8 genius ways to use iPhone camera burst mode for action photos

8 genius ways to use iPhone camera burst mode for action photos

Action is unpredictable, especially if you’re capturing children or animals. Thankfully, you have the iPhone camera burst mode. In this post, we discussed eight genius ways to use it for unforgettable and eye-catching action photos.

Caucasian guy jumping in the air, against the wall

How to use iPhone camera burst mode 

There are two ways to use the iPhone camera burst mode: 

For iPhone X and earlier models 

  1. Open your camera app. 
  2. Tap and hold the shutter button.
  3. The camera will take a series of consecutive shots.

For iPhone 11 and later models

  1. Open your camera app. 
  2. Point your camera to your subject. 
  3. Swipe your shutter button to the left.

8 genius ways to use iPhone camera burst mode

As you can see, using the burst mode is as easy as 1-2-3. However, the trick lies in taking good pictures with it. Action photos shouldn’t just portray movements—they should also have good composition. Below, we will talk about the 8 genius ways to take good action photos using your iPhone camera burst mode.

Capture a person’s motion.

African-American guy walking on the street - iPhone camera burst mode

First, use your iPhone camera burst mode to capture a person’s motion in a photo. He or she should be doing something, of course. It’s not necessary that you show their emotions or show what’s happening around them. Regardless if they’re in the foreground or background, they should be your focus. 

Why should you take this kind of photo? It’s always interesting to see how a person fits in their environment. Think of it as a Man and Nature kind of photo. For example, a simple photo of a guy walking on a hot afternoon will register different kinds of stories in your head. Where is he going? What is he going to do? Portraying such simple action is enough to tickle a viewer’s imagination. 

guy walking away from the camera on the street

To take a good action photo of a person’s motion, make sure to take a full-body shot of the photo with the right amount of headspace. So, it shouldn’t be a wide-angle, or else the focus will shift to the environment. The orientation can either be landscape or portrait, depending on your preference. 

Using your iPhone camera burst mode, of course, will help you take a clear shot. Their moving legs or hands won’t have that motion blur, unlike when you use a Normal mode to take the photo. For comparison, check out the two photos below. 

Related post: How to Change Shutter Speed on iPhone

Portray the colorful emotions of people

Remember that photo series by Shea Glover? She captured people’s reactions before and after saying they’re beautiful. Her project is a simple but wonderful showcase of photography’s power. 

Photo by Shea Glover

The human face is never a blank canvas. Every twitch and raise of an eyebrow or a curved corner of the lips—they all mean something. Even if the person hides it, the camera will show it. In fact, the human face can make up to 21 facial expressions—happiness, fear, disgust, sadness, excitement, and more. 

Grayscale photos of one woman in different emotions - iPhone camera burst mode

That is why your iPhone camera burst mode is the perfect tool for capturing a person’s display of emotions. It can help you capture a wide range of emotions in just a few seconds. Use it to capture how a person reacts to good or bad news. You can follow these steps:

  1. Make sure to use the Portrait Mode or lock the focus on your subject to show a beautiful depth of field in your photo. 
  2. Provide just a little headspace. 
  3. Don’t zoom as well—if you can, just move closer to the subject. Zooming in will only diminish the quality of a photo. If you want, you can buy a telephoto lens or macro lens to help you capture beautiful portraits. You can check out the CoPedvic phone lens kit, which already includes 22x telephoto lens and 25x macro lens.
  4. For a cleaner and more appealing background, you can invest in a backdrop. Try this portable backdrop support from Emart and this collapsible Issuntex 10X20 ft white muslin backdrop.
  5. After that, you can even combine the photos in a grid using Photoshop or Canva. 

Plus, here’s a tip from us: Use a black and white filter or earth-toned colors. This will help the viewer focus more on the emotion of the subject. 

caucasian woman having different emotions
Grayscale Caucasian long-haired girl in different emotions

Take tasteful group photos 

Are you reuniting with your friends after not seeing each other for months? Or are you having a small party? You can use the iPhone camera burst mode to take action-filled and creative group photos—even if there’s social distancing. 

