How to take Live Flash Selfies on your iPhone 6s

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus take selfies to the next level. Not only is there a new 5 megapixel front FaceTime camera but there are two new technologies to make sure you take the brightest and... most magical selfies ever. The first is the new Retina Flash that turns your screen into a 3x lightbox to really help in low light and at night. The second is Live Photos that animates a your selfie with a—fine, I'll say it—Harry Potter-esque flair.

How to launch the selfie camera fast with 3D Touch on your iPhone 6s

If you're already on the Home screen with the Camera app icon, you can use 3D Touch to launch right into a selfie.

  1. Press firmly on the Camera icon to bring up the Home screen actions.
  2. Tap Take Selfie

How to launch the selfie camera with 'Hey Siri!' on your iPhone 6s

If you're not on the Home screen already, Siri can be the fastest way to get to the camera.

  1. Say "Hey Siri, take a selfie!"
  2. Use Touch ID or enter your passcode to unlock, if needed.
  3. Tap the Camera button to switch to the front FaceTime camera.

(Yes, it would be great if Siri automagically switched you to the front camera when the word "selfie" is used, and had a passcode exception the way fast camera access on the Lock screen does—hopefully Apple's working on that.)

How to use the Retina Flash on your iPhone 6s

Apple is using a special chip that briefly illuminates the Retina HD display on the iPhones 6s three times brighter than usual. They're also using the same technology as on the back LED flash to match lighting color and provide for truer tones. That way you'll look better in low light without looking like you're in a nightclub.

The flash should be set to automatic by default but, if it's not or you want to change the settings, you can.

  1. Tap the Flash button at the top left (looks like a lightning bolt).
  2. Tap the option you want: Auto, On, or Off.

You can tell when the flash is set to on by the lightning bolt overlay at the bottom of the view finder. And remember, your iPhone 6s is using the Retina HD display as the flash, so the screen will go all orange or blue for a moment as it lights up and tries to balance the image. It can make the difference between getting a shot and getting no shot at all.

How to take a Live Photo selfie on your iPhone 6s

Live Photos capture 1.5 seconds before and after your image so that, when you 3D Touch them later, you get a sense of the motion and sound that accompanied the moment. That includes selfies, both epic and silly.

You can easily turn Live Photos on or off at any time but, fi you have them on, remember not to move the camera for 1.5 seconds—until the Live indicator turns off—or you'll lose the end of the animation. And that'll turn a selfie into a saddie.

  1. From the Camera app...
  2. Tap the Live Photo button, top center (looks like a set of diffusing rings) to toggle it on (yellow).
  3. Tap the Shutter button to take your Live Selfie. (We can call it that, right?)

The Live Photo icon will animate with a brief ripple and a yellow LIVE label will pop up to briefly alert you that it's on. A white LIVE OFF label will briefly alert you when it's not on.

How to share Live Flash Selfies from your iPhone 6s

You can share your Live Flash Selfies, or any selfie, right from the standard iOS Share sheet. Live Photos, however, can only be viewed on recent iOS devices (long press activates them instead of 3D Touch) and the upcoming OS X El Capitan.

  1. Go to the selfie you want to share. Depending on how recently you shot it, you can either tap the thumbnail right in Camera, got to the Photos app and browse for it, or go into the Selfies album and look for it there.
  2. Tap the Share button.
  3. Tap the icon of the service you want to share to. (Live Photos are labeled LIVE so you can clearly identify them.)

You can set Live Photos are your wallpaper on iPhone 6s and as a clock face on Apple Watch, but for most people an "elsie" of a loved one will certainly work best.

iPhone 6s