise outlines in the photo. Use sparingly
  • Vibrance/Temperature: Change to make colours pop in the photo. Saturation also adjusts the colours.
  • Contrast: To make the different elements of the photo stand out. I only bump this up a little.

I braved the elements to try to show you how I shoot & edit…

Original photo
Edited photo


I started this blog with just my iPhone and nothing else. You don’t need any equipment to take great photos, but it can make life easier.



A shaky camera is the worst and, no matter how steady your hands are, nothing beats a tripod for stability. I use a PIXI Mini Tripod from Manfrotto which is small and lightweight enough to carry around in my bag when travelling.

It’s great for filming too as the legs close, making an easy-grip handle.

  • Buy it for £26.95 here

To attach my iPhone to the tripod I use Manfrotto’s TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp, which you can buy for £46.95 here


Not all bloggers can afford to pay others to shoot them. You might not have a devoted boyfriend/girlfriend or patient friends who can travel the world with you. What then?

I often shoot on my own but have found that photos with myself in the frame get more engagement on social media.


So, I bought a really cheap Bluetooth remote control that works with my iPhone to take photos from a distance – perfect!

I’m sure you can find more expensive, reliable ones but I use this remote from Amazon which is £3.99 and works just fine.


Shooting indoors is a pain if you live in the UK, it’s rarely bright or sunny enough to get quality lighting. Ring lights and box lights come in all sizes and strengths and can help to brighten your photos. You can even get mini lights that clip onto your iPhone too!

And that’s it folks! I hope you found this post useful. If you have any tips for me I would love to hear them in the comments below x

Manfrotto gifted me the PIXI Mini Tripod and TwistGrip Clamp for the purposes of this post. All opinions remain honest and my own.

79 thoughts on “Blogging with an iPhone: how I shoot and edit photos on my mobile

  1. Such a useful post! You’ve got some amazing pics above and I’m super-impressed that they’re all phone photos!

    I love my DSLR but of course, I don’t take it everywhere with me, so a lot of my blog photography from out and about is with my phone. Definitely going to employ some of your tips!

    Also, the mark of a true blogger is one who is prepared look ridiculous standing on chairs and tables for the perfect flatlay… xD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to sell all my camera equipment last year to fix my car so all of my photographs are also taken on my iPhone. i recently purchased a remote, but I think the battery is dead because I can’t get it turn on. I’m going to try replacing the battery so that I, too, can take photographs of myself because I don’t have anyone to do it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely needed this post. Your tips are so valuable as I only have an iPhone and often scratch my head at what I should do to get great pictures. I’m definitely saving this as a reference point!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Super helpful post! I have an iPhone 7Plus as well because I heard it takes great pictures but I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Your pictures are incredible and knowing you took them all with minimal equipment has me excited to get started improving mine. Pinning as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Firstly, you have now made me want to visit all these places…. ha ha. Such a great, informative post! I keep thinking about updating my phone as I hate taking my big camera out with me. The cameras on the new I phone is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually used to be a photographer and these are all great uses for using a phone camera to shoot. After my cameras got stolen, using my phone to shoot photos seemed that the worst thing life could possibly bring me. Lately I’ve been using Lightroom CC to edit my photos and I’ll NEVER go back.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great suggestions! I use my Iphone as well for taking photos too. And I use Snapseed for picture editing. It takes practice, but I like the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was such a great post! So happy I stumbled upon this. Currently I have a 6s and the photos are that great. I was debating either getting the iphone 8 plus, or buying a DSLR. Most people suggested that BOTH would be great, but the iphone would be easier for ease of access.

    These were great tips! I think I will get the phone for now, as I’m pretty outdated and use the tips you provided. Loved this, and really great shots. People do get tired of taking photos of me, so maybe I will invest in some equipment lol

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As a new blogger I was having some panic about this topic just yesterday! I was like, do I need to buy a camera?! Clearly images are gold, but only if they’re good. This post and some other blogger friends encouraged me to learn more about taking pictures with my iPhone and then learn how to edit them. Thank you for proving it’s possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. these tips are amazing. I love how awesome these photos are! it just goes to show you don’t need to break the bank on a fancy camera to have quality photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These tips are great! I have a big camera, but I end up shooting everything on my iPhone because I’m too lazy to lug my camera around. Seeing your photos makes me realize that I really need to upgrade my camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your photos are gorgeous! I recently tried out snapseed on my iphone and love it, also purchased a ring light as the winters are pretty gloomy here and we rarely see the sun shining brightly. Love your tip about thirds, will give this a try today as I am editing some photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, I learned so much from this post. It’s really helpful because I only have my iPhone for a camera too. I had heard of the rule of thirds before but seeing it in your pics made it much easier to understand. The picture of the street sign is absolutely gorgeous! I have to practice more with portrait mode. Also I will be buying one of those Bluetooth remotes asap. Will definitely be bookmarking this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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