How to blur background on iphone?


Nothing captures a person’s essence or a specific moment in time like a perfectly composed photograph. Composition is often achieved by showing the foreground in crisp clarity and blurring the background to frame the subject, which enhances the photo.

There is no doubt that anyone who has even a passing interest in photography is familiar with those stunning Instagram portraits featuring strikingly blurred backgrounds. Perhaps you’ve even tried to recreate the look yourself. If you want a nice blurry background in your photos, it’s not necessary to have a fancy DSLR camera. 

Even older iPhone models can create blurred backgrounds with a few additional steps, newer models of the iPhone make it easier. Three easy ways how to blur background on iPhone are we are going to show you in this article.

How to blur background on iPhone?

It is most often the background that is blurred while the main subject remains in focus when part of a photo is blurred on iPhone. The iPhone allows you to achieve this through the use of Portrait mode. If you don’t have Portrait mode on your phone, however, you can still blur the background so the focus is on your subject. You can blur a photo background on the iPhone in a few different ways.

1. Use the iPhone’s Portrait mode

For iPhone users, using the Portrait mode is the easiest way to blur background – or achieve a bokeh effect. This feature is not available on every iPhone because dual cameras are necessary to work properly. 

Note: There is a portrait mode only for the iPhone 7 and 8 Plus and the iPhone X and 11 (all models).

By using Portrait mode, you can blur the background of the photo

If you own one of these iPhone models, you should definitely use Portrait mode. Blurring photos with the iPhone is easy, and the results look amazing without any editing. On your iPhone, you can blur the background by using Portrait mode.

  • Launch the Camera app on iPhone.
  • Above the shutter button, select Portrait to take a portrait photo.
  • Below your shutter will appear an additional menu with various portrait lighting options. From studio lights to natural lighting to contour lights, you can select what you like.
  • You can use your phone’s camera to take pictures of your subject. Depending on how your iPhone perceives the subject, you may have to move closer or farther away.
  • In Portrait mode, the lighting banner will become yellow when your composition is determined to be ideal.
  • A shutter button will appear.

How do I adjust the background blur while taking a picture

With the Depth Control feature included on the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and all iPhone 11 models, you can control the amount of blur in your photographs. Let me explain.

  • After you have framed your picture, you have to follow the instructions on the screen and wait for the yellow light to appear.
  • There will be a number and a letter appearing in the corner of the screen to the upper right of the display. Simply tap on the number and the letter to access the slider for depth of field.
  • The shutter button will appear with a measuring line above it.
  • To increase blur, move the slider to the right; to decrease blur, move it to the left. 
  • Tapping the shutter button will result in the desired effect.

After a picture has been taken, how to adjust the background blur

You can also adjust the blur of the background after taking your portrait photo with the iPhone XS or iPhone XR, and iOS 11. Please see the steps below.

  • One of the iPhone models listed above can be used to take a Portrait mode photo.
  • Go to the Photos app and tap Edit. 
  • On the edit screen, you will be able to adjust the depth of your photo.
  • To achieve the desired blur, move the slider.
  • Click the Done button.

How Does Each Portrait Mode Lighting Effect Work?

Having so many lighting effects options in Portrait Mode can make it difficult to know what they all mean. Let’s take a look.

  • Natural Light. A blurry background complements your subject’s sharp face. 
  • Studio Light. By brightening up the face, the overall appearance of the photo is cleaner.
  • Contour Light. Shadows on the face are very dramatic, with a lot of highlights and shadows.
  • Stage Light. Black background with a spotlight on the face.
  • Stage Light Mono. Just like Stage Light, but with black and white photos.
  • High-Key Light Mono. It creates a grayscale background with a white subject.

2. Place the subject closer to the lens

Getting closer to your subject is a decent way to get a blurred background on an iPhone without the Portrait mode. When you approach your subject, and the closer the focus area gets, the shallower the depth-of-field your iPhone utilizes. 

This method may not be as intuitive or straightforward as using Portrait mode, but it can be used with older iPhone models. The key to capturing sharp photographs is balancing the blurring of the background with the sharpness of the main subject.

Taking a blurred background photo on an older iPhone

With an older iPhone, you should be able to get a nice blurred background with a bit of experimentation. See how do I create a nice blur on an older phone.

  • You can practice with a nice subject by opening the iPhone’s Camera app.
  • Put your subject in the middle of your screen at a distance of about 4 feet.
  • Focus and light the subject to achieve the best results.
  • You can do this by tapping your camera’s shutter button.
  • Acquire as much distance as you can without affecting your main subject’s sharpness.
  • Your photo will be most effective if you focus on the subject and blur the background.

3. Using a Photo Editing App to Blur the Background

No matter what iPhone model you own, you can use this last option to blur the background of your iPhone photo.

 You can use these apps to blur the background of your photos, no matter how old they are, no matter when they were taken. Snapseed and Photoshop Express is a free photo editor with many photo editing tools, which allows you to create a blur effect.

How to blur photos on iPhone with Snapseed?

  • Snapseed can be downloaded and opened on an iPhone.
  • Choose a photo from the Photo library and click the screen to open it.
  • Navigate to Tools and select your desired option. Click Lens Blur.
  • You will see a circle around the area you want to keep in focus when you look at your photo.
  • The circle around your subject can be made smaller or longer by pinching your fingers together.
  • Sliding the edit slider on the bottom of the screen allows you to change blur strength, transition size, and vignette strength.
  • Tap the checkmark in the lower right when you are satisfied with the results.
  • Save or share your work by selecting Export.


How to blur photos on iPhone with Photoshop Express?

  • Select a photo to edit.
  • Scroll down the menu and tap Blur, then tap Adjustments.
  • You can now drag the circle over your main subject to make it appear on the screen.
  • The slider can be used to change the amount of blur, and your fingers can be used to change the size of the circle.
  • To add a photo to your library, tap the upload icon at the top of the screen when you are finished editing.

When it comes to creating a stunning portrait, creating a blurred background is one of the best ways to make your subject stand out against the background as much as possible. You can blur the background of your iPhone photos if you want to achieve some nice effects on your photos if you shoot with an iPhone camera.

Final thoughts

The following are the 3 most intuitive ways on how to blur the background on an iPhone. From your smartphone, you can take the perfect portrait pictures by using any of the methods above. Let me know if you have any questions about how to blur background on iPhone in the comment section below.

You can also read 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here