The burst mode can capture each person’s position and expression. Plus taking a lot of burst photos will only take less than five seconds—so you won’t have to linger around each other for long. 

People walking on a rice field - iPhone camera burst mode

For this kind of shot, you will need a tripod and a clip-on wide-angle lens such as the 16mm Pictar smart lens. You can either use a flexible tripod like the UBeesize tripod or a tripod with straight legs. These tools will help you take group photos even with social distancing.

Meanwhile, if you have an iPhone 11 or a later model, you won’t need a clip-on wide-angle lens because of the Ultra Wide-Angle camera. 

Here are some tips on taking group photos: 

Use other people as a frame for one or two subjects. 

They will be in focus instead of the group. Don’t be scared of working around elements and changing your perspectives.

It’s always good to take note of what will happen in a program. 

groom being thrown in the air

By doing this, you’ll capture how a group participates and reacts — and not just a clump of people in one corner that you ask to pose for the camera. 

Work with a good mix of posed and candid, in-between photos. 

group of female friends having fun in bed

The iPhone camera burst mode works well with both. With the former, you’ll get multiple shots within just a few seconds. As for the latter, burst mode will capture the precious moments that posed photos just can’t emulate. 

Catch small animals and insects in action 

white cat jump mid-air

Do you have small animals in your neighborhood? Or do you have tiny pups and kittens at home? Cats, dogs, and children are unpredictable creatures mainly because they’re hyper and small. It can be challenging for your iPhone camera to capture photos without getting plenty of motion blur, especially with its digital zoom’s limitations. 

french bulldog jump mid-air on the beach

That’s why you should use the iPhone camera burst mode. It’s the perfect photography tool for action photos that involve small, hyper creatures. Besides the burst mode, you will need a clip-on telephoto lens. This will double the capacity of your optical zoom if you have an iPhone 7 or a later model. 

Meanwhile, if you take care of insects or planning to search for garden bugs, a clip-on macro lens will help you. While dogs, cats, and children are unpredictable, insects are elusive and delicate. So, use a clip-on macro lens with your iPhone camera burst mode to take appealing, intricate photos quickly!

macro shot of lady bug

Freeze the moment in or out of a moving car 

fast car in the desert highway

Cars are already interesting to capture on their own. Using your iPhone camera burst mode, you can freeze the moment they breeze past you on a highway or when they skid with smoke from the wheels. But what these angles portray is that cars are cool. Why not try other perspectives to make your photo more juicy or meaningful?

For example, you can take the photo from inside the car. This way, you’re putting the viewer in your shoes—like you’re tagging them along in your adventure. In a way, it’s still an action photo because of your perspective, which is sitting inside a moving car.

Use the iPhone camera burst mode to avoid the photo from looking like this:

inside the car perspective

The photo above sure does look cool, but if you want to show the place, use the iPhone camera burst mode. Plus having multiple shots means you’ll have more chances of capturing eye-catching landmarks.  

Witness the beauty of nature on a windy day. 

Woman Standing Beside Wheat Field - iPhone camera burst mode

Do you live nearby a grassy area or a forest? Look for a clearing on a windy day and you’re likely to take gorgeous shots with the help of the wind. Using your iPhone camera burst mode on a windy day will help you portray the liveliness of nature. 

The perfect subjects for this series of photos is a person with long hair or a fluffy furbaby with a thick coating. Using the iPhone camera burst mode, you can capture how their hair and fur dances with the wind. Besides those subjects, you can also capture the delicate blades of grass, dandelions, and tree leaves bending to the will of the wind. 

Shining spikes in field in windy weather - iPhone camera burst mode

Of course, you can also take your own selfies or full-body shots. Just bring along a flexible tripod like the KobraTech tripod, which is interestingly made of metal and comes with a Bluetooth remote shutter button. As we said many times, a flexible tripod is a reliable tool if you’re taking photos in forests, riversides, etc. since you can wrap it around a tree branch or secure it on a narrow piece of a boulder. 

