With the iPhone 11 Pro Max anyone can become a photography superstar. But as great as the camera system on this phone is, I thought…why not try taking it to the next level. 

So ‘Creative shooting…with a few juicy accoutrements’  became my mantra and I embarked on a journey to find out how to ‘up my game’.

The biggest hurdle I faced was knowing where to start – so if you don’t know where to start then let me help you. I was instantly overwhelmed by the number of options to be considered. 

From optics, to filters, to stabilizers and so on – there is something for everyone and an option for whatever you need. 

So to save you the leg work and preserve your sanity, I have done the legwork for you and pulled together some of the best add-ons I found. Let’s get into it shall we?

 

Transform your lens options!

Same lens = same shots = boredom.

Your choice of lens determines how you will view the world and as a creative you should always be looking to shake things up.

You could try being different from everyone else simply by using a fisheye – it will give you stunning distortions on all your shots. 

An anamorphic lens that will make your shots look like those in Star Wars. 

A telephoto prime will give you sharp, crystal clear detail on anything you focus on, while a macro will let you capture a close-up of a raindrop on a spider’s web. 

Any of these lenses will make your shots hugely different to those around you and they are not that expensive to buy. 

There are lots of brands and types so whether you’re an Instagrammer or a Youtuber – have some fun by transforming your lens collection.  

The following M-Series lenses are now part of my own professional gear: 

Each one of these have reshaped what I can do with my iPhone 11 Pro Max and I love it. I recommend that you should check them out.

 

The Transformative Power of Filters

While we all love a sunny day, it’s a challenge when eye-searingly bright sunshine is ruining your images. 

You have to be able to control light if you want to shoot your best. 

You could always move away from the sun… you could change your camera’s position and get the sun behind you…or you could just go for a delicious ice cream and come back another day, but the better option is –  use a filter.

 

Filters will allow you to take control of bright light situations but it’s important that you understand what a filter does. 

They can:

  1. reduce light coming into your camera
  2. change your shot’s colour when your creative demands it
  3. eliminate glare from reflective surfaces like glass and water

 Again, I would say there are lots of brands and types out there and with filters quality is important. 

For my filters I went to GOBE – acknowledged specialists in professional quality filters. I bought a 62mm CPL and a 62mm ND 2 – 400.  

They were not cheap but are very high quality. I would like to say ‘bring out the sunshine’ but I live in Scotland.

Stabilization!

For static shots I’ve always used a tripod to ensure my iPhone 11 Pro Max was steady while recording…it also allows my hands to be free for more other things – like sweeping away wasps). 

However when I’m on the move…either walking, running or riding a bike that’s when I want to have smoother shots. 

The answer? 

‘Stabilization’ – it’s how to stop your camera from wobbling around.  

The tool that can do this is called a ‘stabilizer’ or ‘gimbal’ and is often quite a small, handheld device into which you sit your phone. 

Some simple balancing is required before they work effectively but it’s not a very tricky job.  

When you have done that you are basically good to go.

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 – Available from Heliguy for £99 (click the image above to go the the Heliguy website)

 

Now you have a stabilizer on your phone the difference will be quite dramatic, transforming your options of how you shoot things.

Apart from price tag, 6 other things you may want to consider when looking at stabilizers are:

  1. Is my phone compatible ?
  2. Is it easy to operate ?
  3. How heavy is it to carry ?
  4. Are the motors powerful enough for my camera and lens ?
  5. Do I need to buy counterweights ?
  6. Operational running time before recharging ?

I discovered that with my add-ons rigged onto my iPhone 11 Pro Max that I would need two stabilized set ups to cover my options so I went for the ‘DJI Osmo 3’ and the ‘Freely Movi Cinema Robot’.  

Check them out… both are truly awesome stabilizers and totally reliable.

The Freefly Movi Cinema Robot – Available for £279 from Heliguy (click the image above to go to the Heliguy website)

 

I went on a great learning curve with all the above and it has taken me time to get the best out of each. 

But I’m happy to say I’ve been using my gear for a while now and I’m delighted with the results I’m getting. 

As a professional filmmaker I can honestly say that these 3 add-ons have been game changing and have rekindled and inspired my enthusiasm for shooting with the iPhone 11 Pro max. 

I hope they will do the same for you.