I have an iPhone 4. I take a picture, send it to a friend, and regardless of how I sent the photo...the size I send, the orientation of the camera when I shoot the photo... most of my photos arrive to the friend's email upside down or sideways.

Any clues from you folks?


This appears to actually be a bug in iOS5. Here is a thread I discovered with others having the same issue. I particularly like this guys solution and would love to see Apple implement something similar:

What I think Apple should do is add a camera settings feature to the settings tab that allows for two new options. Option one would be "camera frame orientation always up". This would mean that no matter how you hold the camera, up is always up on the photo or video. Option two would be "camera frame orientation fixed". A sub option here would allow the user to select either portrait or landscape (with home button on the right) as the default "up" orientation. That would allow those rare two or three people in the universe who really do want to take upside down or sideways photos to do so. The "always up" option would allow the rest of us to take photos without having to worry that they will come out jacked up. In any case, I sure hope Apple is reading its support blogs...seems like there are enough of us out there who are having this photo issue to merit a fix in a not-too-distant future iOS update.


4 Answers 4


The iPhone takes photos in whatever the orientation of the sensor is then uses EXIF data to instruct proper rotation.

Your friend's e-mail is ignoring (or stripping) the EXIF data. There's no way to fix it on your side.

  • While you may be right this appears to be an issue others are having also. I updated my question to reflect the new information. Thanks for your help.
    – L84
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 22:45

iOS strips out the metadata information when sending the picture via the web. The information is present if the picture is downloaded from the phone onto a computer directly.

This means that if you transfer the picture off the phone using any of the following methods, it will not have the metadata information:

  1. Upload it to a website using HTML5 file input control.
  2. Send it to someone via e-mail using the built-in Mail client.
  3. Upload it to Dropbox, Facebook, etc.

All of the above methods will cause the photo to lack metadata information.

The only way to retain the metadata information is if you attach your iPhone or iPad to a Mac or a PC and transfer the picture to it first, and then send it to whoever you want to send it to.


More information is needed. Does he have an iPhone also? Is this the only friend that it is happening to? Does the friend get photos like this from other people?

I don't know if it's been fixed or not, but there is/was a bug where landscape photos that were taken with the volume buttons facing up would be displayed incorrectly on Windows machines. If your friend does not have an iPhone, maybe this is the cause of the problem.

  • I am not sending iPhone to iPhone. The photos are being sent to an email address and my friend is on a windows based machine (as well as I am.) As far as I know it happens to everyone.
    – L84
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 19:41

It seems as though no matter how you hold the camera during a picture, iOS will record the orientation as landscape, shutter button to the right. Thus, when sending via email the picture will carry that orientation with it despite how you may have held the camera when taking the picture. Thus, it can come across miss-oriented in an email. I just make a point to take most shots with the orientation iOS likes: landscape with the shutter button to the right.

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