As promised I’m teaching a lesson a week to learning your iPhone camera – or any cell phone – for better pics on-the-go!

Week 1:: Bringing IT {whatever ‘it’ is} into tack-sharp focus

iPhone focus, cell phone photo

Have you seen the yellow box in your photo app before? That’s your focus square. The sun icon next to the box is your exposure. Your camera will do an auto-adjust for exposure when you tap your focus spot. The sun icon allows for us humans to intervene. With your finger on the sun icon you can slide the exposure up and down for a brighter/dimmer shot.

The video clip below shows my recording of ::

  1. Tapping the focus square on the most important spot for me {yellow box gets brighter}
  2. Next I move my finger over the sun-icon to play with the exposure
  3. Last I play with moving the camera around + setting the AE/AF lock

TRY IT:: Pick something stationary subject to practice some shots {+ without a mouth that keeps asking, “Are you done yet?”} πŸ™Š

When you press and hold your finger on the yellow box you’ll see the AE/AF lock appear at the top of your screen. The focus + exposure are locked on that spot.

The last video clip is zooming in to show the focus lock – first on her eyes {eyes are tack-sharp} then focus is switched to the cute green plant that we’ll say is real + that I’m a plant whisperer and not a plant killer.

See how fuzzy her eyes are? They turn fuzzy rather than tack sharp πŸ˜†

Wanna Play? Try these out this week::

  1. If you’ve never played with the yellow focus square before, play around. Move your phone closer/further from your focus point and notice how it adjusts.
  2. Now ‘lock’ the focus box on the most important {remember when it’s a close-up face – go for the eye’s}
  3. Take 3 photos {landscape with no people, 1 person, and group of people} and decide what is the most important & lock focus on it
  4. Bonus points…Tag @Shiningmomentsphotography + #SMPshine on instagram and follow in

Next week:: iPhone ZOOM….Optical vs digital and why you need to know the difference.

Now get snappin’!



Currently Watched/ing::

  • Miss Americana::Taylor Swift {I liked hearing her thoughts as she was growing up in the music spotlight, but the ending leaves me curious on the timing of its release🧐}
  • Ozark {jury is still out on this one. Not sure how long I can keep watching πŸ™ˆ}

What I’m Reading::

  • Red Queen: Power is a Dangerous Game by Victoria Aveyard {I can’t put it down! SO GOOD}

Currently Drinking::

  • 58oz of lukewarm water a day {There seems to be a worn path in the rug now from my office to the bathroom}
  • 1 cup Coroco’s Local Only blend {and on Music Monday’s I’m pouring an extra cup}

P.S. Do you have any specific iPhone camera questions? DM me on Instagram, comment here, or contact me.


Modern High School Senior Portraits + Headshot Photographer serving Dekalb County and Kane County


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