Portrait vs Landscape Mode

Last Updated on April 3, 2021

If you are a person who loves taking photos with your smart phone, then you’ve likely heard the terms portrait and landscape mode. But what do these two modes do? What is the difference between them?

This article will explain what these two modes are and how they affect your photos, as well as a few tricks for making use of both!

What Are Portrait and Landscape Modes?

camera selfie with group of friends

Landscape mode is when you take a photo with your phone by positioning it sideways. Wide-angle lenses are highly sought after in photography because they allow you to capture more of the scene by nearly doubling the width of what you’re taking a picture of. They also help reduce distortion and provide a greater sense of depth in the picture.

Landscapes typically take up the entire frame, so any change in perspective is nearly unnoticeable. Since this mode gives you nearly a full view of the subject, landscape photos tend to be close in to the subject. This is important to note because depending on your distance from the subject and how wide-angle your lens is, you can distort what you’re taking a photo of.

Portrait mode is very different than the normal way you take pictures with your phone. It’s when you hold the phone up, so it’s almost like a mirror in front of you. The subject of the photo appears to be nearly as large as the frame of the picture, so you can have a close-up shot, but it still takes up all of the space in your photo.

Portrait mode is perfect for selfies, as they are typically the only time you’ll have your phone up high. Plus, anything that can be cropped into a selfie is usually a great way to stand out in the crowd!

Tips for Using Landscape/Portrait Mode

If these modes seem a little confusing and you’re not sure what to do with it, there are some tricks you can use to make use of both.

Let’s say you’re taking a landscape or selfie with your phone and you want to include more of the same scene in the photo. If your lens is wide-angle, try positioning your phone vertically so that more of the background can be included. It will help make the photo look more like a photograph as opposed to just an idea.

If you’ve taken a portrait or selfie and you get too close to your subject, it distorts the view of your photo. To avoid this from happening, try making sure that you adjust your camera accordingly. In portrait mode, raise the camera to your eye level and keep the phone in front of you.

When using landscape mode, lower your camera to just below your eye level and hold it sideways. It should be at a comfortable height for you. This will help keep the image from becoming distorted and will make it look like a more professional photograph.

When To Use Portrait Mode

couple taking selfie

If you’re taking a photo with your phone and it seems like the subject is too close to the camera, then use portrait mode. It will help keep your subject from appearing blurry when you raise your camera up to your eye level.

To take a selfie, make sure that you hold your phone horizontally or vertically depending on what kind of photo you want to take.

If you’re taking a photo of several people and want a group shot, then portraits are perfect for taking several photos at once. Instead of making everyone line up to take a group photo, simply have them turn towards the camera and raise the phone above your head.

This will give you a more professional-looking photo and it will also help preserve the eyes of your subjects.

When To Use Landscape Mode

phone held showing landscape mode

If you’re taking a photo with your phone and the subject is just out of frame or at an awkward angle, then use landscape mode to help you change things up. It can also help to capture parts of the photo that would normally be out of range when taking a normal photo.

For example, if you’re taking a selfie with your friends and want to include more of their faces in the photo, then switch over into landscape mode to make sure all six of you are included.

The same goes for a group photo. If you’re taking a photo and there are eight of your friends in the frame, then switch into landscape mode to capture all of them at once. This will ensure that none of them will be out of the picture and each person will be able to get their own individual photo.


At the end of the day, portrait and landscape modes are pretty simple to understand. But they do have a few tricks if you find yourself not knowing what to do with it.

For example, if you’re taking a group photo and you accidentally cut someone out of the frame, then move your phone into landscape mode and place yourself in the middle of the group. This will ensure that everyone is included in the shot.

Or maybe you’re taking a selfie with your friends and some of them are standing behind you. In this case, aim your phone’s camera at yourself to fit all of your friends into the shot.