Whether you like to take pictures or shy away from the camera, it seems that it’s nearly impossible to avoid taking a selfie at some point. Since these pictures will most likely be plastered all over social media, here are a few tips to make sure your selfies come out picture perfect!
I just came back from a huge event in Chicago, Illinois, called an Herbalife Extravaganza, where there were thousands of people in attendance. There were so many photo opportunities and everyone was taking “selfies” to post to their respective social media sites. People would say, “Jacquie, take a selfie with me for Facebook, I’ll tag you.” Or, “Take a selfie with me so I can put it on Twitter.” A few of us started laughing because everyone was posting photos of themselves at a rapid pace. Then I got worried. After taking so many selfies, I realized I could potentially look like a hot mess out there in cyber world. So, I thought, ‘I can’t be the only one with some awful photos online.’ It’s time to master the art of taking a proper selfie.
Everyone these days has some kind of social media account. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so many other platforms are just loaded with selfies. For those who might have been asleep for the last few years, a selfie is defined in the dictionary as “a photograph that is taken by oneself with a digital camera or a front facing smartphone, tablet or webcam, especially for posting on a social-networking or photo sharing website.” And trust me, everyone is doing it.
I’ve seen some amazing selfies. I’ve seen celebrities and people I know post the most amazing group or individual selfies. Alternatively, I’ve heard of a few selfies that have broken up marriages. Let’s just say they were a bit over exposed, if you know what I mean. And then there are some selfies where I’m more interested in what’s going on in the background than the person in the photo.
There’s definitely an art to creating a good selfie. I’ve been part of some disastrous selfies where half of my head is cut out, the lighting is off, I look 10 years older, my face looks grainy or the angle makes me look like I gained 10 pounds. It’s difficult to be both behind the camera and in front of the camera, so lets get to the bottom of this and learn 8 tips on how to take some perfect pictures.
This tip should be obvious but you’d be surprised. It’s important to give yourself a quick once over before the picture is taken. This isn’t a big deal if it’s just you in the photo, because you can simply hit delete and take another one. But think about the group selfie that your friend tagged you in on Instagram. Your friend looked perfect while your hair was sticking up, your eyeliner was smudged or you had food on your face. Friends only post the selfies that they look great in. Trust me.
If you truly want to be the focus of your selfie, then make sure you check out your background. There is nothing worse than a selfie taken in a messy bedroom. I always check out the backgrounds in photos. You can see what kind of furniture people have, if they leave their clothes on the floor, what kind of food they eat. A good background is important. I recently saw a selfie where a guy was smiling from ear to ear as someone’s house was burning to the ground behind him. Not Cool. Look for solid colored backdrops or unique textures to really make your photos pop. A messy background can really ruin a good selfie.
No doubt about it, lighting is the most important thing when it comes to taking a good photo. Indoor lighting is never the best. It’s just not as flattering as natural light. It’s all about the sun. The sunlight can be our best friend when it comes to snapping that perfect pic. For the best result, try facing the sun. When it’s behind you, it can cause a lot of unflattering shadows.
The beauty of today’s cameras and mobile devices is that they can take hundreds of pics at a rapid pace. So, click away. Change it up a bit with every click, even if it’s just slightly moving the position of your head with a little tilt. It’s rare to get the perfect selfie when you take just one picture. The more pics you take, the better your chances are of capturing a really awesome photo.
The best thing about a selfie is that you can take it when you’re all alone. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. You can practice your poses and your angles, and you can get that perfect reach down so your arm isn’t in the picture. The more selfies you take, the more you can critique. When you finally get that perfect photo, the one that shows off your muscles and your sexy little smile, you can practice duplicating it. So, when your friend wants to take a selfie with you at the gym, you’ll be ready to breakout your signature pose with all of your angles just right. While you’re practicing, just remember to delete the ridiculous ones immediately! You never know who might get their hands on them.
Sometimes we get all caught up in the moment and just want to get our pics out on social media immediately. We want to see how many likes, comments or shares we can get and we don’t want to wait. But slow down. If you want your photos to be the best, you may have to do a little bit of editing before they are posted. This only takes a couple of minutes, and many cameras and phones have the capabilities of cleaning up photos prior to posting. You can crop, brighten, reduce red eye and even turn your selfie into an amazing black and white or sepia photo with just a few screen taps. A good filter can even make a blemish disappear. So, take the time to do a little self-editing before you post. You’ll be happy you waited.
OK, lets face it, we all get sick of seeing our friends’ photos that are exactly the same over and over again. The clothing and the scenery may change, but the face and the pose are exactly the same. Yes, you need to find the perfect pose, but once in a while you also need to let loose and just get goofy. These are selfies that become the most memorable and the ones that get shared and liked the most. So, make a silly face or wear a crazy hat. If you’re doing a group selfie get everyone to make crazy faces like they are surprised, scared, sexy, whatever. Just have fun. The end result will be worth it.
I’ll be honest: I like to use the front facing option on my smartphone to take my selfies. This is the feature that allows you to take a photo of yourself like you’re looking in a mirror. The great debate, however, says they aren’t as good in quality as the back-facing camera. With the back-facing camera, you take a photo and then turn the phone around to look at the picture. Admittedly, with the back-facing camera I have to take a dozen pics to get the right one. With a front-facing camera, I can see what I look like and practice my pout before I hit the button. Front-facing photos have a lower resolutions, I’ve been told. I guess this is a personal choice. Be sure to practice using the back and front camera so you can see the difference and decide what’s best for you.
Taking the perfect selfie can be very challenging when you have to direct and star in your own photo shoot. Executing your perfect pose while finding good lighting is hard enough, and having a steady arm that doesn’t wobble can also be a pain. Be as still as possible, take a deep breath, relax, hold your pose and click away. Sunlight, your good side, a little tilt of the head, and you have the perfect selfie.
And just for fun, here are selfies of my friends Susan Bowerman and Samantha Clayton. You’ll see that what makes a really great selfie is a personal, friendly approach.