Take a photo on your Pixel phone

You can trigger the camera on your phone in different ways. To see your photos, tap the image in the corner of your screen.

You can take different types of photos, including motion photos, photos in low or minimal light, or portraits. 

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 10 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Tap here to see an interactive tutorial

Pick how to take a photo

With your hand
  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. Point your camera and wait for it to focus and expose.
    • Zoom: Pinch open or closed on your screen, double tap the screen, or use the slider at the bottom.
      Tip: When you take a picture from far away, zoom into your subject first to capture the most details. 
    • Auto-focus: To focus on the subject of your photo, point your camera at the subject, then wait until your camera focuses. To lock the focus and exposure on a moving subject, tap Lock Lock
      Note: If you have accessibility features turned on, double-tap your screen to focus on and expose the subject of your photo.
    • Swap between your back and front cameras: Tap Switch Switch camera or twist your phone twice. Learn about gestures on your phone.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.
With your voice
  1. Say "OK Google, take a picture," or "OK Google, take a selfie." 
    Optional: Have the camera wait before taking the photo. For example, "OK Google, take a picture in 12 seconds." You can tell the camera to wait 3—30 seconds.
  2. Your Camera app will open and take a photo.
With Wear OS by Google
  1. Set up your watch with your phone. Learn how to set up your watch.
  2. Open your Google Camera app Google CameraLearn how
  3. On your watch, swipe up from the bottom of your screen until you see the Remote card.
  4. To take a photo, tap the shutter button on your watch.
    • Your watch will vibrate and flash.
    • You’ll see a thumbnail of the photo on your watch.

Tip: You can get more details or take action on your photos. Find out how to use Google Lens.

Take different types of photos

Take a selfie
  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. To swap to your front camera, tap Switch Switch camera.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.

If you have a Pixel 3, you can use the slider at the bottom of the screen to adjust the angle and fit your friends in the shot. 

Quickly switch to the front camera for a selfie: Twist your phone twice. Twist twice again to switch to your back camera. Learn how to turn gestures on or off.

Change how selfies are saved: Choose to save your selfies as mirrored or non-mirrored. At the top, tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Settings Settings and then Save selfie as previewed.

Take photos with the background blurred (Portrait style)
  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. Tap Portrait.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.

To see the enhanced version, tap the photo in the bottom right corner of the screen.

To compare the original and the enhanced versions, swipe between the 2 small photos below the image.

Tip: To add a blurred background after you take a photo, tap Edit photo Edit Photoand then Edit photo Edit Photo, then move the Blur slider.
Take an augmented reality photo (Playground, Playmoji, AR stickers)

To take videos with characters and objects in them:

  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how to open your camera app.
  2. Tap More and then Playground.
  3. Tap Stickers Stickers and then Playmoji or Stickers.
    • Playmoji are 3D characters.
    • Stickers are 2D characters.
  4. Pick a Playmoji or sticker.
    • To download new Playmoji, tap Install.
  5. Tap, hold, and drag a Playmoji or sticker to where you want it. In selfies, characters react and move around on their own.
    • Add text: Tap Text Text.
    • Change the size of an object: Tap the object. Then pinch your fingers open or closed. In selfies, characters react and move around on their own
    • Remove an object: Tap an object and then Delete Delete.
    • See a different collection: Tap Stickers Stickers.
  6. Tap Capture Capture photo

To stop Playground, tap Close Close.

Take a motion photo

To take a photo that contains a short video.

  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. At the top of the screen, tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Motion on Motion on.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.

To see your motion photo, tap the small photo at the bottom right. If needed, at the top, tap Play motion photo Play motion photo.

To save the motion photo as a video, tap More More and then Export and then Video and then Export.

Tip: If you have a Pixel 3a, when you're done taking motion photos, tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Motion off Motion off.

Take photos in low light
On some Pixel phones, you can take photos in low light with Night Sight. Learn how to use Night Sight.
Take photos of the night sky
On some Pixel phones, you can take photos of the night sky. Learn how to take photos of the night sky.
Automatically focus on faces you photograph often
You can help your Pixel 4 camera identify and recommend better photos of the faces you photograph the most.
When your camera finds and recommends other shots within your motion photos, your camera recognizes which shots include the faces you photograph often. Then, your camera recommends better photos of those faces. Learn more about Top Shot.
If you turn on Frequent Faces, your camera saves data about the faces you photograph. All face data is saved on your phone, not sent to Google. Your data is deleted if you turn off Frequent Faces. 

To turn on Frequent Faces:

  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. At the top, tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Settings Settings and then Frequent Faces.
  3. Turn on Frequent Faces.

Open your camera and take photos | Pixel

Save new shots from your motion photos & videos with Top Shot

When you take a motion photo or quick video of a friend or a group, your Pixel 4, 3a, or 3 will sometimes recommend another shot from your photo or video. You can also pick your favorite shot.

  1. Open your Google Camera app Google Camera. Learn how.
  2. At the top of the screen, tap the Down arrow Down arrow And then Motion off Motion off or Motion auto Motion auto.
  3. Tap Motion on Motion on.
  4. Take a photo or video:
    • To take a photo, tap Capture Capture photo.
    • To take a video, touch and hold Capture Capture photo.
  5. Open your photo or video and swipe up.
  6. Tap Shots in this photo or Shots in this video.
  7. Scroll through the shots and pick your favorite.

Recommended shots are saved in higher resolution and in HDR. They have a white dot over them.

Tip: If you have a Pixel 3a, when you're done taking motion photos, tap the Down arrow Down arrow And then Motion off Motion off.

Change your photo options

You can adjust how you take photos by using the icons on your screen.

  • To adjust brightness (Pixel 4 only): On the right, move Brightness Brightness up or down
  • To adjust shadows (Pixel 4 only): On the right, move Shadows Shadows up or down
  • To use a timer: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then a timer option: Automatic, 3 seconds, or 10 seconds
  • To use gridlines to straighten photos: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Settings Settings and then Grid type
  • To change ratio: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then a ratio option: Wide crop or Full image
  • To use a flash: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Flash Flash mode
  • To brighten selfies: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Selfie illumination Selfie illumination
  • To take a motion photo: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then Motion auto Motion auto or Motion on Motion on
  • To retouch a selfie: Tap the Down arrow Down arrow and then  a face retouching option: Natural or Smooth
    Tip: 
    The results of face retouching show only in the final photo.

To switch between the front (selfie) camera and rear camera, at the bottom of your screen, tap Switch camera Switch camera.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?