Take a photo

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

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 8.1 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Pick how to take a photo

With your hand
  1. Open your camera.
  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: On Pixel 3, when you take a picture from far away, zoom into your subject first to capture the most details. 
    • Auto-focus: To focus on and expose the subject of your photo, tap it on your screen. 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 device.
  3. Tap Capture photo 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 330 seconds.
  2. Your camera will open and take a photo.
With Wear OS by Google

If you have a Wear OS device synced with your Android device, you can take photos with Google Camera using your watch as a remote control.

  1. On your phone, open your camera.
  2. From the Play Store on your watch, find and download the Wear OS by Google Smartwatch app.
    Note: If you don't have the Play Store on your watch, you already have the app.
  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.

When your phone takes a photo, your watch vibrates and flashes. You'll see a thumbnail of the photo on your watch.

Tip: If you take your photos on a Pixel phone, you can use Google Lens to get more details or take action on the photos.

Open and switch your Pixel camera mode | Pixel

Take different types of photos

Take a photo burst

To take a series of photos quickly, tap and hold Capture Capture photo. Release when you’re done.

Take a selfie
  1. Open your camera.
  2. Tap Switch to swap to your front camera Switch camera.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.

If you have a Pixel phone, 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.

To turn off this gesture:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app Settings app
  2. Tap System and then Languages & input and then Advanced.
  3. Tap Flip camera.
  4. Turn off Flip camera.
Turn your phone into a photo booth

Your Pixel 3 can take your solo or group selfies automatically with just a smile or funny face.

  1. Open your Camera.
  2. Tap More and then Photobooth.
  3. Hold your phone in front of you.
  4. Get into frame and tap Start .
  5. Smile or make a funny face. Try new expressions for new shots.

You can also set your phone down in Photobooth mode to get automatic group shots in place of a timer. 

To stop using Photobooth Mode, tap Stop  or Close .

Take photos with the background blurred

To make the subject of a photo stand out, you can blur the background.

Note: You can take photos with blurred backgrounds using Camera app version 5.1 and up.

  1. Open your camera.
  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 two small photos below the image.

Take an augmented reality photo

On Pixel 3

You can take a photo or selfie with characters and objects in them. The 3D characters are called Playmoji and the 2D characters are stickers.

  1. Open your camera.
  2. Tap More and then Playground.
  3. Pick a Playmoji your phone suggests based on your shot or tap Playground for more.
  4. Tap, hold, and drag a Playmoji to where you want it. In selfies, characters react and move around on their own.
    • Add text: Tap Text  and pick a style to type your message. Your phone might also suggest text based on your shot.
    • 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 Playground or Text  and browse through the different categories.
  5. Tap or hold Capture Capture photo.

To stop using Playground, tap Close .

On Pixel 1 or 2

You can take a photo with 3D characters and objects in them. The 3D characters and objects are called AR stickers.

Note: AR stickers only work with the rear camera.

  1. Open your camera.
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then AR Stickers.
  3. Touch, hold, and drag an AR sticker to where you want it.
    • Change the size of an AR sticker: Tap the AR sticker, then pinch your fingers open or closed.
    • Remove one AR sticker: Tap the AR sticker and then Delete Delete.
    • Remove all AR stickers: Tap Delete all Delete all.
    • See a different collection of AR stickers: At the top of the screen, tap a different picture.
  4. Tap Camera mode camera mode and then Capture photo Capture photo.

To stop using AR stickers, tap Back Back


Take a motion photo

You can take a photo that contains a short video.

  1. Open your camera.
  2. At the top of the screen, tap Motion Motion photo.
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.

To see your motion photo, in the bottom right corner of the screen, tap the small photo . Then, at the top of the screen, tap Motion off.

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

Save new shots from your motion photos with Top Shot

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

  1. Open your Camera.
  2. Make sure Motion Motion photo is set to Auto or On (for best results, set Motion to On).
  3. Tap Capture Capture photo.
  4. Open your photo and swipe up.
  5. Tap Shots in this photo.
  6. Scroll through the shots in your picture and pick your favorite.

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

Change your photo options

You can adjust how you take photos by using the icons at the top of your screen.

  • To use a timer: Tap Photo timer countdown timer
  • To use gridlines to straighten photos: Tap More and then Settings and then Grid type
  • To adjust the photo to match the lighting ("color temperature"): Tap Add filters Add filters
  • To use a flash: Tap Flash mode Flash mode
  • To take a motion photo: Tap Motion photo Motion photo
  • To retouch a selfie: Tap Face retouching Face retouch
    Note: 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 article helpful?
How can we improve it?