Skip to content

Portrait Lighting: Simulated Studio Photography Effects | iPadOS 17 Guide

Portrait Lighting can add studio-style lighting effects to your portrait photographs. This works in conjunction with Portrait Mode, which adds a stylized blurred background while keeping the subject in focus.

To use this feature, you’ll need an iPad Pro from 2018 or later.

Open the Camera app and select Portrait from the shooting options on the right. You’ll see a carousel of lighting options appear on the left: natural, studio, contour, stage, and stage mono. Each of these simulates a different array of lights, with the stage lighting effects dropping the entire background to black for an impressive spotlight effect.

Swipe through these and tap one to select it. You’ll see a live preview of the effect. Then just hit the shutter button to take the photo as usual.

One of the best things about Portrait Lighting is that the effect isn’t permanent. You can adjust or disable it later if you change your mind, or shoot without a lighting effect and add one later one.

To change the lighting effects on an existing Portrait shot, open theĀ Photos app and find the picture you wish you adjust. Tap theĀ Edit button in the top right, and if it’s a compatible picture the same carousel of lighting options will be present.