Domin8 Designs Blog

iPhone Tip: Using Portrait Mode to capture better photos

“Dom, how do you get those photos up so clear?” Harrison asked.

This was a question from the team captain on a recent primary school athletics trip.

Following his own success on the track and in the field, we captured a few photos to share on social media.

Although the jury is still out on the phone vs proper camera debate, the secret to the successful photos Harry was talking about lies in the iPhone’s Portrait Mode.

comparative image of two dog photos
A normal photos (left) versus Portrait Mode (right)

Before getting started, it's important to note that this mode, through the iPhone's camera app, is only available on the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X-series.

Tutorial - How to use the iPhone's Portrait Mode:

Step one. Unlock your phone and open the "Camera" app.

iphone screenshot highlighting camera app
Select the Camera app on your iPhone


Step two. From the options down the bottom of the app, select PORTRAIT. If this is not available, you may need to update your iPhone or this mode may not be available on your device.

screenshot of iphone to select potrait mode
Once the Camera app is open, select the Portrait mode.


Step three. Frame your subject and shot.

A helpful tip for this step is to follow the prompts on screen about moving closer or further back. These will appear at the top of the screen, and you'll need some patience here to get the framing right.

The main areas should turn yellow when correctly framed and ready to take your photo.

screenshot of iPhone showing a dog
Frame your subject, following the prompts and waiting for the yellow indicators

Step four. Capture the shot.

Following the steps above and the on-screen prompts, hit the capture button to grab that shot.

Dog sitting up for photo
Here's our shot of Samuel getting into his Christmas spirit


That's it!

Your image is now saved to your camera roll where you can view it and share it.

Here are some of my tips to really get the most out of Portrait Mode:

  • Make sure that you have plenty of adequate lighting both in general and around the subject;
  • I'd always advise taking more than one shot - both as a fail safe but also to get a different perspective;
  • Tap to focus can help both you, and the camera, frame up the shot and subject;
  • You can swipe or press along the "natural light" area to change the artificial lighting setup;

Hopefully, you'll find this quick tip useful particularly in the lead up to Christmas. It's quick and easy way to capture beautiful photos of your family and friends.

If you take any photos using Portrait Mode, feel free to share them with us by tagging Domin8 Designs on Instagram with your new photo or sending us a message on Facebook.

- Dom

iPhone Tip: Using Portrait Mode to capture better photos
iPhone Tip: Using Portrait Mode to capture better photos
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