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How to Take Awesome Live Photos with Your iPhone

on Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:07 am

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If you purchased a new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, then you may be loving the new Live Photos feature. If you aren’t, then maybe you just haven’t become well acquainted with it. Here’s what Live Photos are, and how to take them.

The best way to describe a Live Photo is to compare it to an animated GIF. You take a photo of your subject, which should be moving, and the camera on the 6s will actually capture a short movie that, when you view it applying pressure using 3D Touch, will spring to life.

What’s really happening is the camera is taking a short video. If you look at the file it creates, you’ll actually see it is a small MOV file. This file will take up much more amount of space than a simple still photo, so the moral of the story is you should use Live Photos selectively.

Live Photos are one of the coolest features to appear on an iPhone and we wholly recommend you check them out. For the rest of this article, we want to talk a bit about the best way to take Live Photos, and how to turn them off (or on) as needed.

Make Sure Your Subject is Moving but You Are Not
The whole point of Live Photos is to create short movies that animate when you touch them. To that end, it’s absolutely necessary you shoot something that is moving, whether it’s the ferris wheel at the carnival or your cat licking its chops after eating, Live Photos are only effective when there is motion.

The other important thing to know is because you’re essentially shooting a movie, a Live Photo will take just a few seconds longer than regular photos to capture. You can tell when a Live Photo is being shot because a “Live” box will appear in the center of the upper portion of the camera view.

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Once this box disappears, you know your Live Photo is done, and you can then view it in Photos. To fully capture your subject’s motion, you will need to keep the camera focused on it until it is done.

You will need to remain fairly still so that your Live Photo doesn’t come out all shaky. Practice breathing slowly when you tap the shutter button and use the Volume Up button for best results.

Also, keep in mind Live Photos will record sound as well, so make sure you don’t say anything that you otherwise wouldn’t want heard.

Turning Live Photos Off or On
If you bought yourself a new iPhone then Live Photos will be enabled by default. You can tell by the icon on the camera screen. This icon can be tapped at any point to either turn the feature off, which is recommended if you want to save storage space and you’re just taking regular stills.

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If it isn’t enabled and you want to take a Live Photo, then simply tap the icon to activate the feature.

Setting a Live Photo as Live Wallpaper
You’re not limited to simply having Live Photos, you can also display them as Live Wallpaper on your lock screen. To do this, open the Settings and tap “Wallpaper”.

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On the next screen, we could tap the “Live” option and choose from any of the preexisting Live Wallpapers, but in this case, we’re going to tap “All Photos” to access our camera roll.

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From our photos, we’ll choose our Live Photo to set as our Lock Screen wallpaper.

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Upon choosing our Live Photo, we’ll need to set it. Obviously we want to choose the “Live Photo” option. To test it, you can press on the screen to animate it, otherwise tap “Set”.

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The next screen is going to ask you whether you want to set your Live Photo as the lock screen, home screen, or both. You can choose any or all but in order for the Live Photo to function as a Live Wallpaper, it has to be set as your lock screen.

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Now your lock screen will be then set with your Live Photo and when you press on it, it will animate.

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Live Photos are one of the more exciting features to appear on a mobile phone platform in a while. It’s an interesting concept and is sure to appeal to a variety of folks who want to add a little something more to their cherished memories; a short moment of time they can play back whenever they want to revisit something.

It’s important to remember, Live Photos take quite a bit more storage space so make sure that (a) if you are taking them, that you delete the ones you don’t want and (b) if you intend to take stills, turn off the Live Photos feature as we described earlier.

Play around with it, find moving subjects, and make sure you try to stay very still, and you should be able to capture some really intriguing moving shots. Again remember, Live Photos also record sound so keep that in mind.
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