A camera is a camera is a camera is a . . .

When I take photos with my iPhone, sometimes I feel like a tourist. You know the thing; iPhone pinched between your fingers, pinkies raised. Then that awkward balancing act to get a finger on the shutter without dropping the whole phone over a railing. If you have long fingernails, it’s a real challenge to get your fingertip to touch the screen.

Lately though, I’ve switched to a camera grip when taking pictures and I love the difference.

Use it like a camera. Hold it like a camera.

What I mean by camera grip is to wrap my fingers around the ends of the iPhone (held horizontally). Just like I’ve held cameras all my life.

For landscape photos, I hold my iPhone horizontal with the home button to the right. That means my camera lens is on the backside of the upper left corner as I look at the screen. All I need to do is hold the bottom half of the left side to avoid blocking the lens. I can hold the right side however feels comfortable.

iPhone hold Horz

iPhone hold Horz

Besides giving me a firmer grip on the phone, my thumbs are in the right position to trip the shutter, select focus, and adjust exposure. I feel more in control.

For Portrait, the grip supports the whole bottom of the phone and, again, leaves the thumb available to choose the focal point, adjust exposure, and take the picture.

iPhone hold Vert

iPhone hold Vert

This camera grip has 2 more benefits.

  1. It naturally turns your elbows in against your body, which makes your iPhone more steady. Really important for low light.

  2. It brings the iPhone closer to your face so you can better see the detail on the screen. How may times have you taken multiple shots just because you couldn’t see what you were taking.

This may all seem a little fussy, and it is to some degree. But considering that the iPhone has become the most popular camera in the world, it stands to reason that you will take many important photos with it that you would have taken with a DSLR only 5 years ago. At the same time, we are pushing the limits of the technology with low light captures and quick draw photo ops - shooting in situations we rarely did before. Given the quality limitations of the iPhone, it’s not unwise to use the best capture techniques you can, whenever you can.

iPhonePaul Einarsen