Set Portrait Mode Photos on Apple Watch Face in WatchOS 9.0.1

Yes, you heard it right, now Portrait Photos can be set as Apple Watch Face effortlessly. Learn how to set portrait photos as Apple Watch Face

Do you always keep your photos or phones of your beloved ones as Wallpaper on iPhone? If yes, then you might be wondering how to set photos as Wallpaper in Apple Watch Face. Finally, the wait is over. With watchOS 8 or later and iOS 15 or later, Apple Watch lets you set portrait photos as Apple Watch Face. Interestingly the Portrait Photos will be empowered by the Watch hardware to enhance the Wallpaper and make the Watch Face fascinating.

Furthermore, you can add up to 24 photos, and whenever you raise your hand, the Apple Watch will show a new picture. Let’s take a deeper look at What is Portrait Photos in Apple Watch, How Portrait Photos Work, and lastly, how to set portrait photos as Apple Watch face.

How to Set Portrait Photos on Apple Watch Face

What is Portrait Photos in Apple Watch?

Portrait Photos Watch Face needs portrait photos taken with iPhone 7 Plus or newer, dual-lensed camera iPhones. Portrait Photos focuses on the subject while blurring the background. However, to use the Portrait Photos Watch Face, you need to have a compatible Portrait Photo take from the compatible iPhone. Unlike older iPhones, the latest new generation iPhones come with Portrait Mode with Single Lens and Front Camera.

How Portrait Watch Face Works?

Portrait Watch Face requires the latest watchOS 8 and iOS 15 running Apple Watch and iPhone, respectively. Portrait Photos taken from the iPhone can be set as Portrait Watch Face on Apple Watch, and the same settings are available in the Watch App. The Portrait Photos uses depth data by focusing on the background and showing only the subject that matters to you. Moreover, complications and styles to accommodate the Date and Time over the watch face.

The user can add up to 24 Portraits Photos as Watch Face, and every time you raise your hands, the watch face will change automatically.  

Pre-requisites to Use Portrait Watch Face

  • Update Apple Watch to watchOS 8 or newer, check the Apple Watch firmware in your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown, and open Settings. Swipe down to General. Tap About and make sure the Version is watchOS 8 or later.
  • Update iPhone to iOS 15 or newer, open the Settings app in iPhone, tap General > About.
  • Ensure that the Photos that you’re going to use with Watch Face have clicked from Portrait Mode compatible iPhones.

How to Set Portrait Photos as Apple Watch Face

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone. At the bottom, tap on Face
  2. Under Content, tap on Choose Photos option.add-photos-for-portrait-facejpg
  3. Select the pictures that you want to appear as Watch Face. You can choose up to 24 photos.
  4. Lastly, tap Add in the upper-right corner.
  5. There you’ll be asked to set the Style from:
    • Classic
    • Modern
    • Roundedmove-and-scale-photo-on-apple-watch-face
  6. With the Style previews available, you will get a better idea to choose between.
  7. Up next, from the Complications section, you can set multilayered effect what do you want to appear in the Middle and Bottom. Because, the current settings might not give a clearer view of the Portrait Photo. You can always come back here and edit it.move-and-scale-photo
  8. Tap Add button under the Portraits label and next to your Portrait Photo.set-portrait-photo-on-watch-face
  9. That’s it. Exit all the programs and get to the Watch Face. You should see the portrait photos as Watch Face.
  10. To manually change the Portrait Photo Watch Face, gently tap on the screen.

How to Customize Portrait Watch Faces on Apple Watch

Not much, but few customization settings are available to make the Apple Watch face super cool. Let’s dig into them.

Customizations Available in Apple Watch:

  1. Zoom In and Out: On rotating the Digital Crown, the Portrait Photo will zoom in and zoom out depending in which direction you’ve rotated the Digital Crown.
  2. Change Style or Complications: Touch and hold the Portrait Watch Face and tap Edit. This will take you to change on-screen complications and Style right away from the Apple Watch.
  3. Share Watch Face: Touch and hold the Portrait Watch Face, and there tap on the Share button to share the watch face with other Apple Watch users. Photos can be shared over Message and Mail.

Customizations Available in iPhone:

When it comes to iPhone and Apple Watch customizations, Watch App is your one and only one option.

  1. Launch the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Stay in the My Watch tab, and thereunder My Faces section, swipe the Watch Faces, and tap on Portraits Photo.
  3. To Add or Remove Portrait Photos, tap on the [X] Photos under Content. The next screen will give a quick overview of what portrait photos that you’ve added so far.
  4. Tap Add Photos.. to add photos and to remove, tap Select on the upper-right screen and delete it.
  5. And to Edit the Photos, tap on a particular photo and resize and adjust the scale right from there.
  6. Furthermore, when you tap on a particular photo, you’ll see three buttons, which are Top BehindTop Front, and Bottom Front. By this, you can adjust the complications to show behind or in top or in the bottom of the portrait photo watch face.
  7. And tap the Delete button to remove that specific portrait photo.  
  8. Get back to the Face Gallery menu, choose the Style and other options for more customizations.

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Karly Wood

Karly Wood is a journalist based in Ohio who specializes in covering Apple and technology trends. With a varied experience in reporting on public safety, government, and education, her insights bridge multiple disciplines, providing readers with a well-rounded perspective on today's technological advancements. If you need to contact me, you can reach me at or through (Facebook)

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