How to Take Good Selfies
One moment you will love it. The next moment you will hate it. Yes, that is the type of relationship that exists with selfies. This is especially true in case of women but men aren’t far behind. This selfie trend just doesn’t seem to end. People do weird things, daring things and sometimes, foolish things to get that perfect shot that they can share with the world. On the good side, selfies show off your confidence, your sense of fashion, your features and make you feel happy. On the bad side, others are often bored to death but who cares! Selfies are fun! So, in case you think you are not very good at the art of taking selfies, this how-to guide will help you with your endeavours. Just roll up your sleeves and get comfy…this is going to be a long article. This will be your “Selfie 101”.
Experimenting with different poses
The angle makes a big difference
Selfies are not just about pointing the camera to your face and shooting. It is much more than that. It should not be mundane and flat. A head-on picture is what almost everyone goes for but experimenting with different poses is what will help you find the best quality.
Problem with head-on images is that they make your features look flat. Come on! Your face is full of features and the whole purpose of a selfie is to show off yourself with confidence. So, get started with experiments and aim for different angles. Tilt your head or turn it a few degrees to your left or right. Experiment with the camera position too.
Here are a few points that you should keep in mind:
|The ‘good side’||Yes, everyone has what is known as the good side of the face. That’s the side which makes your face look more appealing and interesting because it appears to be more symmetrical and balanced. Finding the good side is important. This is where you will have to experiment with the angle.|
|The ‘big nose’ issue||Okay, not everyone has a big nose but those who have will definitely not like to show it off. Avoiding big nose has one nifty little trick. Just position the camera slightly above your head and voila! The big nose won’t look that big after all.|
|Beautiful ‘big eyes’||And who doesn’t like big eyes? People often fall for big and beautiful eyes and yes, if you are taking a selfie to show off your eyes, you need to focus on the camera position. As before, slightly above the head will help you make your eyes look bigger in your selfie.|
|Not ‘too high’||Cameras do not have minds of their own. They don’t know what should be focused on and what not. So, if you are pushing your camera way too high above your head, the odds are that it will focus more on your chest and cleavage and yes, it looks pretty unnatural too. So, the camera should be just high enough to focus on your face and not on your boobie valley.|
Don’t shy off from showing new things
Okay, we don’t mean to say that you will dangle a new underwear you just bought right in front of your face! We mean to say something like a new haircut or possibly a new pair of shades or a pair of new earrings! Things like these actually make you excited and yes, that’s when a selfie fits in perfectly because it will help you boast about the new thing without much effort! So, if you have something new to show, don’t be shy! Just show it BUT… you need to get the right frame for it so that the thing you want to show is highlighted.
So, what to do and what not to do? Let’s find out with a few examples.
- If you have a new haircut that you need to flaunt, a direct head-on pic will not work. That’s because, a direct pic like that will highlight your face and not your hairstyle. Get a flattering angle that will show the style you have embedded on your hair.
- If you have a new pair of shades that you want to show off to your friends to make them jealous, a direct head-on picture will be the best because an angular pic will not show the entire shades. Go straight-on!
- Similarly, if you want to show off your moustache, no angles please. It is always meant for a straight-on click.
- Did you just buy something new and exciting? Hold it up next to your face and place it slightly ahead of your face. Put on a big and natural grin on your face. Look happy!
While on the topic, we MUST EMPHASIZE that wearing a natural and full smile is really important. Do not fake your smile. Do not look mundane and sad. After all, no one likes to see a sad face unless you have a terrible enemy who wants you to be sad. Selfies are not about sadness. They are about happiness. So, be happy when you are clicking your selfie. That is a basic rule of thumb you need to remember.
Select your feature that you want to boast
As we said earlier, every person’s face is full of features. However, not every feature is worth boasting. Some people will have a pair of lips that will be worth showing off. Some will have lovely eyes and some will have beautiful smile while others will have lovely cheeks or nose. You must know the feature which is best. For instance, I know that my eyebrows are something I can boast about. I have received envious comments from literally hundreds of people.
So, identity your best feature and try to boast it in your selfie. But how?
The answer to this question is simple. You need to highlight your feature! For instance, if you think your eyes are beautiful, highlight your eyes and downplay the other features. When we say ‘highlight your eyes’, we actually mean, use some kind of makeup (sorry guys, not for you) such as mascara, eyeliner, eye shadows etc. Ignore other features or keep them subtle. By subtle we mean, keep everything else natural.
Similarly, if your smile is something you are proud of, consider keeping your eyes and your cheeks neutral and natural while give your lips a layer of stunning lipstick.
Expression is extremely important
Did you know that we have something called micro expressions? We express for every little thing and our feeling towards such things take a facial expression that even we ourselves cannot notice. Still, there are several expressions that not only us but everyone else around us are aware of.
