Pro Photographers Share How to Get the Most Out of the iPhone 7 Plus' Portrait Mode

Published On 12/06/2016 Published On 12/06/2016

Even before Apple officially announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this fall, it was clear the latter (and bigger) phone's flagship dual-lens camera and depth-of-field effect would be one of the greatest new features from the tech giant in years. Although the new feature, Portrait mode, is still in beta almost three months later, Apple just shared a handful of quick tips from professional photographers on Tuesday to help you get the most out of it right now.

The pro shooters range from celebrity portrait photographer to globetrotting travel photographers, each providing simple insights on how you can wield your shiny piece of technology to take better -- and, hopefully -- stunning photos. After all, you paid at least $769 for the damn thing, so you should probably put it to good use.

Here are their best tips, via a press release from the company: 

Jeremy Cowart/Courtesy of Apple

Jeremy Cowart, celebrity photographer

Cowart suggests you should "cut out the distractions from your subject" by minimizing the background. As for lighting, he says you should "try to find the shade and put the sun behind your subject as a nice back light." Another helpful tip: "pulling the exposure down just a hair really makes my images look more cinematic."

JerSean Golatt, fashion and lifestyle photographer

"Get up close to your subject to bring out the details."

Benj Haisch, wedding photographer

For Haisch, good lighting is key. 

"Having soft, diffused lighting will help with keeping the photo flattering to your subject," he said. "Find a space that isn't too busy or distracting, as Portrait mode will create a photo that really pops."

Pei Ketron, travel photographer

Obsessively photograph your dog or cat? This one's for you: Ketron said you should give your pet some space when using Portrait mode. Treats help, too.

"Portrait mode uses the telephoto lens, so a distance of about eight feet away is recommended," she said. "Have treats ready. You'll get the best results when your subject isn't moving."

All said, lighting and distance from the subject appear to be the most important factors to consider when using Portrait mode, but composing a photo with minimal complications in the background will likely give you the best results. Have fun racking up all those Instagram likes. 

h/t 9to5Mac

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and finally took advantage of the iPhone 7 Plus' Portrait Mode on a recent trip to Central Park. It was awesome. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.



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