How to Use Portrait Mode on iPhone to Capture DSLR Like Photos

Portrait mode on iPhone has been here from quite some time, but if you haven't really tried it yet, we can help you get started with a guide on how to use it on your iPhone.

With the release of iPhone 7 Plus, Apple started an innovation era in the field of mobile photography by introducing portrait mode. The feature was further enhanced in later versions of iPhone like iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and so on. The portrait mode simulates a shallow depth of field very much like a powerful DSLR camera. (You can use portrait mode on iPhone 7 and older iPhones as well, here is how to.)

Portrait mode doesn’t really need you to be a professional photographer to click beautiful pictures. Though, it’ll be an added advantage if you are. Anyways, to get you started using this awesome feature, we have a short and simple tutorial given below. The guide is further divided into different parts depending on the iPhone variant.

How to Use iPhone Portrait Mode

Please Note:

  • Portrait mode doesn’t feature zoom options.
  • There is no option to access the Flash, HDR, Live Photos, or Filters. However, you can use 3- and 10-seconds timer.
  • You can see the depth effect live before capturing a photo.
  • iPhone XR portrait mode only works with the human and not with any non-living objects.

How to Use Portrait Mode on iPhone Xs Max, Xs, XR, X, iPhone 8 Plus and 7 Plus

Step #1. Launch the Camera app on your iPhone 7 Plus and select Portrait by sliding the camera wheel.

Step #2. Remain within 8 feet of your subject. Now, the face and body detection technology will automatically identify the subject.

Step #3. Check out Camera app prompts “Move closer/Move farther away,” “More light required,” “Place subject within 8 feet.” Follow the command perfectly.

Adjust Camera to Capture Portrait Mode Photo on iPhone 8 Plus

Step #4. When you are ready, just snap the shot by tapping on the shutter button to capture a portrait mode photo.

Tap on Shutter button to Capture Portrait Mode Photo on iPhone 8 Plus

Note: On iPhone 7 Plus, you should see a yellow banner at the bottom –“Depth Effect.” Time to take the shot.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus was just the beginning of portrait photography. With iPhone 8 Plus and later version, Apple enhanced it further by introducing portrait lightning mode. Let’s see how to use it, just follow the steps given below.

How to Use Portrait Lighting Mode on iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, and XR

Please Note: Portrait lighting mode is available only with the rear camera on iPhone 8 Plus, while it is available with front and rear on later devices.

Step #1. Open the stock Camera app on your iPhone and select Portrait option by sliding the camera wheel.

Step #2. You’ll notice there are five types of light options: Natural light, Studio light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono. Scroll them and select the one you like.

Five different types of Portrait lighting on iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, and XR

Step #3. Once you have set everything, just capture the photo.

Capture the Portrait lighting Mode Photo on iPhone 8 Plus

Step #4. In case if you didn’t like the effects, you can remove them by clicking the last captured picture from the bottom-left of the camera app.

Open the Last Captured Portrait lighting Mode Photo on iPhone 8 Plus

Step #5. When your photo is opened, tap on “Edit.”

Tap on Edit in Portrait lighting Mode Photo

Step #6. You can change different lighting options or remove all effects. In order to remove all effects, just tap on the “Portrait” at the top of the image. By default, it will be highlighted in yellow.

Tap on Portrait to Remove all the Portrait Effects on iPhone 8 Plus

With the release of iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR, Apple has taken portrait photography to the next level. The company introduced depth control to get the most out of the iPhone camera. Below is a small tutorial to get you familiar with depth control, have a look.

How to Use Depth Control on iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and XR to Edit Background Blur

Step #1. Just like we did before, open the Camera app and select Portrait mode.

3D Touch to bring up Portrait Mode on your iPhone Xs Max

Step #2. Tap on the button seen (f 5.0) on the top right, and you’ll see an aperture slider at the bottom after that.

Select Portrait Mode then tap on button in top right corner to bring Depth Control on iPhone X Max

Step #3. The slider or the aperture allows you to adjust the blur. A wider aperture means more blur and vice versa. Sliding it right increases the blur while sliding left reduces. Set it the way you want it.

Use Portrait Mode Depth Control on iPhone Xs Max, Xs, and iPhone XR

Step #4. When you are ready, tap the Shutter button to capture the image.

Tap on shutter button to capture portrait photo on iPhone Xs Max

Just in case if you aren’t happy with the picture, no need to delete it. You can open the image and tap on Edit.

Tap on Edit captured Portrait Mode photo on iPhone Xs Max

Doing this will again bring the aperture option, and you can use it to change the blur effect. You can also change other things like lightning mode, filters, or remove portrait effect altogether.

Use Depth Control on the iPhone Xs or Xs Max and iPhone XR

That’s done! Now, go ahead and use Portrait Mode to take a lot of memorable photos.

Signing off…

The introduction of portrait mode in iPhone 7 Plus is just the beginning, as it has just opened doors for future innovation in photography. This is clearly evident with the release of iPhone X, iPhone 8, and other newly released devices. The photography on the iPhone has been going to the next level with better technology enhancement.

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