iPhone Portrait Mode Tricks

April 26, 2020

Everyone LOVES a photo in portrait mode. The technology behind it, especially with the latest apple update, is pretty incredible. That being said, there are a lot of features that are available in portrait mode are kind of unnecessary. I personally just use the natural light portrait mode setting – so that’s what we’re going to focus on today! Here are a few things you should know when deciding whether or not to use it on your next set of iPhone photos.

First… use natural light – and a lot of it! I know I sound like a broken record… but it’s just that much better. Seriously. The colors, the skin tones, the shadows… it’s just so much more real looking with natural light. Also most overhead artificial lighting (think your living room lights) just don’t produce enough light to get a clean portrait mode photo.

Left – portrait mode photo in a room with overhead lights. When taking the photo, it seemed like the room was plenty bright. Artificial light is deceiving! Right is same baby boy, but natural light! These are unedited to show you the quality difference with no help from me on the back end.

Related… if it’s not a well lit situation – just don’t use portrait mode. You need lots of light for it!

Second… this amazing portrait mode feature is really meant to be for stationary subjects. I, of course, use it for my kids anyway, but if they’re running and playing I know there’s a much higher chance my picture will be out of focus if I take it in portrait mode.

These also take a bit more time to process than normal iPhone photos – so there can be a lag if you’re trying to snap snap snap for the perfect (read: only) second your toddler is actually smiling!

He’s on the move on the left – portrait mode and BLURRY. But sitting still (and mad he already emptied that egg HAHA) on the right. MUCH cleaner photo!

Third… the less people, the better! If you have more than one person in a portrait mode shot, try to keep them on the same “plane” of field; keep them both the same distance away from the phone. The more even they are, the more in focus the shot will be.

BUT! If you take one in portrait mode and one subject is not in focus, you can always edit in your camera to fix that. You can change the aperture (or f number) once you take the photo – here’s an example of how to do it!

Hope these few tips will help you with your iPhone Portrait Mode photos! Tag me on instagram in your favorite portrait mode photo on your camera roll!


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