13 Easy iPhone Photo Hacks You Didn't Know You Could Do

Selfie game strong.

Two girls on a moped
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just in case you didn't know, you can actually use the + volume button on the side of your phone to take a picture, just like pressing the shutter button on a normal camera. It is a lot easier than trying to make your hand into a claw to press the button on the screen, especially during selfies. 

NOTE: This includes the + volume button on your headphones, if you have those, which means you can be even farther from the camera. 

Again, ICYMI, don't worry about logging into your phone to get to the camera. On the lock screen, there's a teeny, tiny camera icon on the bottom right. Just swipe that up and it'll open your camera.

If you don't want to worry about trying to hold your phone for a selfie and taking the picture (How many people have dropped their phone this way?), use the timer. Just click the little clock icon in the top right and set the desired time. Then all you need to do is hold your phone, perfect your pose, and wait for it to take.

If you want to take a series of photos in quick succession (ideal if you're on a carnival ride, moving quickly in a car, at a fast-paced event, etc.), just hold down on the shutter and it'll rapidly take one photo after another until you let go.

To make sure your pics are actually sharp and focused, just tap whatever part of the screen your main subject is. This is also handy if you want to take some up-close pics with a blurry background.

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When you tap on the image to focus, a little sunshine appears next to the square. You can slide this up and down to change the brightness of the picture.

Do it, do it now! HDR just stands for high dynamic range and it basically gives you a better quality image by mixing the best parts of three different exposures. Just click the little HDR at the top of the camera screen. Sometimes it can result in oversaturated fake-looking colors though, so use with care. It's ideal for shots with lots of different light levels (sun and shade in the summer, a sunset, etc.).

NOTE: HDR pics automatically save in addition to a normal version and they're larger files. So, it might be worth turning off "Keep Normal Photo" in your settings to save storage space.

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Go to Settings and scroll down to Photos & Camera and turn on Grid. That way, you can line up your shot properly. But there's also a cooler reason: In photography, there's a theory that pictures look better (read: artier) when your subject is a third of the way in from either the right or the left.

If burst mode is a little too fast-paced for your needs, try time-lapse mode as it takes a picture every few seconds instead. Just press the red "record" button to start and again to stop it. It works best if the phone is still though, so if you don't have a sturdy hand, try and rest it on something or make a little makeshift tripod.

If you're clever, you can create a picture where there's multiples of the same person in one shot. While one person slowly pans around, all you need is for the other person/people to run in the opposite direction out of shot and back in again.

You'll now notice a little heart appears at the bottom of pictures when you view them in your camera reel. Any photo you've tapped here will be added to a Favorites folder—handy.

There are actually a tonof different ways you can subtly edit your pictures, over and above simply picking a fancy filter. With black and white images, you can alter the intensity, grain, tone, and neutral areas, and you can even make saturation changes to color pics if the Magic Wand tool doesn't satisfy your needs.

The zoom isn't really that great on iPhones, because it basically works by cropping the image and blowing it up, which reduces the quality. Really, you're better off just taking the picture as closely as possible with no zoom, and then zooming and cropping the image afterward.

Claire Hodgson is the Editor of Cosmopolitan.com/UK, overseeing all things digital