My favorite iPhone/iPad camera trick

Taking great photos means taking many pictures that are not great before you get that one amazing picture. But you can help yourself with a few camera tricks that will increase your odds of taking a great photo. 

One thing I learned early in my amateur photography career was to get down to the level of my subjects. If you are taking pictures of babies or animals, getting down on the floor is always the advice. But that is not always practical. As we get older it is harder to get down on the ground, or what we want to take a photo of is behind something (a fence) that makes it impossible to get on our knees. Or worse getting soaked by an incoming wave


Photo of waves crashing on the beach, camera down low.
Oxnard, Ca
Using the iPhone or iPad, you can easily get down to ground level by holding the device in a way that gets it as close to the ground as possible without having to get down on your knees. All you may need to do is bend over a bit to get the camera close to the ground.


Picture of a flower bed
University of Southern California
iPhone Tip- It takes some practice holding the phone for this trick so that you are comfortable holding it. What works for me, is to hold the iPhone between my index and pinky finger, leaving my thumb free to press the shutter button, and my middle and ring fingers to stabilize. This may not work for you, but practice holding it to find your comfort zone.


Now that you are holding the camera, lower it so that the back lens is closest to the group, you will be holding the upside down. (Don’t worry the photo will come out right side up.) And snap your photo.


iPad Tip - Because the iPad is bigger it is a little harder to hold and click the shutter button (the shutter button is on the side as well), but the premise is the same. The trick that I use is just holding the iPad with my hand, but I use the timer button on my iPad. It is the clock icon, and when you click it gives you the option of 3 seconds or 10 seconds, I usually select 10 seconds then press the shutter button and set up my shot.


I love taking photos like this, you get some fun and interesting photos. And you will find students love it as well.

Have fun taking some great photos!

All Replies

Posted on October 19, 2022

Thanks for the tips Brian! Good reminders on getting that best shot. I’ll be practicing with some of these!

Posted on October 22, 2022

Great tip. I recently learnt the trick of turning the iPhone upside down.

Posted on October 31, 2022

Thanks for these tips, Brian! Sometimes, just simple changes like this in how we hold the device can help us catch much better photos :)

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