What’s worse than someone taking a bad picture of you? Well, the answer is, not being able to take a good picture of yourself! Selfies should be easy, but they are difficult for many – myself included. So we’ve set out to find a few different tips to help us get better results with less difficulty. We’re covering five of the more popular tips.
1. LIGHTING: You Should Be Facing Into It
You want the light facing you, not behind you. Now you don’t have to have it “head-on” because good lighting can come from up and to the right or up and to the left. Generally, you don’t want lighting from below. Remember flashlights under the chin for a scary campfire story? The reason that works in such situations is that under-lighting has a creepy veneer. Lighting from below looks backward to what we’re used to, meaning it will usually make for a bad selfie – unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for! In that case, put that lower lighting front and center! Generally, though, ensure you have strong lighting illuminating your face from a higher position than your height.
2. BE LIKE A PINBALL MACHINE: Lean Into The Tilt
Turn your head to the side, tilt your camera, take an angled shot. Sometimes someone who has a terrible time taking attractive pictures becomes irresistible with a little tilt. Now that tilt could be a high angle, or it could be from the side. Usually, a tilt from the right side is best – here are some photography psychology tips.
Try not to do too much of an “above head” angle, as this has become a little trite in modernity. A lot of people do it to hide their true body shape. So if you’re going to go that route, understand it’s a well-known tactic to emphasize certain qualities over others, and the end result is going to be recognized as such.
3. USE TOOLS DEVELOPED TO HELP YOU LOOK YOUR BEST
Another thing you’re going to want to do is to explore varying photo editing apps out there, such as Facetune2 selfie editor. (one of my favorites) You’d be surprised what can be done with lighting, shadows, background features, and effects. Sometimes all your selfie really needs is a new filter. Maybe you put a green or yellow filter on, or one of those trendy animated ones. There are quite a few different apps you can play with, some are free, some have mild costs, and some are professional grade. Explore a little to find what most meets your preferences.
4. TRY NOT TO FORCE YOUR SMILE; IT’S USUALLY OBVIOUS
Even if the lighting and everything else is perfect, if your only smile looks forced, that’s bad. It’s less “cringe” to practice than it is to fake it. Fake smiles are cringe. What you can do is find photos where you smiled for real—sometimes videos—and remember what you were thinking emotionally when you did that. Then, draw up that mental emotion again, and take a picture.
5. SKIP THE SHADOWS & IF YOU CAN’T, USE THE FLASH
Shadows are the bane of selfies, and they’re going to be around if you’re trying to get a good picture. The flash on your smartphone can get rid of some of them, but you won’t be able to look at yourself on the touchscreen with most phones. If you can’t use the flash, find lighting you know is good. If you can’t find that, use the flash.
Skip the shadows, don’t force smiles, use selfie editing apps, tilt yourself for more interesting photos, and be careful to get the lighting right. These are a few general selfie-maximization tips – play around with them a little and see what works best for you. Everyone has their own selfie-style, just as they have their own unique personality. Your assignment is to find your unique selfie style!