Every recent iPhone on the market is currently delivered with Portrait Mode in its camera app. This is a DSLR grade camera feature that artistically adjusts Portrait photos for background blur, lighting, and depth effects.
The default iPhone Camera app mode is Photo, and to keep switching it to Portrait mode every time can prove tedious. To take those spur of the moment with Portrait mode as your default, set to open iPhone camera to Portrait mode automatically.
What is the iPhone camera app Portrait mode?
In all compatible models, Portrait mode lets you take pictures that keep the subject sharpened, but the background is blurred. This is an in-built feature if the iPhone camera app, and it also allows you to add effects such as lighting or depth.
Clever software lets users in iOS 10.2, and later let’s set the default camera mode. Essentially, you can open the camera in Photo as the default mode, Square, Time-Lapse, Panorama, Video, Slow-Motion, and Portrait.
Portrait mode fine-tuning or settings are largely automatic, but you can adjust subject specification and the lighting exposure. Simply tap on the effect you want to add, and you’ll see a preview of the filtered picture.
For Portrait mode to work, especially when using the rear-facing camera(s), have the subject stand about 1.6 to 8.2 feet away from the iPhone. If they are too close, the inbuilt effects won’t work, plus you’ll keep getting a warning.
Setting Portrait mode automatically as your default camera opening option is available on the following iPhone models;
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone SE (2nd generation)
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 11
- iPhone X
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
Portrait mode on iPhone acts as an incredible tool for taking stunning selfies that have a professional finish. Your face will appear sharper than the background, which appears muted or blurred.
This is useful for emphasizing the finer features of the Portrait’s subject, making them stand out. It’s especially essential when the background is distracting, busy, or messy, as the blur takes a viewer’s attention to the picture’s main subject.
How to open your iPhones camera app to Portrait each time
Some iPhones, like the single rear camera XR model, use algorithm computation to apply visual effects and detect a human face. Without this feature, however, you can set your iPhone to open the camera app directly in Portrait mode.
To set Portrait as the default camera app launching mode on your iPhone;
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll to the ‘Photos & Camera’ segment
- On the Photos and Camera page, find and tap on ‘Preserve Settings’
- Under Preserve Settings, scroll to find ‘Camera Mode’ and toggle the button to the green ON position
- Next, open the iPhone Camera app and select the Portrait mode
- The Preserve Settings feature under Photos and Camera makes default the last-used mode, so next time you open the camera app, it’ll be in Portrait mode.
But the Portrait mode default setting will be erased if you’ve used Photo or Time Lapse mode before you leave the app. The next time you use your iPhone camera, you’ll find the last mode setting which was used preserved. If you use your iPhone camera predominantly in Portrait mode, you’ll appreciate the setting preservation tip.
Another downside is that you can’t use HDR settings with a preserved default Portrait mode. There was a time that iOS used to preserve HDR settings, but now it switches itself off after you exit the camera app.
If you want your Portrait selfies in HDR mode, that’s one option you have to keep toggling. You can use pre-defined Portrait Lighting effects that include Natural Light as the default, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono.
Why set your iPhone to automatically launch on Portrait mode?
One of the good things about Portrait mode on your iPhone Camera app is that it works with both rear and front-facing cameras. When you lense-reverse from the front to the back, all Portrait mode effects, such as lighting and depth, can still be used and adjusted.
A real-time preview of the effects for your Portrait photo is shown on your iPhones screen. When taking photos in this Portrait mode, you can swipe between varieties of lighting effects as they appear underneath the viewfinder.
Selecting one of the previews automatically applies it to the Portrait mode selfie or subject photo that you take.
You can also adjust the level of lighting intensity or background blur after you’ve taken your Portrait mode snap. To do this, open the picture in your photo library and select Edit, then tap on a button labeled ‘Portrait Lighting.’ You can also adjust ‘Depth Control’ to adjust the background blurring effect.
To take stellar Portrait mode photos, find a shaded area with the sun behind the subject, creating a soft backlight. Pull the exposure parameter down a tad for more cinematic images.
The Perfect Shot
With the preserve settings feature under photos and camera settings, your iPhone can revert to Portrait mode even after exiting the camera app. If you don’t save the settings, the camera app goes back to the default Photo mode after 30 seconds of closing it.
You are now set to start your next photoshoot with the best features in iPhone photography, so grab your tripod and head out to capture something beautiful.