How to Use Live Camera Effects in Messages on iPhone

iOS 12 has added tons of helpful and fun new features to your iPhone's software, one of my favorite new ones is the ability to add cool effects and Animojis (and Memojis!) while taking a picture or video in the Messages app.

To add an effect or Animoji or Memoji in the process of shooting a photo or video in the Messages app:

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  • Open the Messages app.
  • Begin a new thread, or tap on a thread you'd like to continue.

imessages app  start a text message

  • Tap the camera icon to the left of the text field.
  • Now tap the Effects icon to the left of the shutter release button.

ios 12 picture filtersiOS 12 photo effects

  • You'll see all your options for augmenting your photo or video; these will depend on which version of the iPhone you have. If you have an iPhone X, these choices will include Animoji; if not, you'll still have filters, text, and shapes.
  • Tap on the three overlapping circles and you can choose from a variety of filters; here's one example of a filter you can choose: the Comic Book filter!

add animoji to photos iPhonehow to add filters in imessages

  • To choose text, tap on the Text icon (an uppercase A and lowercase a).
  • If you'd like to add a shape, tap on the squiggly line to the far right of your options.

add writing to pictures on phoneadd stickers to photos on iPhone

  • When you've finished adding effects to your photo, tap the white arrow in the blue circle to send.

send photo in text apple

I'll probably be stuck on Comic Book filter for quite some time! What's your favorite effect?

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.