How to use iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode to get pro photo results

How to use Portrait Mode like a pro


The iPhone 7 Plus will completely change your photos.
The iPhone 7 Plus will completely change your photos.
Photo: Apple

Portrait Mode has quickly become the standout feature on the iPhone 7 Plus. When you get the new dual-lens camera in the hands of pro photographers, it’s not hard to see why.

Apple published a new guide today that reveals how photographers are using the new Portrait Mode. Most of the tips are pretty simple and can be mastered quickly.

Here’s how to get the most out of Portrait Mode with iPhone 7 Plus.


Get close

Portrait Mode makes pictures pop.
Portrait Mode makes pictures pop.
Photo: Apple

“Get up close to your subject to bring out the details,” says JerSean Golatt. Portrait Mode is “important for storytelling as a whole and adds value for those with lower than commercial budgets and brings speed to share their stories like never before.”

Simplify the scene

Celebrity photography Jeremy Cowart recommends shooters “cut out the distractions from your subject” by minimizing the backgrounds.

Fine-tune exposure

Lighting is everything.
Lighting is everything.
Photo: Apple

Apple lets you adjust the exposure by dragging the bar down near the focus point. Cowart says “pulling the exposure down just a hair really makes my images look more cinematic.” He also recommends putting your subject in the shade with the sun behind them to create a nice backlit look.

Pet portraits

The iPhone 7 Plus can make your pet pictures look like they were shot by a DSLR. World traveler Pei Ketron advises photographers to “give your pup some space. Portrait mode uses the telephoto lens, so a distance of about eight feet away is recommended. Have treats ready. You’ll get the best results when your subject isn’t moving.”

Find the perfect light

“Having soft, diffused lighting will help with keeping the photo flattering to your subject,” says wedding photographer Benj Haisch. “Find a space that isn’t too busy or distracting, as Portrait mode will create a photo that really pops.”


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.