Portrait mode, a tool Apple launched last year in beta with the iPhone 7 Plus, quickly became my favorite camera feature. I try to take almost every picture in portrait mode — even ones that I probably shouldn't — because I love it so much. The reason? Simply put, it makes my amateur photos look fancy.
The mode creates a false sense of depth in an image by keeping your subject in focus and blurring the background. You can use portrait mode on any object, but, as its name implies, it works best with portraits.
With the iPhone 8 Plus (and soon to come iPhone X), Apple is giving portrait mode an update and introducing new portrait lighting. (Like the original portrait mode, these are launching in beta.) Facial landmarking technology looks for human features in your shot and allows you to choose from one of five lighting settings that play with shadows, highlights, and even the background of your image. In the five days I've spent testing the iPhone 8 Plus, I haven't been able to stop using them.
Ahead, a breakdown of how to use the new features and when they work best.