Taking a selfie is vocabulary most people wouldn’t have even heard of just a few years ago. Now the word ‘selfie’ is in the dictionary, and not just the online ‘Urban’ one….actual dictionaries printed on actual paper carry the actual word ‘selfie’.
If you are one of those people who has managed to avoid standing still and taking pictures of yourself while everyone else around you goes on with their day, well done. You are the 1%.
For everybody else, getting the perfect selfie can take a number of clicks to get it right, but here are a few tips to make things easier.
Lighting is everything.
A big bright sun behind you means that your face is going to be dark or in shadow. Shadows can be very unflattering. They add age to a face and highlight angles that may not be as delightful as you would like. You may have a normal sized nose that suddenly looks as if you could appear as a witch cousin in the Wizard of Oz with the wrong shadows, so aim to get your light source in front of your face.
Either turn around and face the sun, or, if you are indoors, get the lights in the room throwing their softening goodness onto you. Be aware of a strong light source aiming at your face form directly above.
This type of thing also adds shadows that do not come over well. Dark circles under the eyes, or exaggerated bags or wrinkles will appear if the light is not on your face to chase away the shade. If you are taking a close up shot of yourself or yourself and friends, avoid using a flash. You want to look fresh and dewy, not shiny and red eyed. Softer light is much nicer.
You can use thin curtains to defuse bright sunlight, or check out brightening filters on your phone.
Taking a selfie is all about stepping into the light, but remember to get that light working for you, not against you.
Know your angles.
Every actor/ actress/celebrity worth their salt knows which part of their face is the bit to highlight. Some people have beautiful eyes, some have razor sharp cheekbones, some have a killing jawline, some have juicy cheeks, or a fabulous forehead or a character filled nose.
We all have a feature of our face that makes us feel good about ourselves, and it’s this feature you want to show off by knowing which angles work, and which ones do not. If you are carrying weight around your chin, get that camera up higher than normal and look up at it. This tucks away any extra bits you don’t want in the spotlight and shows off your beautiful brows and bone structure. If you love your ears, work on an angle in which they appear.
Do not take photos from your chest height if you want to hide a rounded chin or neck. Also, one side of your face is more photogenic than the other. Experiment and find out which side you feel more at ease with. This is your ‘good side’. It may be that you like the way your mouth looks from one side rather than the other. From now on, when you take a selfie or are in one, make sure that that side is the one facing the camera. Angle slightly away from face on. This will highlight your faces features and you will appear more animated than a 2D representation of yourself. Don’t be shy about getting your angles right. If you want to feel good about photos you see of yourself, you might need to do a little ground work. It’s ok. With digital you can try, try, and try again.
Think about who or what is behind or around you.
Obviously if you are grabbing a selfie at a well-known monument or an amazing landscape, or fabulous furry animal, you want these to appear also, but you don’t want a week’s worth of dirty laundry piled up behind you on the floor when you are trying to capture a side of you that no one has seen before.
Unless that messy housekeeper look is the one you are aiming for. If you are taking a picture of yourself in new clothes that you love, it’s probably a good idea to get rid of the tube of tinea cream on the table beside your bed that may also appear in shot. Sure, you can crop a lot of things out, but it’s simply much easier to not include unnecessary items in the first place. If the selfie is about you and your mates, zoom in to include just them.
You don’t need a random family off for an evening stroll as an inadvertent background to your otherwise happy snap. Equally, if you are photobombed, roll with it. These are often great shots. However if someone or something distracting appears to take away your selfie-mojo, either wait until it/they go away, or choose another spot. The point of a selfie is it’s about you. If this sounds narssesetic, it might well be. But in the social media world we now live in, we all accept a lot more of that than we used to, so that’s ok too. As yet, however, we are not cool with seeing the cistern at your back just because the loo has the best lighting.
Getting the perfect selfie takes a little bit of trial and error and some perseverance.
Selfie sticks and front facing cameras have given us a leg up when it comes to getting it right, certain so called celebrities are famous simply because they know how to pose in a bathroom mirror.
It’s a brave new world, but it’s one that is here to stay so do yourself a favour and ensure that your great grandchildren don’t sit there 60 years from now wondering why the only pictures they can find of you online have you looking like you’ve been startled by headlights whilst examining your own nose hairs.
For more great tips check out www.wikihow.com/Take-Good-Selfies or ask a friendly 13 year old in your neighbourhood.
Trust me, they’ve got this in the bag.
#SELFIE #TIPS #PHOTOGRAPHY