Which Way To Hold Your iPhone Camera

By October 1, 2015 March 17th, 2017 General, Technical, Tutorial


Do you pay attention to which way to hold your iPhone when using the camera on your phone? When taking pictures or shooting video in landscape mode, it does make a difference which way round you hold your iPhone even though the phone superficially caters nicely for any orientation and will nicely display the pictures the correct way in your gallery. This applies more to video than photos actually because they are so simple to rotate but it’s still important as you’ll see below in ‘why it matters’.

Simple Answer:

It depends whether you’re using the main front lens (the higher resolution lens) or the lower resolution ‘selfie’ camera. If you’re shooting with the main lens, make sure the phone is held with the volume buttons at the bottom. Yes, it sounds stupid and isn’t the natural way to do it because the buttons act as a shutter button and many people use them for taking pictures rather than tapping the screen. The picture below shows how it would look to the people you’re filming.

Main Camera

If you’re shooting a video or taking a photograph with the lens above the screen, make sure the volume / shutter buttons are at the top. The other way around. A bit silly. See the picture below. I suppose this should have the camera app up to make more sense but I could find a picture of that.

Selfie Camera

Why It Matters:

If you only ever view media on your iPhone, it doesn’t. If you ever send it someone on WhatsApp or FaceBook messenger or even send it to you laptop or PC, you may find unpredictable results and it becomes important. The iPhone will put a flag with the file telling another device which way to display the video. The problem is, if you shoot a video and then immediately send it via WhatsApp to someone on an Android device, it will be very annoyingly upside down for them if you haven’t shot it the right way. It’s funny the first time but just irritating after that.

That’s why it matters. Not all devices can understand or maybe just ignore this flag so you need to get it the right way when you shoot so people see exactly what you need to see.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Richard Ret says:

    So, I have a short video that I started and passed camera to another. She continued but held camera upside down! Now I would like to turn second part right side up. How can I do this?? Done with IPhone 6…


  • Torsten says:

    You might be OK if the recording had already started the right way up. I don’t think a rotation ‘flag’ could change part way through a video file. If they started a new clip, you’ll need to do this in your editor either on the phone or on a computer. It would usually come under rotation.

  • ogn dulk says:

    oh great, i’ve been doing it wrong. it doesn’t matter that photos display correctly on the phone, when transferred to a PC or uploaded to Facebook or Instagram they may get rotated 90 or 180 degrees. dang annoying.

  • Danny Mac says:

    Thank you for this info. I have the iPhone 10 Max and I noticed that on the screen side the camera is now located on the other side. I’m assuming I still want to have the lens on top, however this means having the volume buttons on the bottom now, even when facing myself in a selfie. Is this correct? Thank you!

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