10 iPhone Photo Challenges

IPHONE PHOTO CHALLENGESIn the last year we've noticed ourselves documenting more and more from our everyday lives with our iPhones. Here are ten creative challenges from Kinsey to help you get more creative when capturing moments with your mobile device! 

1- blur1. Use a blur effect. This challenge is great for showing viewers what captured your eye to take the photo to begin with. I love to see a blur effect on a photo where the focal point is something I wouldn't have initially noticed at first. It creates a fun spin on your photo that gives attention to detail! 

2- sunflare2. Play with sun flares! It's no secret that I'm a light fanatic. I can't hold back my excitement when I get to play with sun flares during a photo shoot. To create a pretty sun flare, take photos about an hour or so before sunset. Make sure to not directly take a photo of the sun, but more let the light leak in through the sides of the photo!

3- 2 filters3. Use two filters to create a unique style of editing. I used Walden on instagram and Julia on Pixlromatic. This is my favorite "trick" to give my photos that extra boost of light and color. A great way to use two filters on instagram is to put your phone on airplane mode, put it through a filter once and post it, take it off airplane mode, and run it through a filter again. This way, it will only post the last photo!

4 self timer4. Use a timer for a self portrait. I don't know about you, but I'm absolutely awful at taking photos of myself. I think I spend more time trying to find the shutter button than I spend actually editing the photo! What I like about using a self timer is that you can see what the frame is going to look like before you take the photo. To take a self portrait, simply prop your phone up, (we used a shirt) and snap away! Experiment with different angles, poses, and lighting. I use the Camera+ App to take self portraits. 

5- 10 photos5. Take on the challenge of taking 10 photos throughout your day! Sometimes it might feel as if you don't have ten exciting, "picture worthy" moments in your day. This is where you really have to think outside of the box! Take photos of the little things that inspire you and bring a little perk of happiness to your day. Whether it's a cup of coffee in the morning, a pretty textile, or your new favorite shade of nail polish; take a photo! It's a nice reminder that with the hustle and bustle of life that you are surrounded by beauty! 

6- silhoutte6. Try taking a silhouette photo by standing directly between the point of light and the camera. Once you've taken the photo, boost up the contrast with editing to make yourself appear darker and the light behind you brighter. 

7- create a filter 7- create a sunglasses filter7. Create a filter with your sunglasses. Simply hold your sunglasses in front of your phone and take a photo! This creates a pretty, warm effect without having to run it through a filter. It's also great for taking photos with lots of sunlight in them without your photo becoming washed out. 

8- add fonts8. Add fonts to your photo. Adding fonts is a fun way to share how you feel about a photo, your day, or to share something inspiring instead of just making it the caption of your photo. My favorite way to execute this challenge is by using a simple photo of something lovely I saw that day, (flowers, unique wall etc.) and adding fonts to create a focal point. Try and avoid adding fonts to photos that already hold a lot of content; you don't want your photo to look too busy! My favorite app for adding fonts to photos is Phonto! 

9- collage9. Make a collage. When creating a collage of photos, try to have an overall theme or word that describes your collage! I wanted to portray love in my collage so I put together an individual of myself, an individual of Josh's wedding ring, and us being mushy together. 😉 When there is a theme to your collage, it creates a specific vibe for viewers!

10- create a message10. Create a message! You can really think outside of the box with this challenge. We cut out letters in a magazine and laid them out in a message. Next time you want to send someone a sweet text, try creating a fun message to send them instead!

We hope you've enjoyed these creative challenges. Which one will you try first? xoxo! 

  • * How would I go about uploading my very “Own” photographs here? ( :

    * To “View” some of the most “Unique” photographs…, click the link “Ahead”……., (“https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=1117370467”)!

    * I “Sincerely”…, “Appreciate” the “Time” that you’ve “Invested” to “Read” this!

  • Thanks for sharing the tip about Phonto! I’ve been wondering how to do that easily!

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  • just a tip: you can use the volume buttons as the shutter, instead of guessing where it is on the screen! i just found this out recently and it has been the best thing!

  • My pictures can be found here:

    Some of them are posted on my webpage also:

  • The volume + button also works as the shutter once you’re in the camera app. It’s way more convenient than the one on the screen.

  • This is great, I shall have to have a go. I love phone pics- they are so much fun.




  • OMG I love these I am definitely going to try some out. Thanks so much. x



  • I loved reading this post!! I’m always looking for new, creative ways to take my photos and this was super inspiring! I’ll be trying the self-time, silhouette, and font challenges in the near future 🙂



  • I love this post!! I love playing with photos and i am still very much learning it all and so this post was really helpful. And i love the last bit, i actually told my bf i loved him for the very first time by laying letters out across the duvet and sending it him in a text! (He was in Prague at the time)

    Sal xxx

  • What a fun challenge. I love the message idea. definitely need to try this.


  • Really Great Picture and self portraits also very good

  • Do you have any app that you can make a collage of photos in? i see a lot of people on instagram who have maybe 2-3 photos in one and i like that. and also what is your name on instagram? And great ideas now i have to take pics all day to try out all your ideas!

  • Using your sunglasses to create a filter is such a great idea! I might even try it with my actual camera instead of just my phone! Thanks, Kinsey!


  • Great post! How do you make your collages? Photoshop? Or something else?

  • These are awesome! Never thought about using my sunnies as a filter. Brilliant.

