How to Use Live Camera Effects in Messages on iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

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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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.