For shooting square format images, here’s a quick tip on how to shoot the photo to help you compose a better image in the viewfinder that will work great when cropping it square.
The iPhone camera has a 4:3 aspect ratio. The most natural orientation to shoot with it is tall, giving images a 3:4 aspect ratio. shooting tall (or portrait) sometimes gives you images that have stuff on the top and bottom that you don’t want to cut out when you crop it down to square, like the tops of heads. The tendency is to fill the frame.
When shooting in a square format app without viewfinder crop marks, such as ShakeItPhoto or Format126 (or when shooting to import into a square format app such as Instagram or the square format filters in CameraBag), try shooting with the camera sideways (or landscape). Don’t worry — the iPhone should orient the picture correctly. For me, this makes it easier to visualize a square format shot in the viewfinder. The shot is already cropped top to bottom and then all needs to be trimmed is a little bit of the image on each side.
It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s an easy way to ensure that all of life’s verticals make the cut and end up in your square frame.
The idea for this post came from a video blog by Nick Campbell of Banana Camera Co.