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How to Convert Normal Photos to Portrait on iPhone 15 and Older Models

There haven’t been any groundbreaking updates to the iPhone 15 lineup, but it wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge the new cameras, at least on the base iPhone 15. There’s an interesting feature; you can take a picture and add the portrait mode depth effect later. Hence, you don’t have to remember to switch to portrait mode every time. Here’s how to convert normal photos to portraits on the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro lineups.

This feature is available on the iPhone 15 Pro, which has the new A17 Pro chip, and on the iPhone 15, which has the A16 Bionic present on the iPhone 14 Pro. What’s amusing is that the iPhone 14 Pro does not get this feature – despite sporting the same chip as the iPhone 15.

Of course, you would find it unfair if you are an iPhone 14 Pro user. So, we’ve also devised a few alternative methods to convert photos to portrait mode on any iPhone variant. For now, here’s what you need to know about the feature on the iPhone 15 lineup.

Add Portrait Mode to an Existing Photo on iPhone 15

Both the A17 Pro and the A16 Bionic have a neural engine and an image-sensing processor that helps run various machine-learning algorithms on photographs to produce a depth of field. Here’s how you can add the bokeh, depth effect to any photograph and make it look like it was captured using the portrait mode.

However, note that you cannot convert every photograph into a portrait. There needs to be a clear subject that your iPhone can detect to add the depth effect.

Step 1: Open the Photos app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Select the photo you want to convert to portrait mode.

Step 3: Tap on the Live icon in the top right corner.

Step 4: If the Portrait Off option is checked, select Portrait.

There you go – you can see that the photo is converted to portrait mode.

Step 6: You can also tap on edit, select Portrait, and move the slider to adjust the aperture and the depth effect.

Also Read: How to edit Portrait Mode photos on iPhone

Additionally, you can also shift the focus when you convert a photo to portrait mode on your iPhone 15. Here’s how you can do it.

Change the Focus When Converting a Photo into a Portrait

Step 1: Open a portrait mode photo or a photo you converted to portrait mode.

Step 2: Tap on Edit.

Step 3: Select Portrait and tap on a different area on the photo to shift the focus. You can shift the focus from the subject to the background if you prefer such an effect.

There you go. That’s how you can convert photos to portrait mode on your iPhone and add depth of field.

Is There a Difference Between Taking a Photo in Portrait Mode And Converting a Photo to Portrait

We’ve been using the iPhone 15 for a week now and haven’t noticed any difference between the two processes. You can either capture a photo in portrait mode directly or convert one into portrait mode, and the quality of the depth effect and the edge detection remain the same.

Look at the two images below – can you guess which one was taken with the portrait mode and which was converted into the portrait mode?

The image on the left was taken in portrait mode, and the image on the right was converted to portrait mode. There’s barely any difference!

However, if you have an older iPhone, a few applications can help you convert a regular photo into a portrait by adding the depth effect. Let us look at them.

3 Apps to Blur the Background of a Photo on an iPhone

The depth effect can be added to regular photos and make it look like it was taken in portrait mode on older iPhones using a few third-party apps. However, you cannot expect results like the iPhone 15, and the depth effect and edge detection are often of sub-par and average quality with these apps.

Having said that, plenty of apps claim to help you with this on the App Store, but only a few produce satisfactory results. Here are three such applications.

1. Google Photos

Google Photos has one of the best set of features to edit photos on your smartphone. However, you need to subscribe to Google One to use many of these features, including the one that lets you convert images to portrait mode.

Once you subscribe to Google One, you can use the Blur tool on photos and adjust the level accordingly to produce the depth effect on your photos. In our opinion, it is the closest to the default portrait mode on the iPhone.

Download Google Photos

2. Phocus: Portrait Mode Camera

Phocus is another free, third-party application to convert photos into portrait mode on your iPhone. You can use the Portrait tool within the app to add the depth effect to pictures. You can also use the slider to adjust the intensity.

Further, the app also provides you with many bokeh effects that you can add to your picture. In conclusion, the results were fine, and the edge detection was surprisingly good for a third-party application.

Download Phocus

3. ReLens Camera

ReLens is another free app that lets you add depth effects to photos on your iPhone. We’re not sure to what extent these claims are true, but the app says it performs an AI analysis of depth information on photos to convert them to portrait mode. You can use the Aperture tab to produce and adjust the depth effect on photos. And we like the edge detection and the depth effect produced by the app.

Download ReLens

FAQs on iPhone 15 Portrait Mode

1. Can you convert photos to portrait mode on iOS 17 on older iPhones? No. You need an iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, or 15 Pro Max to convert photos into portrait mode.
2. Can you convert any photo to portrait mode on iPhone 15? No, you can convert photos taken by your iPhone 15 to portrait mode. You cannot convert old photos.
3. Can I convert photos taken in the front camera to portrait mode on iPhone 15? Yes. You can convert selfies and photos taken on the front camera to portrait mode on iPhone 15.

Every Photo Is a Portrait Mode Photo

‘Hey, can you take one picture in portrait mode as well?’ – is not something that you have to say anymore to your friends while they take your photo. Of course, that is only if you own the new iPhone 15 Series. Let’s hope Apple does some justice and releases this feature as a part of a software update to older iPhones with hardware capable of doing so.

Guiding Tech

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