How did we live before selfies? Sure, we could ask strangers to use our old digital cameras, carefully walking them through a tutorial on how to operate all the controls, then returning to our photo spot and hoping the strangers would deliver. But today, using our own arm (or the less-cool-but-more-effective selfie stick) allows us to get that same photo without the awkward social interaction. Ready to raise your selfie game to a whole new level? Here are five tips for taking great selfies.
1. Front light
Although backward-facing cameras are increasingly good, they’re still worse than the lenses facing forward, not to mention light-years away from DSLR cameras. This means that when it comes to selfies, light matters. If you’re outdoors, make sure the sun hits your face, and you’re not getting a shadow from your camera. If you’re indoors, try moving around the room to see which angle illuminates you best. Make sure you don’t have windows or light bulbs behind you in the shot. Your face should always receive the most light.
2. High-angle is better than low-angle
A high-angle shot is always better than a low-angle shot when taking selfies. High-angle is when the camera is placed over the user’s head without being completely on top (that would be a bird’s eye shot), while a low-angle shot is when the lens is below eye level without being all the way below (that would be a worm’s eye shot). In high-angle shots, more prominent features seem smaller, so “imperfections” are minimized. Also, we also have to note that if we lift our heads, more light comes in. The camera should be slightly above your head.
3. Hold your breath
This is a basic photography tip: when taking a photo, hold your breath and keep a steady hand. In the case of selfies, this is even more important, since most cameras on cell phones still don’t have good stabilizers, so the more still your arm is, the better the photo will turn out.
4. Find your good side
Everybody has one side that’s more photogenic than the other. Unless you’re a teenager, don’t mess around with pouts, smirks, or funny faces. Just identify the side of your face that is more photogenic. You’re not perfectly symmetrical, so there’s a fair chance one side looks a little better than the other. So here’s your homework: take a bunch of selfies and discover your good side. From then on, you’ll know how to angle your face in that split second when you get a celebrity to agree to pose with you.
We’ll wrap up this list with filters. Classic, right? This is the ultimate trick when you’re trying to salvage a less-than-flattering shot. Although you will be honor-bound not to post your selfie with #NoFilter, sometimes you need #AFilter to make it look #LessBad and there’s #NoShame in that.
Looking for more tips on taking great selfies? Here’s what our Solutions community recommends as the best resources for taking a good selfie. And if you’re looking for the best apps to make your selfies shine, check out these great recommendations!