So, selecting a proper expression is vital when it comes to taking a good selfie. Did you know, there is absolutely no way you can actually go wrong while smiling (except for trying to give a smile even when you are terribly broken from inside)?
Since you just can’t smile incorrectly, smile naturally. If you are actually broken from inside and your heart is constantly weeping, we are darn sure you will not go for a selfie. You won’t even be reading this article in the first place.
Now, many people think that smiling in front of a camera is kind of silly. Trust us, taking your own photo using a phone is no less silly either. So, smile silly for an act which is silly. Just make sure that you are wearing a natural smile.
However, if you think you want to go a bit serious, consider wearing a composed look, which has a collected and cool expression. This will tag your selfie with the words ‘on a serious note’.
The question is, ‘is experimentation is allowed?’
You are getting a hang of it already, aren’t you? Hell yes, you can experiment! Here, keep these points in mind:
- Try different types of smile. For instance, a coy smile (that is a smile with a closed mouth) can just suit you for that particular picture. Or, you can go for a flatteringly wide smile or a laughing grin. Try and experiment. Mix and match. Just remember that THE MOST FLATTERING EXPRESSION that you can have is a smile. So, go ahead and experiment.
- Talking about emotions however, you might just want to click yourself in a frame when you are actually feeling an emotion. For instance, you just received a beautiful gift from your partner and that made you inexplicably happy. That happiness is going to last a while. Try to click then. You know what, emotions are really difficult to fake and hence, if you are trying to fake an emotion, your selfie will just go wrong. Plan it out. If you want a selfie which makes you look genuinely happy, grab a movie or a TV series which will actually make you laugh. If you want to capture a scared-face selfie, watch a horror movie that makes you wet your pants. If you want to capture shock and surprise, consider watching news which might just do that to you.
A mirror selfie might be what you need
Define the purpose of the selfie first. Are you planning on showing off your new outfit or lingerie or your abs and toned muscles? If so, it is not the face that you will want to focus. You will need a full-length selfie or aka, the mirror selfie.
A mirror selfie will help you to capture yourself from head to toe. This is where you can actually flaunt what you want to flaunt. However, there are some golden rules of mirror selfie. You need to follow those. So, what are those rules? Here is the list you will want to follow.
- Lighting: This is the most thing you need to take care of. Lighting should not be behind you. The light should be in front of you. Even better – natural light but that’s not a very likely scenario as you will definitely not have a mirror in your garden. Choose a well-lit room.
- Focus objects: The golden rule of thumb in case of a mirror selfie is to keep the focus only and only on your body. If there is a distracting object behind you, get rid of it before you start clicking. If there is nothing you can do to remove it, try hiding it with a neutral colour cloth.
- Look slender: Unless you are really plus size and there is no way you can hide it, you should try to look a bit slender. The best way of doing so is to first identify the side on which you are holding your camera and then cocking you hip on that particular side. For example, if you are holding the camera in your left hand, cock your left hip. When you cock up your left hip, you will notice that your right shoulder will come a bit forward. That’s okay because that is exactly what you will need.
- Take care of your free arm: Once you are holding your phone in one hand, what the hell should you do with your other hand? There is something you need to do. You can either leave it dangling by your side and make your hip a resting place for your hand.
- Chest and ankle rule: Once you cock up your hip and you take care of your free arm, your chest should naturally lean forward a bit. If that is not happening, you have done something wrong. Try again and again until you get it right. Finally come to your legs. Your legs should stay crossed but where? Right at the ankle and not above that! Will you remember it?
That’s how you take a mirror selfie and oh yes, we almost forgot to tell you! DO NOT TURN ON YOUR CAMERA FLASH.
A natural look will suit you the best
Come on! Your natural look is best, you know that. Trying dabbing your face with loads of makeup and you will simply look artificial. That is not what you want because you are not on a set and you are not posing for a professional photoshoot.
Why are we saying say? To answer this question, we will ask you another question. Why are you taking selfies? What will you do with your selfies? Frame them and hang them on you walls and keep them to yourself? Of course, not! They are for the followers you have on social media and guess what, the more natural look you wear, the more your fans will like because they will get a glimpse of real you.
So, go for as minimal makeup as you can or even better, give a bedhead. Trust us, you will give your followers something solid and sexy to look at.
So, here are some tips that you should follow:
- Immediately out of bed: If you just woke up and you are planning on clicking a selfie, refrain yourself from doing so. That’s a nightmarish look that even your mirror and your phone will be scared of. A slight straightening up is what you will need in this case. Try very light (absolutely minimal) makeup and retain the natural look.
- Change your dress: Well, you might want to keep your night dress on if you want to show that to your followers. But…don’t you think that’s way too personal? Trying putting on something casual that you would usually wear if you just need to hop out to get a loaf of bread. But again, it all depends on you…a night dress may still be a cute one.
