This may be my strangest "Photo Tip Tuesday", but bare with me. I think I will make a valid point.
You will never hear me recommend using an iPhone for any type of portrait session or other work that you want to proudly display large in your home. However, I do think it's important to be able to create quality images with nothing more than a camera phone or point and shoot.
Digital camera technology has come a very long way. So much so that it is often a crutch for photographers, especially beginners. There's a misconception that little planning or preparation is needed to achieve an excellent shot. This is a problem, because as advanced as DSLRs are, they are still simply a tool. The artist is responsible for vision and proper execution.
When I was in college, I learned photography on a camera that didn't decide anything for me. If I missed the simplest step my image was ruined. There's a bit you can do in the dark room, but a bad shot cannot be saved quite like it can in Photoshop. Learning on film helped me see the world in terms of "light".
While I wish everyone could learn on a Hasselblad camera like I had, it's an unlikely wish. You won't learn photography on an iPhone, but you can learn to see the world differently. When you strip away all of the conveniences a DSLR has to offer, you're forced to rely on your creativity. You can't rely on zoom lenses to get your frame, you have to move yourself into position or think up a new shot.
In 2014 I went with my parents to Oregon. Naturally, I brought some serious camera gear but for a lot of the time I didn't want to be hindered by carrying a large bag. I decided to see what I could create when I was left with nothing but my iPhone. I actually really loved some of the photos I took with it that trip. It's a different type of photography. I wouldn't market these images and try to sell them, but they did make a fun album for me.
Some tips I have for utilizing your phone camera:1) Download the "Pro Camera" ap. Don't let the name fool you, this does not mean it's an actual pro-camera.2) Download mobile Photoshop. Use this to adjust your exposure and color. Use it sparingly so your image doesn't look over done.3) Use filters sparingly. Make sure it enhances the photo and doesn't take away from the feel you are wanting it to portray.4) Print those photos! Once they are off of your phone you will appreciate them even more. I created an album using Artifact Uprising and it is so beautiful. I love flipping through it. There are photos from my "real" camera and my cell phone. I'm betting most people casually flipping through wouldn't know which were which.5) Put some thought into it; don't just snap away. If it's a moveable object put it where the light is nice. If it's scenery, look for a unique angle. Don't just stand by all the tourists and take the same photo.
Here are some favorite iPhone photos from this year.