Live Photo Guide
8 ways to make your photos come to life.
Apple's Live Photos are comprised of a series of burst photos that come to life when you press and hold an image. Apple introduced Live Photos with the iPhone 6s, which means all iPhones released since support the feature.
I came to love Live Photos during a road trip I took last summer. The pictures I took of the ocean are particularly fantastic, because they capture sound too, which means I caught the moving waves and the sound they made. Now it's your turn; here's how to take, edit, add effects, and share Live Photos, as well as how to use Live Photos as wallpaper for your Lock screen.
What Is a Live Photo & How Does It Work?
A Live Photo is a short moving picture. Your iPhone captures audio and images starting 1.5 seconds before and ending 1.5 seconds after you tap the white shutter button to snap a photo. Live Photos appear as stills in the Photos app until you tap and hold the image, bringing it to life. You can simply take your photos as usual, then later on when you're viewing them you can see if you captured any awesome Live Photos.
How to Take Live Photos
If you have an iPhone 6s or newer, your device's Camera app is set to take Live Photos by default. At the very top center, a bullseye-looking icon will be highlighted yellow to indicate that Live Photos is on. To turn Live Photos off, you can tap the yellow icon; it will turn white and say Live Off.
If you turn Live Photos off and exit the Camera app, Live Photos will remain off when the app is reopened. So if you like having the feature on by default, make sure to turn Live Photos on before leaving the Camera app.
How to View a Live Photo
If you have an iPhone or iPad that's running iOS 9 or later, you can view Live Photos by pressing and holding the image. If you're not sure whether a photo is Live or not, check in the left corner of your screen for the word Live in gray. You can also press and hold to find out (this works with thumbnails as well as full screen images) or scroll through individual photos and notice the ones that move as you scroll.
If you're viewing photos on a Mac running OS X El Capitan or later, you can play Live Photos in the Photos app by tapping the Live button in the corner.
How to Edit a Live Photo
To edit a Live Photo, find a picture in the Photos app and tap the Edit icon at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can add a filter, alter brightness and saturation, and crop the Live Photo. Tap Done to save your changes. Now press and hold the image to see it come to life with the changes you just made. If you decide you don't like the changes, tap the Edit icon again for the option to revert to the original version.
Turn Your Live Photos into GIFs
With iOS 11, you can now turn your Live Photos into GIFs within the Photos app! There are two GIF options on your iPhone now: Loop, which continuously replays the clip; and Bounce, which plays the sequence backward and forward. To get started, first open the Photos app and then select the Live Photo you want to turn into a GIF. Swipe up to reveal Effects. You'll see Loop and Bounce. Tap on each to see what it looks like. Choose the option you like best. If you look in the Albums view in the Photos app, you can find all the Live Photos you've applied effects to as well as other GIFs you've saved in a new album titled Animated.
How to Save Stills of a Live Photo
Apple has added the ability to easily choose your own key photo so you're no longer stuck with the moment Apple's algorithm thinks is best. This makes Live a very attractive setting to use for group photos or action shots, where it can traditionally be difficult to snap the exact right moment. Now you're able to go in afterward and find the best moment yourself.
To do this, open the Live Photo in question and tap Edit in the upper right corner. You'll see all the frames of the Live Photo and will be able to choose which still image to use. Drag
your finger over the timeline to scrub through the sequence. When you find the key frame you want to represent your Live Photo, stop scrolling and tap Make Key Photo, then tap Done. In the editing menu, you can also trim the three-second clip by dragging the edges of the timeline in if you wish.
How to Share Live Photos
When you share Live Photos, keep in mind that not all services support the feature and may display them as still photos. However, if you send a Live Photo to someone with an iPhone 6s or later using iMessage, iCloud Photo Sharing, Facebook, or AirDrop, they will be able to press and hold to view the photo live. To share a Live Photo, open the Photos app and find an image with the word Live in the top left corner before tapping the Share icon. Make sure to use the Messages app, AirDrop, or iCloud Photo Sharing. Using Mail will just send the still image. If you'd like to share a Live Photo as a still, you can tap the Live button to turn the moving image into a regular photo before tapping the Share icon.
You can share Live Photos that you've applied Loop and Bounce effects to and have them play continuously for your recipient if you send them to other iOS devices running iOS 11. However, when you share Loop or Bounce videos with devices running older versions of iOS or non-iOS devices, they will appear as a video file. How they appear in other messaging and social media platforms varies by service.
How to Share Live Photos on Facebook
Facebook is one of the only social media sites that's currently able to share Live Photos (aside from Tumblr). The slightly tricky part to remember is that you can't share Live Photos to Facebook from the Photos app. To share Live Photos to Facebook, you'll need to do so from within the Facebook app. Here's how: Open the Facebook app and start a new status by tapping “What's on your mind?” Then tap Photo/Video. Find the Live Photo you want to share, and tap Done. Tap the Live button in the lower right corner of the photo to include motion and audio. Each time you post a Live Photo to Facebook, you have to turn on the Live part of the photo or it will share as a still. Tap Post, and you're done! All iPhone users with iOS 9 or later will be able to play your Live Photo from Facebook by using 3D Touch (if available on their device) or tapping and holding the Live Photo to play the three-second video.
How to Use Live Photos as a Live Wallpaper
One of my favorite places to view my Live Photos is on my Lock screen. Live wallpapers appear stationary until you activate 3D Touch or tap and hold the screen. I've used photos from my summer road trip as my wallpaper so I can feel immersed in that trip whenever I pick up my iPhone. The easiest way to assign a Live Photo to your Lock screen is to find a picture in the Photos app, tap the Share icon, and select Use as Wallpaper (Note that you can't use Live Photos as your Home screen wallpaper, just your Lock screen). Move and scale the photo as you see fit, and make sure you've selected Live Photo, not Still. When you're satisfied, tap Set. Now you can view a fun moment from your Lock screen whenever you feel like it!