The slender leggy…
And who the hell told you that selfies are only and only for your face? Your legs deserve something good once in a while. Especially, if you are wearing a pair of new shoes which look amazing on you, you may want to get a leg selfie to show off the same. How will you do that?
Well, there is one simple rule you need to follow – make your legs look slender.
How on earth will you do that?
Here is what you need to do:
- Gradually slender: Starting from your thighs as you look down below to your feet, your legs should look slender. This means that you need to angle your camera accordingly.
- Angling the camera: The best way of clicking a leg selfie is to point your camera in a way that the frame of the camera actually starts from your upper thighs. Just how up you ask? Well, it should be just below the mark of your hips. From there, the other side of the frame should end somewhere beyond your feet, usually a few inches beyond.
- Nothing distracting: If there is something down near your feet which can actually take focus off your legs, remove them. For instance, a small bucket or a ball or just a carving on the sand…they might be distracting and focus-stealing elements.
There is nothing more to speak about leg selfies. So, let’s move on.
Avoid outdated poses
Selfies are no longer new. As we said earlier, it is something which is just not dying out. This means that this selfie trend has been around for long and possibly stay here for quite some time. So, you should be very careful about choosing a pose. Remember that there are some poses out there which have totally gone out of fashion but there was a time when they were insanely famous and people would use it like anything and still get attention of followers on social media.
Today however, those poses are passé and if you are using those poses, do so at your own risk because, once you use them and fail to add your own mix of uniqueness, you may simply lose some fans and followers. After all, social media is your lifeline (sarcasm very much intended).
Poses you should avoid:
- Duck face: Big eyes plus puckered lips – that’s in today’s context is the chemistry of completely shitty selfies. Click at your own risk. Don’t blame us.
- Muscle flexing: Boys – girls don’t really fall for that much now-a-days. Though you might want to show your biceps, triceps etc., remember that your fame will be seriously short-lived and even worse, people might just make fun of you.
- Sleeping pose: As if you are sleeping and someone just pulled off a photo, catching you off guard. Come on! We don’t even want to speak about it. It sucks!
- Someone else clicked: This is a very difficult stunt. Clicking a selfie in a way where you will fool people into thinking that you didn’t lick the pic yourself but rather someone else did it for you is almost next to impossible. There will be some clue or the other which will just give up your dirty trick. If you are using it, why don’t you add a wink or a devilish smile which will tell people that you did that on purpose and staged the whole thing? Trust us, you will save yourself from some criticism.
Better selfie tips
We have till now told you how to click good selfies. How about something even better? Something that will earn you quite a few comments and praises on your social media profile? If you really want that to happen, keep reading! We are going to reveal quite a few secrets here.
Lighting matters a lot!
What are selfies? They are essentially photographs, right? So, follow the basic rule of photography. Photography dictates that you put focus on light. Lighting can make or destroy a photo and hence, you will need a well-lit interior or proper natural light. In case you are in a room where the light is dim or the light is a fluorescent one which is harsh on eyes, remember that your camera won’t love them either and the selfie you click will give you creeps and nightmare.
Of all lights that you can use, natural light is best and has no match. So, consider these two possibilities:
- Selfie beside a window.
- Selfie outside your house.
When out there in nature and depending on the sun, there are a few very important things that you need to keep in mind:
- Sunlight will give harsh shadows if it lights your face from an angle or if the sun is right behind you. So, avoid that. Try to find a spot where the sunlight is coming from the front. This will serve two purposes. First, it will not cast shadow on your face and second, your features will not look distorted. Your features will not only brighten up but will also look soft and appealing.
- Remember to grab a position where the light source is slight above the level of your eyes.
- A thin cloth or a curtain in front of you will help you even more because that cloth will diffuse the sunlight, make it soft and flattering. This will make your features and facial lines appear soft and your smile will become even more attractive. This cloth idea works even when you are indoors and you are using a single light source while taking selfies.
- If there is no way of filling in shadows, consider using some artificial lines or better even, use a few filters and experiment to take off those unwanted shadows. Most modern phones and digital cameras come with smart auto feature which will do some colour correction on their own.
- Avoid flash please! This is very important. A flash will possibly give what is known as red eye effect and this is what you should absolutely avoid. Also, the possibility of glare appearing on your forehead will always be there. This will be very unappealing.
Rear camera is better
Remember that most of the smartphones today come with two cameras – one with a back camera or rear camera and other with a front camera. The rear camera is always of higher resolution and takes better and clearer photos whereas the front camera ends up taking blurry images because it is a low-resolution camera. So, consider using the back camera. Though it will be quite troublesome as you really need to work for quite some time and quite hard to get a good frame, it is eventually worth all the trouble you go through.
