How to Shoot in Portrait Mode on your iPhone 7 Plus

By Jacqueline Kim on

Coffee and Instagram—two morning essentials most people can’t live without. We can’t foam your latte but we can give you expert advice on how to take professional quality photos that always stand out from the other millions posting on your favorite social media platform. Want to get the most out of your iPhone 7 Plus camera? Turn on the Portrait Mode feature and strike a pose!


What is Portrait Mode?

Professional photographers use Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus because it creates a sought-after effect called ‘bokeh,’ which simulates a sense of depth in close-up shots. Part of the iOS 10.1 update, this new photo format is an exclusive feature that uses the iPhone 7 Plus twin-lens rear camera. Meaning ‘blur’ in Japanese, bokeh is a popular photography style for portraits because it draws attention to the subject by focusing on the details while blurring the background. 


How to use it

Open the Camera app as you normally would and then swipe left one step to choose the PORTRAIT feature highlighted in yellow from the rotating menu. Place the subject about 2.5 meters away for optimal depth effect. The app offers tips on lighting and composition but once you get a natural feel for what looks right, feel free to ignore the tips and take complete control of the effects. One thing to keep in mind is that the more of a gap between the subject and background, the more magnified the visual effects.

Tap the shutter button and get ready to capture memories of a lifetime. Portrait mode also features a 3 or 10-second timer for selfies with friends or other manipulated shots. Simply tap the clock icon, strike a pose, and say cheese.


Portrait Mode Best Practices

Lighting is key for taking impressive, professional quality photos on your iPhone. Photography pros prefer the effects of natural light, particularly in the early morning or a few hours before sunset. Make sure to shoot in the shade if you can since direct sunlight is too harsh and makes the subject squint.

Another benefit of shade is that it removes shadows to reveal soft and smooth shading created by your subject’s natural features. If a giant blanket of clouds is covering the sky, even better because this kind of weather condition helps enrich the colors and creates visually appealing shadows. Using the compass feature on your iPhone, simply find the direction of the sun and shoot in the other direction, which allows the subject to appear brighter and more pronounced.  

Although the lens is designed to focus on whatever is closest, choose one main focal point so that you’re in creative control of the effects. Experts recommend focusing on the eyes, the window to the soul and the most important aspect of a portrait photo. Considered the sharpest element, the eye works with the bokeh effect to soften the skin around the eyes, which creates even more contrast with sharp and soft details.


Most Popular Subjects to Shoot

The eyes always gravitate towards a clean design with minimal aesthetic and portrait mode enhances this effect by giving the photo a strong contrast between the blurred background and the subject. This feature is also an excellent tool for capturing sharp details on clothing, accessories, and wildlife scenes featuring small subjects such as birds, flowers or little animals.

With the advanced technology of the iPhone 7 Plus camera, simplify your life with one device and capture all the greatest moments like a pro.




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