How to Take Light and Bright Photos with Your Phone

We’ve received more and more questions about how we get our photos so light and bright. We have always used the same editing techniques: no presets, no filters. Just one editing tool on one editing app. In the last two years, we’ve become well known for our bright whites used in our images. Below, we’ll walk you through exactly how to take light and bright photos with your phone.


We always recommend using a professional photographer – especially for any portfolio work. However, sometimes you just need a great snap on the go. While we work almost exclusively with Madeline Harper Photography for the majority of our content, we still shoot about 30% of our images from our phone. Because we manage multiple Instagram accounts for clients, we use two different phones. The iPhone 8+ and the Google Pixel 2. Both do a great job, but we’ve really been loving the camera on the Pixel 2.


No matter how great your camera is though, it’s imperative that your original photo is of high quality. There are a few steps we take to ensure our images are the best they possibly can be before we even begin editing. The tips below are pretty universal, but we focus mainly on shooting interiors and travel photography.


How to take bright and airy photos with your phone from branding and web designer for interior designers.




  1. Use natural light. Only shoot during daylight, and make sure all lamps, can lights, and other artificial lights are turned off. This keeps your colors true and makes your whites a true white. Even if you feel like your natural light is low, the editing steps below will brighten it up.
  2. Lower your camera. One tip that has always stuck with us was when renowned interiors photographer Tessa Neustadt taught us to shoot every room from waist height during a workshop. It keeps the focal point of any room more squared off and resembles the room from a seated position. This quick switch makes a substantial difference in your photography.
  3. Square off your shot. Use the grid lines on your camera to make sure your photo is straight, both vertically and horizontally. It shouldn’t be tilted forward or backward, which instantly distorts the image. If you don’t have a tripod for your phone, practice holding your phone against the corner of a wall to get that perfect 180 degree line.
  4. Tap the darkest part of the screen. Your phone automatically will change its exposure setting and white balance to brighten an image if you tap the darkest part of the shot. If it gets blown out, tap a mid-tone area to bring the exposure back down.
  5. Shoot underexposed versus over exposed. If you overexpose your images while shooting (when there is too much light and it’s washed out), it’s not possible to edit that in post. However, an underexposed image will maintain all its details as it’s edited in post.


How to Take Light and Bright Photos from Your Phone




  1. Download A Color Story app
  2. Open your photo
  3. Hit continue
  4. Select “Tools” > “Adjust”
  5. Select the “Curves” tool
  6. Drag the dot in the middle of the diagonal line, upward slowly to the left hand corner
  7. Hit the check mark
  8. Tap “Review” in the upper right hand corner
  9. Select “Just Save”


How to Take Light and Bright Photos from Your Phone




If your photo appears washed out, you can tap that diagonal line to add another anchor point. Play with the position of those points to adjust the exposure of the image in different areas. You can also adjust the saturation and vibrance of the image if it’s looking washed out. The final step we use to color correct our images is to change the hue. Sometimes images appear too warm in certain light, or too cold. Very subtle adjustments (no more than 5 points one way or the other) will help remedy that.


For quick, on the go spot correction, we use the free Adobe Lightroom app. Use the bandaid tool to remove unsightly electrical outlets, wrinkles or holes. Remember, the fewer edits you can make to an image, the better. Focus on natural light, squaring off your image, and symmetry for a high quality photo from your phone.


Don’t forget – if you’re shooting interiors or anything interior design, use our hashtag #IDCOatHome so we can keep in touch! We can’t wait to see your photos. For more tips, check out our list of best hashtags for interior designers, our tips on how to get your design work published, and how to optimize your images for Pinterest.



The Identité Collective is a full service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.


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  1. Mari says:

    Great ideas, thank you! You’re the best ❤️







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