Whether you want nice snaps to share with the family, or to post them online, all you need is a smartphone and a little know-how to make a great ‘selfie‘ (a self-portrait photo).
We consulted with selfie experts (celebrity vloggers, bloggers, and makeup artists) to find out how to take a good selfie. Read on for tips that will help you take your selfie game to the next level.
The first: Make the most of your smartphone
There are plenty of apps and inbuilt features on smartphones that can help your selfies to come out even better. That being said, try not to over-edit your photos. It can be easy to get carried away, but you don’t want to make yourself look unrecognizable.
“There is nothing worse than having a huge shadow cast over your face,” says photographer and style blogger Candice Lake.
“When in doubt, face directly into or away from the sun. If it’s the middle of the day and the sun is high, the shadows can look like bags under your eyes. The golden hour to shoot a photo is during sunrise or sunset, when the light is low and the most beautiful.”
Lighting is Everything
Get the selfie light right
It sounds obvious, but the first rule of selfie-ing is to pay attention to your lighting. You need good lighting. Natural lighting.
Instead of facing your computer screen or television, turn toward a window with natural light. Or better yet, go outside and bask in the sun’s glow.
If you’re shooting your selfie inside, We advise that you find a window. “Having nice, natural sunlight streaming in will make for a good selfie.“
Top tip: Be aware of shadows created by your smartphone, especially the middle of the day, and the sun is high.
Smile as you mean it
Smile for your selfie like you mean it
Don’t contort your face into a grin that’s too big or forced. Natural smiles are always better. Practice in front of the mirror until you get it right. You’ll get the hang of it!
Take multiple selfie shots
Just as a professional photographer would plenty of shots on a shoot, so should you. You have to have patience, It can take a lot of photos to get that one good shot.
We are recommends taking as many photos as you like, from all angles. Just remember to delete the unwanted photos from your camera roll so they don’t take up too much space on your phone.
You can film your selfie session instead of taking standard pictures. Press record on the video option instead and pose away. After a minute or two of this, you can scroll through the video and freeze a frame with the best selfie. It sounds silly, but you can actually pull out the best selfie poses this way (and no one will ever know the difference!).
Find a suitable setting for you snap
Before you begin snapping away, it’s worth considering what your surroundings will look like in your photo. Make sure the background doesn’t fight with your clothes and isn’t too busy.
When taking a selfie, hold the phone so that the bottom of it is level with your eyes. Or better yet, use a selfie stick. They’re ridiculous in every way except one: Because you hold them up high, they make everyone look svelte and supermodel-y in photos.
Furthermore, you probably shouldn’t stare directly into the camera. Most people don’t look at their best straight-on. Turn to the side a little but — not to the point where it’s a full-on profile, but just slightly.
Use the right apps and filters
A filter app is a great way to quickly enhance your phone photos. Explore filters that boost colors, convert to black and white, add a vintage look, and apply artistic textures to your images.
While we’re all for editing and filtering, don’t adjust your selfie to the point that it looks unnatural.
If you’re using a filter, you also have the option to not use it at max capacity. Instead of just selecting a photo filter on Instagram, click on the filter itself (Amaro, Valencia, etc.) until a sliding bar comes up. Then you can reduce the severity of the filter, making the photo appear a little less edited.
Don’t Overthink It
The thing about selfies is that you don’t want them to be too serious. If your makeup looks like it took you an hour to do and you look too posed, you’re not doing it right. The best selfie poses are the ones that come naturally to you.