Guide to using ‘Portrait’ Mode On Your iPhone Camera

What is ‘Portrait Mode’?

Portrait mode is where your camera is able to focus on a specific point or subject, this remains sharp and the background turns blurry. If you’ve ever heard of the term ‘Depth of field’ this is the what the camera is trying to emulate. 

It’s a great way to separate your subject from a busy background or to create more ‘depth’ in your photos. 

Portrait mode is a camera function that is available in all phones above and including the iPhone 7 plus & Samsung Galaxy S9. 

How to work ‘portrait mode’ on your Iphone camera

  1. Open up your camera icon on your phone, either from the home screen icon or swipe up from the bottom of your phone.
  2. You’ll see a list of modes just above the white ‘camera button’, swipe your finger along to the left until your mode says ‘PORTRAIT’ (written in yellow when active).
  3. You can’t be too close or too far way from the subject to make this work, bonus is you’ll receive a warning message if you’re too close ‘move further away’ or too far away ‘move closer’ so the camera mode will guide you.
  4. In some newer models of the iPhone you can apply preset filters in ‘portrait mode’, like natural light, studio light, etc. Give these a go, but I prefer to capture shots without these ‘filters’ and apply changes to the photo in my editing process.
  5. To take the shot, tap and hold your finger on screen where the subject is, this will select your focus point and give you the ability to change the exposure with the ‘sun symbol’ (which I’ve explain in a previous email). Once you have focused and adjusted your exposure, press the white shutter button to capture.

More ‘Portrait’ mode tips

  1. Good lighting is always important with any photography, so choose a soft natural lit area to achieve optimum results.
  2. Stay still, you need to keep you body still when shooting, especially when using portrait mode as there’s a slight delay after you press the shutter. Also your subject needs to be still too.
  3. Distance, be mindful of being too close or too far away for the mode to work effectively.
  4. Portrait mode works better when there’s a decent amount of room between the subject and the background.

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