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How to Turn A Photo Into A Live Photo [Detailed Steps]

Eric Miller
Eric Miller Originally published May 17, 24, updated May 31, 24

Photos are not just static pictures anymore. We can turn a photo into a live photo, a captivating format that brings images to life with motion and sound.

A live photo captures three-second snippets before and after you press the shutter button. This can add depth and context to traditional pictures. Live photo images not only preserve the visual but also the ambient atmosphere around the shot, such as the rustle of leaves in a park or shared laughter among friends.

In this detailed guide, we'll explore how to get a live photo. We will explain the difference between still and live photos, how to capture live photos, and how to simulate the effect on devices that don't support this feature.

In this article

Part 1. What’s the Differences Between Still Photo and Live Photo?

A still photo captures a single moment in time without any movement or sound. It's a simple picture that shows a scene or subject frozen in time. Still photos are small in size and easy to share on different devices because they use common formats like JPEG or PNG.

On the other hand, a live photo is more than just a picture. It's like a mini video clip that includes a few seconds of motion and sound before and after the photo is taken. This extra data adds life to the photo, showing more of what was happening around the moment it was captured. Live Photos are bigger files because they include video-like elements and are usually saved in formats like HEIC on Apple devices.

what is live photo

Live photos can be interacted with on iPhones and iPads. When you touch and hold a Live Photo feature, it plays the motion and sound. This makes looking back at memories more engaging compared to still photos, which stay the same every time you look at them.

The experience of viewing a live photo feels more real and immersive because it includes movement and sound. However, live photos can only be shared and viewed easily on Apple devices. They might not work or look the same on other devices, unlike still photos that work universally.

Here we summarize the difference between still photos and live photos.

Still Photo Live Photo
Nature of capture Single and static image. Dynamic image with motion and sound.
Size Small size. Larger size.
Format JPEG or PNG. HEIC (on iOS) or a combination of image and video files.
Interactivity No interactivity features. Can be interacted with supported devices.
Experience Lack additional depth and immersion. Provide a more immersive experience with its motion and sound.
Compatibility Universal. Primarily on Apple devices.

Part 2. How to Take Live Photo Image?

To take a live photo image on an iPhone, you can follow this step-by-step guide.

1. Open the Camera App

Launch the Camera app on your iPhone. You can access it from the Home screen or Control Center.

2. Enable Live Photos

Look for the Live Photos icon, which resembles three concentric circles at the top of the Camera app interface. If the icon is yellow, Live Photos are already enabled. If it's white with a line through it, tap it to turn Live Photos on.

enable live photos on iphone

3. Take the Photo

Press the shutter button to capture the photo. While taking the Live Photo, try to keep the camera steady for a few seconds before and after pressing the shutter button to capture the full motion.

4. View Your Live Photo

After taking the Live Photo, go to the Photos app to view it. Open the photo you just captured, then press and hold on to the screen to see the motion and hear the sound that was recorded along with the photo.

view live photos on iphone

You can enhance your live photos by applying effects to them. Simply tap the Live Photos button at the top of the screen and choose from three exciting effects.

  1. Loop: Transform a favorite Live Photo into a captivating video loop.
  2. Bounce: Add a playful rocking motion to your Live Photo.
  3. Long Exposure: Capture the essence of movement and time with this effect.

Part 3. Can You Turn Still Photo into A Live Photo?

You can transform your regular photos into captivating Live Photos using various apps and software available. Here are some methods you can try:

1. LivePapers

LivePapers is an app that lets you convert any static photo into a Live Photo. You can download LivePapers from the App Store for $1.99. Here's how you can use LivePapers:

Step 1: Launch LivePapers on your device.

Step 2: Choose to either take a new photo or select an existing photo from your device's Camera Roll.

Step 3: Select the photo you want to turn into a Live Photo.

Step 4: Adjust the photo by centering it or zooming in, then tap Next.

Step 5: Once the preview generation is complete, 3D Touch the completed photo to see a preview. For other iPhone models, simply long-press the photo to see the preview.

Step 6: Customize your Live Photo by tapping on the wand icon in the lower left-hand corner to choose from various animation effects.

turn still photo to live photo

Once satisfied with your Live Photo, tap Save, and it will be exported to your Camera Roll.

2. Lively

Another option is Lively, available on the App Store, which offers similar functionality to LivePapers. You can use Lively to convert your regular photos into Live Photos.

Part 4. How to Make A Photo Talk and Move without Live Photo

Now, technology brings innovation to enhance your photo experience. Besides creating live photos, you can also make your photo move and talk with tools like Wondershare Virbo. Virbo has a Photo Talking tool that allows your photo to talk and move according to the inputted text or recording.

Virbo Talking Photo AI has several key features:

  • Make your photo talk and move using text-to-speech features
  • Use your own recording for better personalization
  • Add background music to create a more immersive experience
  • Enjoy efficient video creation and seamless editing
  • High-quality audio delivered by versatile AI avatars to accompany your photos
  • Tell stories in multiple accents and languages to reach a global audience

Here’s the guide to use the Virbo Photo Talking feature.

Step 1. Open Virbo Photo Talking Mobile App

Launch the Wondershare Virbo app on your mobile device, then select the 'Talking Photo' option.

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open virbo talking photo mobile app

Step 2. Upload Your Photo

Choose and upload the photo you want to animate. Ensure the photo is clear and well-suited for the talking effect.

upload photos to virbo talking photo mobile app

Step 3. Enter Text Or Record Audio

Express your narrative by either entering text or recording audio to accompany your talking photo.

enter text or record audio to virbo talking photo mobile app

Step 4. Choose A Voiceover

Select a voiceover that matches the tone and language you prefer for your photo.

choose a voiceover in virbo talking photo mobile app

Step 5. Generate Video

Click on 'Generate Video' to transform your photo into a talking video.

generate video virbo talking photo mobile app

Step 6. Preview and Download

Preview the generated video. If you're satisfied with the result, download it to your gallery or share it directly on your preferred platform.

preview and download the result in virbo app

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Turning a regular photo into a lively Live Photo adds more interest and depth to your visual memories. Live Photos go beyond a single moment by capturing motion and sound, giving a richer experience to your pictures.

Although Live Photos are mostly used on Apple devices, tools like Wondershare Virbo Photo Talking provide an exciting way to make interactive and talking photos on different platforms. Virbo Photo Talking lets you convert text into speech, add background music, and personalize voices, giving you the chance to bring your photos to life and create engaging stories for your audience.

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  • 1. How to turn a Live Photo into a still photo?
    Turning a Live Photo into a still photo is simple on an iPhone. Open the Live Photo in your Photos app, tap "Edit," then disable the Live feature by tapping the yellow "Live" icon at the top center. After saving the changes, the Live Photo will become a static image without motion or sound.
  • 2. Do Android devices support Live Photos?
    Live Photos are exclusive to Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Android devices do not natively support Live Photos, but you can view Live Photos sent from an iPhone on platforms or apps that offer compatibility. Some Android devices may have similar features through third-party apps.
  • 3. Can you edit Live Photos?
    You can edit Live Photos on compatible devices such as iPhones. Open the Live Photo in the Photos app, tap "Edit," and apply edits like cropping, filters, or adjustments. After saving your changes, the Live Photo will retain its motion and sound elements even after editing.
Eric Miller
Eric Miller May 31, 24
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