Try This One Weird Trick to Improve Your Friends’ Photography

One Weird Trick ©2015

One Weird Trick to get one decent shot ©2015


Have you ever handed your iPhone to your friend to photograph you when you’re outdoors on a gloriously sunny once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

She squints at the face of the iPhone and can’t see you, much less center you in the frame. She presses the shutter, but for all you both know, she’s photographing the grizzly bear behind your left shoulder, instead of you. And you can’t review her photograph of you, out there on that sunny mountaintop, because you can’t see the display in all that glare either.

After you’ve descended the mountain, had a decent pee in a port-a-potty and are slumped inside your car, you check the portrait of you that your friend made at 11,054 ft—atop your triumphant climb. But the only part of you in the photo is your right sleeve.

And that bear. Though you may feel some relief that he didn’t work his way in for a closeup.

This is where Burst Mode comes in.

Let’s face it, as much as we dearly love our friends, they are hopeless when it comes to photography. Sure, they can aim an iPhone our way. But they’ve never heard of HDR, have no idea how to frame us in the photo, and are utterly clueless about tapping our faces on the iPhone to be sure the exposure is right on.

Again, this is where Burst Mode comes in.

Just hand your iPhone off to your willing companion with these instructions:

“HOLD YOUR FINGER ON THE BUTTON UNTIL I TELL YOU TO STOP.”

Shout this clearly, until you are sure she understands where the button is and what a finger is.

At this point, it’s up to you.

And here’s where you shine: You turn, preen, jump, twirl, dodge left, dodge right. Whatever you do, move around, put your face close to camera, grin manically, turn your face away from camera, smile big, frown deeply, look blissfully cheerful, appear maudlin, or diabolical, even desperate . . . until you instruct your friend to let up, you are the pearl in the iPhone’s oyster. It’s all up to you.

Be the pearl in your iPhone’s oyster with this one weird trick. Tweet:

But as it turns out, that’s a lot better than relying on your friend to make that one perfect shot of you on Mount Everest.

Thanks to the iPhone’s Burst Mode, your friend has recorded every move you made in split-second accuracy. Surely one of the shots made during the few seconds she pressed and held her finger on the ‘expose’ button is great. Possibly even brilliant.

iBurst ©2015

iBurst: It looks like this on your phone ©2015


That’s it. That’s all there is to this one weird trick. Review the more than 42 Burst Mode photos she made (access them by tapping ‘Select’ when the little shadowed icon marked ‘Burst’ appears in the top left corner of your photos—just like the iPhone screenshot, above), and choose one, or several, to save. Your friend will instantly become a revered portrait shooter, and you will have a spectacular portrait of yourself atop your crowning achievement.

With just one weird trick: Burst Mode. Look for it on your iPhone today. 

For more iPhoneography tips and tricks, click HERE.


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25 replies

    • Fantastic! Hope to see some of your Bursts on your blog soon. Glad you enjoyed it. The Burst Mode comes in especially handy when you’re photographing some fast action . . . like wandering cows. When you play the images back, go quickly and they’ll act like an old-timey flip book.

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