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How to take live photos in FaceTime on macOS

Live photos can be captured on a Mac. There’s a built-in camera app in macOS that you can use to capture them but, you can also take live photos in FaceTime. The photos will be taken of whoever is calling you and you will not be in them. Here’s how to take live photos in FaceTime.

Live photos in FaceTime

Open FaceTime and go to the app’s preferences. Go to the Settings app and enable the ‘Allow Live Photos to be captured during video calls’ option.

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Once you’ve enabled live photos, you can start a call. It’s a good idea to let whoever you’re talking to know that you have live photos enabled and that you plan on taking photos during the conversation. Once the call is live, click the shutter button when you want to take a photo. That’s all you need to do. When a live photo is captured, you will see an alert on FaceTime telling you that a live photo has been captured.

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To access the live photos you just took, open the Photos app and select ‘Recent’ from the column on the right. The photos you just took should appear here and they will have the ‘Live’ tag at the top left. It’s a good idea to sort them right-away because they won’t be easy to find later.

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Live Photos is one of Apple’s newer features and in order to take them, you need to be running a fairly recent version of macOS, and your Mac or MacBook should not be too old.

You can send these live photos to other iOS or macOS users and they will be able to play them. If you want to share them with users who do not use an Apple device, you will have to convert them to a video or GIF.

You cannot take still photos in FaceTime. If you disable live photos in FaceTime, you will still see the shutter button but clicking it will only show you a prompt saying Live Photos are disabled and you will have to enable them to capture photos. This is odd considering taking still photos is a simple enough requirement that the Camera app on iOS has. You can take photos while you’re recording a video and it’s pretty useful. If you need to take a still photo during a FaceTime call, try using the built-in screenshot tool but again, make sure you tell the other person that you’re taking photos.