There's no handier tool in our arsenal than our trusty iPhone camera - especially when it so beautifully captures the moments and memories with those we love. Portrait shots are tricky to perfect - getting the right angle and lighting can be tough; dealing with the human ego can be even harder. Instagram pro Allan Hinton tells us his top tips on how to use the iPhone 7 to take the best portrait shots ever...

If there’s only one thing we master with our iPhone cameras, we think it should be the portrait shot and luckily for you, the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X offer a new and improved portrait mode with, adjustable lighting to really bring out your cheekbones 💁‍♀️. Because if we haven’t managed to capture (and share on social) that perfect moment with our friends, did it even happen?

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max haven’t disappointed either, you can now perfect that professional Bokeh effect, after you’ve taken your photo. Use it to blur the background and bring clarity to whatever you have in the foreground.

Our pal Allan Hinton is a pro when it comes to taking the most perfect shots of people: as someone who ditched his day job in marketing a few years ago to travel the world and capture everything he saw, his camera of choice is often an iPhone (well, an iPhone 7 these days) to snap faces, places and everything in between.

“The camera of the iPhone 7 is phenomenal and although I carry a digital camera at all times, I have faith that my iPhone will take a competent picture,” Hinton explains.

“Sometimes in spontaneous situations where you do not have time to take out the camera, I instinctively pull out the phone from my pocket and take quick photos with it.

“The new portrait mode is great for taking portraits with a beautiful depth-of-field blur – this feature is great for other types of photography, such as food, where you want the subject to pop out amongst its surroundings. The 2x digital zoom means you can get twice as close to a subject without compromising on quality. This feature is great for getting closer to subjects such as architecture that is far away or to get zoomed into a person when taking street shots – and thus being able to be more discreet.”

We got Allan’s top tips on how to take the perfect portrait shot on our iPhone, every time.



Be prepared


Take time to actually think about the shot and what you want from it, and communicate with the people/person in front of you. The inner director in you needs to come out. You need to motivate your subject(s) to smile and communicate how much longer you need them.



Dealing with multiple photographers


The secret to this type of shot is waiting until others have finished their shots and then getting the attention of your subject(s). Otherwise you’ll have people looking in different directions.



Scope out the location


For starters, the background can be used to give context – is the shoot on a farm? Is it to celebrate getting to the top of a mountain? If a background will add distractions, simply a bit of colour, such as colourful wall, can also really add something to a shot.



Take many shots


This way, you’ll have at least one photo where your subject(s) are looking at their best. Shoot some shots whilst people are getting ready – sometimes these end up being the best as everyone is relaxed.



Shoot at eye level or above


Find something to stand on if you have to and tell your subject(s) to raise their chin a little.



Think about the light

If it’s bright you may want the light to hit the face. You may want to avoid squinting, so move to a shaded area where there’s no harsh light. Use the auto focus on the camera to find a nice balance.



Use the timer


The extra few seconds gives people time to remember to look at the actual camera lens instead of staring at the screen.



Wanna be in the shot, too?

Buy a tripod such as Gorilla Pod. This will also help to avoid camera shake and a blurred image.


Want to learn how to take animal and pet shots? The difference between the plus and the normal iPhone 7? And perfect your #foodporn snaps? How about taking the best action pics? Or giving everyone travel envy with beautiful landscape shots?


Main pic: Via Allan Hinton