Don't you just hate it when you look great in the mirror and then your camera disappoints! This is when blemishes decide to pop up, your facial expression is just wrong or maybe the lighting just isn't working for you.
True, photo editing apps that can fix these selfie problems: but let’s be real, most of these apps couldn’t fix a decent filter if they tried! The few that actually work usually need some level of expertise to operate. Besides, apps can only do so much in making a selfie good enough. You simply need to get it right from the beginning!
Borrowed from selfie experts (celebrities included), we give you important tips and poses for taking good selfies. Whether you are looking to simply update your social media page or you are taking selfies for professional reasons, these tips will work for you. Most importantly, you get to experience the positivity linked to taking selfies. Enjoy!
1. Proper lighting is half the battle.
A good selfie is a well-lit selfie. Pose in natural light as opposed to harsh fluorescent light that will throw off your skin tone and highlight blemished on your skin. If you are indoors, open your curtains to allow enough light into the room or better yet, pose near an opening such as a door or window.
Outdoor selfies, especially during the golden hours will give your skin a nice natural glow without the risk of exposing your blemishes or eye bags.
2. Filters and Apps: To use or not to use?
As it is with most things in life, less is more. Selfies are no exception. For this reason, a simple natural photo without filters and modification is best preferred.
However, if you must modify your photos (say in the case of blemishes), take it easy on the modifications to avoid looking ridiculous or unreal.
Some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 have a selfie mode that applies realistic filters on your photos in real time.
You can also count on apps like Perfect365 and Adobe Photoshop Fix to iron out wrinkles in your selfies such as red eye and discolored teeth. Go a step further and add that sparkle in your eyes. Maybe even edit your photo to black and white.
3. Background check.
Some of the best selfies are usually destroyed by photobombers or worse, a tacky, messy background. A quick glance over your background before taking any pictures will save you time when editing or perhaps save you from trending for all the wrong reasons. The internet never forgets you know!
On the other hand, cool and creative backgrounds are encouraged. If your background is anything cool like a stadium, a plane or even better, you are skydiving! Go ahead and shoot in wide angle to include the background.
4. Tighten things up.
Sometimes the simplest selfies end up attracting more likes. Instead of stretching your arms in attempt to fit in the background, focus on your face by cropping the frame tightly. This is especially if your background is not worth shooting.
5. Angles! Angles! Angles!
Unwanted foreshortening, pig nose, and enlarged foreheads are but a few of the effects caused by poor face angling. To get a good selfie, you ought to experiment a little with your angles.
We all have a good side, let this be what your camera captures as opposed to a “straight-on” shot of your face.
6. #Follow a current trend.
Every now and then, the internet comes up with a trending topic that more often than not, requires a selfie. Take for instance common ones like #TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) or #TBT (Throwback Thursday). You can also follow interesting ones like #theicebucketchallenge to support a good cause. Better yet, why not start your own hashtag and watch it trend?
Join in on the fun to add some variety to your selfies but make sure you know exactly what you are supporting.
7. … But avoid clichés.
Occasionally, you will get the urge to strike some overdone poses. Do not worry. It happens. Take a deep breath, put your phone down and revisit when the urge has passed.
I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have grown tired of “the heart hands pose”, the “I’m pretending to be asleep” pose and the incredibly ridiculous “duck face pose”.
8. Show off more than just your face.
Good selfies are not just about faces and facial expressions. To spice things up, you can include your torso in the picture and show off your hard-earned beach body.
9. Avoid a double chin.
To eliminate a double chin from your headshots, extend your neck forward toward the camera and bring your forehead out and down. This is the technique that professional photographer Peter Hurley uses to capture amazing headshots. It not only eliminates a double chin but also gives you a defined jawline.
10. Front Camera trumps Back camera.
Although the back camera often has a higher resolution than the front small camera, the latter is best preferred for selfies. This is for the obvious reason that it allows you to view your photo before taking it.
You also focus more on looking good for the camera rather than aiming for the shutter button. Besides, many phones cameras nowadays come with some decent front camera specifications.
11. Camera placement counts.
Placing your camera at the height of your waist gives the impression that you are taller hence recommended for men.
On the other hand, lifting the phone slightly above your head results in a more feminine look. This helps in accentuating your features and making you look shorter. A selfie stick comes in handy in this case especially if your hands are not steady.
A rule of thumb for taking good selfies is to look right at the camera lens. This plays a big role in properly exposing your eyes.
12. What is your face saying?
Do the Tyra Smize (Smile with your eyes), blow a kiss or make silly faces; and if everything else fails, simply flash a genuine smile. The point is, don’t just stand there, communicate something with your facial expressions. While at it, try to relax and be natural.
When all is said and done, there is one thing that is always constant in any good selfie, confidence! I am yet to see a selfie of Kim Kardashian, or any celebrity for that matter, which does not ooze confidence. That said, master some confidence before taking a selfie, try to have some fun and follow the tips and poses above. Trust me; it will be worth every shot (no pun)!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.