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8 Easy Camera Tips for Seniors

Man using phone
As a college student companion, the first people I visited were Jim and Joan.  Teaching them new tips and tricks to use on their iPhones were among my favorite things to do with them. Seeing Joan’s smile and amazement at all the things her phone could do was such a joy for me to see. Joan loved learning all about her camera and the ways she can utilize it in her everyday life, with her grandchildren and on her vacations. These tips that I am about to go over are all questions she asked me. Like all of us remember our teachers saying, if one person is asking about it many others are probably thinking it. 

Watch a video of the tips listed below here!

Tip #1: Focusing the Camera

Focusing a picture can be tricky for seniors who have shaky hands, or who are just not aware of how to steady the lens. Focusing is actually very simple. All you have to do is tap on the screen where you want to focus, and a yellow square will pop up where the lens will focus. If you want to keep the image focused for a prolonged period of time, simply hold down on the screen at your desired location. The yellow box will pop up twice and it will lock in. To unlock, simply tap somewhere else on the screen.

tap screen to focus

Tip #2:  Setting a Timer

This is everybody’s favorite thing to learn and why would it not be? You’re able to take a picture and everybody will be able to be in it. To use the timer simply tap on the timer icon.

iPhone timer button

The timer has three settings: off, 3 seconds, and 10 seconds. 

Tap on the option you prefer, and you’ll have that amount of time to get ready. Now you can get ready for a family photo, friend reunion, or a vacation picture.

iPhone timer options

Tip #3:  Using Buttons to Take Photo 

There are two ways you can capture an image on the phone. The first way is the most obvious way, by clicking the center button.

button to take photo on iPhone

The second way, is to take the picture with volume buttons on the side of the phone. I find this way to be best for seniors because they are able to grasp the phone more tightly.

buttons on side of iPhone

Tip #4: Using Filters on Photos

 A filter is an effect you place on top of an image. On the iPhone there are nine different selections. To use a filter before you take a picture, you go to the top right of the screen and select the three circle icon. 

filter button on iPhone
From there you can have your choice of nine filters. Here are a few examples:


Try it out for yourself!

Tip #5: How to Use Flash

Flash is at the top left on the screen and has three settings: Auto, On, and Off. Auto is a setting that has the phone choose whether you need a flash, whether if you are in a dark or day. The On setting with have a flash go off, in dark or light setting. Off setting makes the flash completely off no matter what. 

flash setting on iPhone
flash settings

Tip #6: How to Switch Your Camera from Front and Back

 Wondering how everybody is taking a selfie? They’re switching the cameras from the back screen to the front.

front camera and back camera
To do this, simply press the camera icon on the bottom right of the screen.

iPhone swap camera button

Tip #7: How to take a Panorama Photo

Panorama pictures are pictures that can capture a wide landscape. Above are two examples of panorama pictures. To take these types of photos, you scroll through your camera screen to reach the “Pano” setting. 

iPhone panorama button

To taking the photo you can start from either left to right or right to left. Either way you just follow the arrow’s direction and try to stay on the yellow line. If you go too fast, it’ll tell you to slow down. If you go too slow, it’ll tell you to speed up. You want to stay on the yellow line because if you go too high or too low, your photo will get jumbled.  

Panorama photo

Tip #8: How to Take a Video

I find many seniors have a hard time knowing if they are taking a photo or video. There are two ways to know if you are taking a video. First, “video” will be highlighted in yellow. Second, the center button will be red. At the top of the screen, it will tell you how long you have been recording. If you want flash for your video, tap the lightening bolt and the top left of the screen and choose auto, on, or off.

iPhone video button

That’s all 8 Easy Tips! I hope this was helpful!