    ♥ sécia

  • Love the sunglass filter idea! Totally inspiring post.<3

  • Using Phonto right now and updating my French class blog with cool pics 🙂

  • Ooooh didn’t know that there was a self-timer app! So excited and I’m going to download it right now :))


  • Love this I just got an I phone a couple of weeks ago and I am Hooked!

  • How on earth do you use a self-timer on the iPhone?! This is such exciting and amazing news to me and I MUST know how to do it. 🙂

  • totally in love with this. i am going to try most of these! I JUST got an iphone and i’m in love with its photo capabilities.

  • My first ones to try will be the sunglasses filter and the self-portrait with timer. Thanks a lot!

  • I can’t wait to try the sunglasses trick. That is so cool! I love a good challenge. 🙂 Here’s to 10 pictures today!

  • I like the sunglasses tip! And I desperately want her hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • love this post.. hurrahs for you! been needing an app like Phonto.. ta much!
    Claire x

  • I do not have an iphone but i will try some of your tips with my htc ; )


  • I looove this post!
    Gonna search for a Phonto like app for Android now since it’s for iPhone only…

    Thanks for all the great tips!
    xo Sari

  • Thank you so much for sharing! I gonna get on the “Taking 10 Pictures a day challenge”!


  • I accept your challenge and will IG 10 photos today. 😀 (I’m psyched!)

    Has anyone used 100Cameras on iPhone? The filters are many and awesome!

    @tabid on Instagram

  • Great ideas, thank you Kinsey! n°5 is my favorite, will try and do so!

  • great post Kinsey! thanks for the tips…definitely going to do that sunglass trick!

  • Taking great pictures. I love the effects on photos. Your advice will help people take photos as in lomography! I love it’s <3



    amazing post my dear.

    You can check my CAPE SANDRO Outfit in:


    XOXO from MUNICH

    La Vie Quotidienne



  • thanks for the inspiration. Love it!


  • Great idea ! I get a bit shy taking pictures so this have given me the motivation.


  • So inspiring thank you! I’m really getting into this photo obsession!!


  • I don’t have an iPhone. But I might do the challenges with a normal camera instead. The instagram effects can also be found on Picasa 3 🙂


  • Love these! I just started an instagram account & will try these!


  • Nice ideas guy’s. I cannot believe how cool the sunglasses effect is! Would never have thought of that!



  • I really love the message idea – it’s so versatile (I’m thinking the next “Happy Birthday” text I send will be in this format, maybe also with a little cupcake or birthday cake in the shot too!). This post was really inspiring for me, I’m trying to get back on track with my photography after a month off to write up my PhD thesis. Thanks!

  • Some great prompts, I love playing with apps on my phone/instagram. Cant wait to try some of these out.


  • These are all great challenges! Thanks for sharing all these tips 🙂 I am not a photographer, but I love taking pictures with my iphone to share, especially being a new mom… I am always trying to find different ways to be creative with my phone photos, so this is perfect!

  • Yay!! As usual,amazing tip’s! Just loaded two app’s as I read! If you please, I’d love to know what collage app is the fave? And, Thank’s again Beautiful Mess for your beautiful work!

  • I immediately had to try the instagram/airplane mode trick. AMAZING! You’re a genius! 😀

  • such good ideas! ever since i got my iphone last year, i’ve been obsessed with how easy it is to snap photos of everyday moments.

  • I am horrible at taking pictures of myself as well. I can NEVER find that shutter button!

  • Thanks for the tips re: self portraits. For some reason it never occurred to be to use the timer on my phone.

  • I really love the challenge of taking 10 photos a day, I think that I will attempt it!

    🙂 Ewa


  • This is so great! I just downloaded Phonto- eee! a free font app! Woohoo! I’ll be trying lots of these out. Fanks!

  • Loved this post even though I don’t have an iphone/ipod so many cool tips though!

  • Thanks for sharing the tip about Phonto! I’ve been wondering how to do that easily!

    Kate 🙂


  • Those pictures out if the field are just beautiful.


  • Btw Kinsey, how did you create the blur effect on your iphone? Did you use an app for it or is it a feature on the iphone camera?

  • Love the sunglasses as a filter…clever idea! My husband always tells me to put the phone away and enjoy life but I love to snap tons of photos…now we have tons of memories captured. But on the flip side of digital, we never print. I need to start printing some of these fantastic photos.

  • Thank you Kinsey! Great ideas, hopefully these ideas will work on my galaxy as well…I should think so!

  • sometimes i wish i had a fancy phone for the camera, only! *sigh*

    it’s so funny because i’ve done that before — using my sunglasses as a filter, but w/ a point & shoot….

    self-timer, i am no stranger to that! <3

    thanks for sharing <3

  • These are so fun! Thanks for sharing. xo, rv


  • This was a really sweet post. Capturing the greatness of each day is really important to me, and these challenges will help make them more special.


  • This is a really great post!

    I’m trying to take more photo’s at the moment as part of an art project about documenting daily life, so no moment is too insignificant, it’s about remembering all of the little details. This post has some great tips for making my daily recordings more interesting so thank you!

  • Love the tips! Wasn’t sure I could use two filters for a photo but now I do, thanks 🙂

  • Thanks so much!

    Jean, you can also take photos with an iPod touch! 😀 just a thought! Better than a point & shoot camera in my opinion.

    XOXO. elsie

  • I’m so excited about the message idea! What a sweet way to greet friends! I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and it’s quickly becoming one of my top faves!

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