Take and edit Live Photos

Capture photos that come alive when you touch them. Then you can pick a different key photo, add a fun effect, edit your Live Photo, and share with your family and friends.

Taking a Live Photo on iPhone

Take a Live Photo

With Live Photos, your iPhone records what happens 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture. What you get is more than a great photo; it's a moment captured with movement and sound. You take a Live Photo just like you do a traditional photo:

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Make sure that your Camera is set to photo mode and that Live Photos is turned on. When it's on, you see the Live Photo button  at the top of your Camera.
  3. Hold your iPhone still.
  4. Tap the shutter button .

Live Photos is on by default. If you want to take a still image instead, tap the Live Photos button  to turn off Live Photos. You can preserve your Camera settings so that Live Photos is always on or off. Go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings.

viewing a Live Photo on iPhone

See your photos come to life

After you take a Live Photo, you can relive the moment instantly from the Photos app.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Go to the Photos tab.
  3. Tap the Live Photo.
  4. Firmly press the screen and hold.

You can enjoy your Live Photo every time you unlock your iPhone too. Just set it as your Lock screen wallpaper.

changing the key photo on iPhone

Change your key photo

Want to use a different key photo than the one that you see in your photo library? It's easy to choose a new key photo from the range of frames that make up your Live Photo:

  1. Open the Live Photo.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Move the slider to change the frame.
  4. Release your finger, then tap Make Key Photo.
  5. Tap Done.

You can also toggle the Live Photo effect off when you tap Edit, then tap the Live Photos button . If you change your mind, just tap the Live Photos button  again in Edit.

adding Live Photos effects on iPhone

Add Live Photo effects

With Live Photo effects, your photos can be even more expressive, creative, and just plain fun.

  1. Open the Live Photo.
  2. Swipe up until you see Effects.
  3. Choose Loop, Bounce, or Long Exposure.

Loop: Turn a Live Photo you love into a video loop. Choose an image yourself, or look in the For You tab to see photos that would make great loops.

Bounce: Make your Live Photo rock back and forth. Watch your Live Photo as it happened, then it instantly plays in reverse.

Long Exposure: Capture the elements of time and movement. Create a beautiful effect that used to be possible only with a DSLR camera. Fireworks become bright streaks across the night sky. A waterfall becomes a magical blur.

Edit your Live Photos

Make edits to your Live Photos the same way as any other photo, with the tools built directly into the Photos app. Crop, add filters, adjust the light, and more. You can even trim or mute the sound.

  1. Open the Photos app and tap the Photos tab.
  2. Tap the Live Photo that you want to edit.
  3. Tap Edit, then make your adjustments.
  4. When you're finished, tap Done.


Share your Live Photos

Show off your Live Photos to family and friends. They can view your Live Photo on their iOS device or Mac.

  1. Open the photo that you want to share, then tap the Share button .
  2. If you want to share the still photo and not the Live Photo, tap Live in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose how you want to share your photo. Note that if you share via Mail, the Live Photo is sent as a still image.

When you receive a Live Photo on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via Messages, tap the photo to open it, then firmly press and hold to see it come to life.

If you're using Messages on your Mac, double-click the Live Photo to open it. The Live Photo plays through once. To play it again, click the LIVE button in the bottom-left corner of the photo.

If you edit your Live Photo in a third-party app, you might lose the Live Photo effect.

Learn more

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