You can take great photos of your pets with the new iPhone


When Apple introduced portrait mode, anyone who had an iPhone 7 or newer received an instant upgrade in their photography skills. No longer did people require a fancy-schmancy DSLR with manual mode expertise to snap professional-looking photos with the tell-tale blurry background (called bokeh if you’re in the know) and crisp subject.

Now Apple has done it again — for pets!

The new iPhone 11 boasts an updated portrait mode, which is optimized for better photographs of people, pets and objects. According to the Apple website, this mode features additional lighting controls and new options for portrait types of both four-legged and two-legged friends thanks to a dual-lens camera.


It’s all an update of the iPhone XR, which only had a single-lens camera. The previous portrait mode worked better with humans than with pets or objects. Now with the upgraded dual lens, the camera will “better detect” subjects and set the bokeh-style background better. The front-facing cameras also get an upgrade from seven to 12 megapixels, because you’ll want to up your pup selfie game too.

So how can you make the most of these new features? Follow a few pet photography tips from Theron Humphrey, who shares photographs of his dog, Maddie, and gained an audience of 1.3 million followers on his Instagram account, @ThisWildIdea.

1. Create weird moments and embrace the quirky in order to create more interesting photos. For example, his dog is well-known for her ability to sit on things, including backpacks, paint cans, flowerpots and even Humphrey’s back.

2. Set up your photo before adding in your pet. Check the shadows and light and arrange objects in and around the frame. Once the background looks the way you want it to, then you can add in your pet.

3. Give your pet time to get comfortable. They’ll get more photogenic with time, and moreso in spaces and scenarios with which they’re familiar.

4. Shoot in burst mode. He says to shoot a lot more photos than you think you need. This enables you to capture the “moment in between,” which is often the best.

iphone camera photo
Getty Images | George Frey

5. Always focus on the pet’s eyes when shooting. Humphrey’s trick for getting your dog to look at the camera lens is to hold a treat right above the camera.

6. Use Adobe Lightroom’s free app and shoot in Raw mode for maximum flexibility and better editing afterward. (That is if you’re not using the new pet portrait mode.)

BRB, grabbing the new iPhone and taking my pup out for a photo shoot.

Animals, News, Pets, Technology

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About the Author
Jennifer Nied
Jennifer Nied is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She focuses on beauty, wellness, and travel stories with a background covering the spa industry.

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