Take Portrait mode photos with your iPhone camera

Take Portrait mode photos with your iPhone camera

With Camera on models that support Portrait mode, you can apply a depth-of-field effect that keeps your subject—people, pets, objects, and more—sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background. You can apply and adjust different lighting effects to your Portrait mode photos, and on iPhone X and later, you can even take a selfie in Portrait mode.

Take a photo in Portrait mode

On iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and later, you can apply studio-quality lighting effects to your Portrait mode photos.

The Camera screen in Portrait mode; in the view finder, the subject is sharp and the background is blurred. The dial to select Portrait lighting effects is open in the bottom of the frame and Studio Light is selected. At the top left of the screen is the Flash button, at the top center is the Camera Controls button, and at the top right of the screen are the buttons to adjust Portrait lighting intensity and depth control. At the bottom of the screen are, from left to right, the Photo and Video Viewer button, the Take Picture button, and the Camera Chooser Back-Facing button.
  1. Choose Portrait mode.

  2. Follow the tips onscreen to frame your subject in the yellow portrait box.

  3. Drag the Portrait Lighting control to choose a lighting effect:

    • Natural Light: The face is in sharp focus against a blurred background.

    • Studio Light: The face is brightly lit, and the photo has an overall clean look.

    • Contour Light: The face has dramatic shadows with highlights and lowlights.

    • Stage Light: The face is spotlit against a deep black background.

    • Stage Light Mono: The effect is similar to Stage Light, but the photo is in classic black and white.

    • High-Key Light Mono: Creates a grayscale subject on a white background (available on iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and later).

  4. Tap the Shutter button to take the shot.

After you take a photo in Portrait mode, you can remove the Portrait mode effect if you don’t like it. In the Photos app , open the photo, tap Edit, then tap Portrait to turn the effect on or off.

Note: On iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Night mode turns on when you take a Portrait mode photo in low-light situations with the Wide (1x) lens. To learn more about Night mode, see Take Night mode photos.

Note: On iPhone XR, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono, and High-Key Light Mono are only available when you use the front camera.

Adjust Depth Control in Portrait mode

On iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and later, use the Depth Control slider to adjust the level of background blur in your Portrait mode photos.

The Camera screen in Portrait mode. The Depth Adjustment button in the top-right corner of the screen is selected. In the view finder, a box shows that the Portrait Lighting option is set to Natural Light, and there’s a slider to change the lighting option. Below the view finder, there is a slider to adjust the Depth Control.
  1. Choose Portrait mode, then frame your subject.

  2. Tap the Depth Adjustment button in the top-right corner of the screen.

    The Depth Control slider appears below the frame.

  3. Drag the slider to the right or left to adjust the effect.

  4. Tap the Shutter button to take the shot.

After you take a photo in Portrait mode, you can use the Depth Control slider in Photos to further adjust the background blur effect. See Edit Portrait mode photos.

Adjust Portrait Lighting effects in Portrait mode

On iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and later, you can virtually adjust the position and intensity of each Portrait Lighting effect to sharpen eyes or brighten and smooth facial features.

  1. Choose Portrait mode, then drag the Portrait Lighting control to choose a lighting effect.

  2. Tap the Portrait Control button at the top of the screen.

    The Portrait Lighting slider appears below the frame.

  3. Drag the slider to the right or left to adjust the effect.

  4. Tap the Shutter button to take the shot.

After you take a photo in Portrait mode, you can use the Portrait Lighting slider in Photos to further adjust the lighting effect. See Edit Portrait mode photos.

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