How To Blur Background on iPhone

How To Blur Background On Iphone 1

Suppose you use Instagram and see stunning photos from professional photographers. You may want to achieve that, but those are taken from expensive DSLRs. But how can you achieve bokeh in your iPhone photos?

Quick Answer

You can take blurry background photos by using Portrait Mode on your iPhone. Open the Camera app and choose “Portrait Mode” to take captivating images.

This article will teach you various ways to blur a photo’s background on an iPhone, whether it’s already blurry or not.

Method #1: iPhone’s Native Portrait Mode

Modern-day phones aren’t capable of producing mechanical bokeh in photos like DSLRs, but they still manage to blur the photo’s background. How’s that possible?

Like other phones, iPhones can introduce blur in pictures using algorithms and software. Latest iPhones have Portrait Mode built-in to capture captivating portraits close to an expensive camera. 

Keep in Mind

Portrait Mode is available on iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and newer models.

How To Blur a Photo’s Background Using Portrait Mode

Here’s how you can capture portraits on your iPhone using Portrait Mode.

  1. Open the iPhone’s Camera app and select “Portrait Mode” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Make sure the subject is between two and eight feet from the camera.
  3. Compose your photo and wait for the yellow box to appear on the screen. 
  4. When the word “Natural Light” appears, it means your subject is in focus, and the background is blurred. 
  5. Press the shutter button to capture the image.

How To Change Bokeh In Your Portraits

Did you know you can alter the background blur of your portraits in post-production? The latest iPhones offer you the freedom to do so. Follow these steps to change the background blur of your pictures on your iPhone.

  1. Open your portrait in the Photos app.
  2. You’ll see the edit button in the top-right corner. Tap it.
  3. Press the “f/number icon” on the top-left corner.
  4. Slide the “Depth Slider” to adjust blurriness in your picture.
Quick Tip

In Depth Slider, a low f/number gives you more blur, whereas a high f/number gives you more detail.

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Here are some tips and tricks to remember.

  • To remove the blur in your photo, tap the yellow “Portrait” option, and the background blur will be removed. You can introduce blur again by pressing the “Portrait” option again.
  • iPhone also offers different lighting effects to enhance your photos. Tap the “Portrait Lightning” icon on the top left of the screen.
  • You can try different lighting effects by swiping the “Portrait Lightning” icon at the bottom of the screen. 
  • Studio light is the most popular lighting effect. You can try different lighting styles to match your taste. 

Method #2: Get Closer to Your Subject For Background Blur

If you want to use a high-quality camera on your iPhone which doesn’t have Portrait Mode, you can still introduce background blurriness in your photos. There’s a simple trick to it: get closer to your subject. 

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As you approach your subject, you’ll have a more shallow depth of field. It means you’ll have your subject in focus and more background blur

The more you can distance your subject from the background, the more background blur the picture will have. 

But if you come too much closer to your subject, your camera may lose focus on the subject. That’s due to its limiting focal length. 

How To Get Sharp Close-Up Photos

You can use a macro lens like Moment Macro Lens to take more close-up photos. This investment will bring your maco photography game up. You’ll be able to take photos of tiny flowers, insects, or grains of salt.

When shooting closer subjects, it’s important to focus them accurately, and here’s how you can do it.

  1. When taking a picture, tap your subject, and a yellow box will appear, indicating your focus point
  2. Hold down onto your subject to lock focus and exposure. 
  3. Once you’ve composed your shot, press the shutter.

Method #3: Use a Third-Party App To Blur the Background

If you’ve got a picture not taken in Portrait Mode, you can still add blur in the background. How?

There’re various third-party apps available on App Store which allow you to edit your photos. Some of them have features to add blur in the background or specific parts of your photograph. 

There’re apps like After Focus, Photoshop, and many more, but for the tutorial, we’ll focus on Snapseed

How To Edit Photos on Snapseed

  1. Download Snapseed from the App Store and open it. 
  2. Open your photo library and choose the photo you want to edit.
  3. Tap “Tools” and scroll through it. 
  4. Choose the “Lens Blur” option. A circle will appear on your picture to select a portion of the image you want to focus on.
  5. Adjust the circle according to your desired focus area.
  6. You can tap the “Edit Slider” option to make adjustments like the strength of blur, size of transition, and vignette strength. Play with adjustments and blur the image to your liking. 
  7. Once you’re happy with the picture, press the checkmark icon in the lower-right corner.
  8. Select “Export“, and share with your friends. 


Background blur is always a nice thing to have in your photos. Even though iPhones can’t achieve bokeh like DSLRs, the magic software can make your pictures pop out. 

iPhone offers portrait mode to take stunning photographs, but you can always resort to third-party apps to make them more appealing. Try different blur effects and see what makes you stand in the crowd. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I turn any picture into a portrait on an iPhone?

Yes, you can resort to third-party apps to add blur to the background. You can also capture the image closer to the subject to make it like a portrait. 

Can I blur a specific part of a picture on an iPhone?

You can blur a particular photograph piece by editing it on the iPhone Photo app. You can also add lens blur and vignette to a specific part using apps like Snapseed.

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