Don’t forget a clip-on wide-angle lens as well. For taking nature or landscape photos, we can highly recommend the Xenvo pro lens kit. It’s a wide-angle lens and macro lens in one, so it’s perfect for taking photos of picturesque landscapes and minute creatures in a forest. 

Get authentic, candid shots of people. 

African little boy enjoying the rain

We know that it’s hard to take candid photos of people in the street, especially with social distancing these days. This is exactly why you should use the iPhone camera burst mode for candid shots. You will need its lightning-fast photo-taking capability to capture those random moments when you go out for a photo walk. 

Also, don’t worry about not having many subjects around. A lone, hyper kid can have as many interesting candid shots as a group of teenagers. Besides, the important element in candid photography is authenticity and not necessarily surprise. 

Here are the keys to taking a good candid photo: 

Improve your observation skills. 

Man Playing Red and White Electric Guitar - iPhone camera burst mode

Let’s start with the most crucial aspect. If you have good observation skills, you’ll find it easier to take candid photos, especially by using the iPhone camera burst mode. So, you should know to recognize a golden moment to take a photo. Is the lighting good? Can you properly expose the subject? Ask these kinds of questions to improve your observation skills for photography. 

Grayscale Photo of People Walking in the Street - iPhone camera burst mode

Get equipped with the right gear for your iPhone. 

Grayscale Photo of a Walking Woman - iPhone camera burst mode

We know you might think we’re against zooming in.  And we are! That’s why we’re encouraging you to invest in telephoto lenses or wide-angle lenses because you can’t be complacent with your iPhone’s digital zoom. These lenses will help you take good photos from a distance that you can’t physically approach. 

Avoid using the flash on your iPhone. 

Grayscale Photo of People Walking on Sidewalk - iPhone camera burst mode

Besides startling the subjects, using the flash won’t likely give your photos an authentic look. It’s always better to use natural light if possible. If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you can also take advantage of the Deep Fusion feature, which is an advanced machine learning update on the camera that lets you take low-light photos better.

Related: iPhone Photos in Low Light: Practical Tips and Brilliant Hacks

Capture breathtaking moving water/underwater shots. 

Shark underwater - iPhone camera burst mode

It’s not easy to control the outcomes of underwater photoshoots; plus it’s not like you can dive and reshoot photos every day. So, using a convenient feature like the burst mode in underwater photo shoots is not only necessary but also genius. 

Using burst mode, you can take multiple photos of fast-moving or elusive marine creatures. Meanwhile, if you have an underwater photoshoot with a model, you can use the iPhone camera burst mode to capture their elegant movements, their hair flowing, or their eccentric poses.  

Photo of Woman Swimming Underwater - iPhone camera burst mode

Meanwhile, don’t forget to equip your phone with a great IP68 waterproof case. We suggest you try the DIVEVOLK waterproof case. It fits iPhones 6 to XS Max. You will love how this case is designed for snorkeling and deep diving. It’s just like you’re taking a photo in a dry land because you can see and access your iPhone’s whole screen. 

Related posts:

How to take underwater pictures with iPhone X and iPhone 8
Complete Guide to Photograph Moving Water on iPhone
How to take a killer underwater photo with iPhone


The iPhone camera burst mode is indeed a great and convenient tool for iPhone photography. However, remember to invest in an extra storage device to make space for those multiple photos. 

Related questions

How to turn off iPhone camera burst mode?

You can’t literally turn off the burst mode, but you cannot use the burst mode when you turn on the flash or use Live Mode. It will take one photo if the flash is switched on. Meanwhile, if you use the Live Mode, you will get a mini movie instead of multiple photos.

What’s the difference between burst mode and continuous mode?

Burst mode and continuous mode are the same thing.