If you do not mind spending some money, get yourself one of the new phones which claim to be selfie experts and come with high resolution of front cameras.
Avoid mirror selfies as much as possible
Mirror selfies are good when you plan on taking full-length selfies. There are multiple reasons why you should not use a mirror selfie. Here are the reasons:
- Your camera will be visible in the selfie.
- Your image will be reversed.
- Mirrors do not always give back perfect and undistorted reflections. This means that your selfie might be distorted.
- In case you are using a flash in a mirror selfie – okay, we don’t need to say any further.
Also, while taking a mirror selfie, you may end up holding the camera in front of your body. This may not look that good. So, you will have to keep the angle right so that the camera doesn’t get in between. Stretch out your arms in an angular way and then twist your wrist as much as possible and then go ahead and click. A few shots are what you will need to get it right.
Background can light up your selfie
Learn it from photographers of repute – a perfect picture commands a wonderful background. Since a selfie is also a photograph, your selfie can really become eye catching if you consider using a beautiful background. The question is, what kind of background should you use?
There are basically two broad categories of people – first, those who love nature and second, those who prefer manmade or artificial. Depending on what kind of a person you are, your selfie should have a perfect background.
In case you are a nature person:
Under such a situation, consider going out when you plan on clicking a selfie. A natural background will brighten up your picture and make it more eye soothing. For instance, if you are out in a garden, consider clicking a selfie which captures some exotic flowers or perhaps a few stylish cactus plants. In case it is winter and you are somewhere near the snow, a white sheet of snow engulfing the terrain will be a perfect background for your selfie.
In case you prefer artificial:
Just as in case with nature, even those who marvel as artificial structures have a multitude of choices. Though it may not be a feasible option for you right now, how about considering a selfie in r front of a monument or perhaps on top of Eiffel Tower? See, the bottom line is clean and simple. Think of a background that really cheers you up in the first place or perhaps a location which will give you the necessary adrenalin rush and ensure that your emotions and expressions are genuine. You don’t need to be that daring either. Something as simple as a bookcase right behind you may cheer you up in case you happen to love books.
So, what you need to keep in mind while selecting a proper background is that:
- The selected background should be according to your taste.
- The selected background should be able to cheer you up.
- The selected background should not be distracting and focus-stealing.
- The selected background should not be ugly or perhaps something scary. People don’t like ugly and scary.
With these tips in mind, you can select a background that suits your taste best.
Photobombers are a strict NO
No matter how much you hate those people, photobombers will be around. They have always been there and they will never vanish. So, when you are clicking a selfie, make sure that there are no photobombers around. In case you have a younger brother or sister, they are most likely to photobomb your selfie. Don’t think that your elder siblings will not do that.
So, if you are afraid that there may be a photobomber around, lurking in the darkness and waiting for a perfect moment where they can destroy your selfie moment, just run a thorough check of the surroundings before clicking a selfie.
However, if somehow you don’t manage to take care of the issue and someone just happens to photobomb you, don’t just discard the picture right away. There will be times when a photobomber actually makes the photo far more interesting. So, check your pic again and again before you delete it.
In case your selfie turned out to be good and somehow the photobomber is actually destroying the whole thing, try using a photo manipulation program to either change the background of the image or simply crop off the other person’s photo.
A multi-people selfie may be as good as a single one
The rule of thumb says that if you are clicking a selfie, you should be in the selfie. However, there is no hard and fast rule which says that there cannot be other people in the selfie. You can always grab a person or two and click a selfie. The other people can be anyone from your siblings to your parents to your grandparents or besties or even your dogs or cats. Yes, horses, snakes (pet), squirrels, birds, rabbits etc. will also work.
In case of multi-people selfie, you will:
- Lose a great deal of control over makeup (of others)
- Lose a great deal of control over posture (both yours and others’)
- Lose a great deal of control on lighting
- Lose a great deal of control on emotions and expression
And yet… after all that you lose, a multi-person selfie has a different taste and flavour to it. It is more fun and visually interesting. It will be liked and shared by more people and will attract more comments. So, consider this seriously!
Avoid getting stale
Will you like to similar photos again and again and again? Not really, no! No one really likes that. So, the golden rule of selfie is to stay fresh and avoid getting stale. This is especially true if you click selfies frequently. The best way to deal with this problem is to use props.
The more props you use, the possibility of you giving a new look and feel to your same old face increases way more. Your photos do not become mundane and predictable. So, props are kind of a ‘MUST’ if you are looking forward to creating an album with insanely high number of selfies.
To both girls and boys – no matter how much your partner loves you, give them similar photos again and again and they will be like, ‘Ugh! Not again!’. That’s definitely not what you want, do you?
Filters, filters and more filters
“Oh, you edited the photo!” A few people will say this and trust us, they are usually the jealous folks who are technically paralyzed and don’t know how to use the simplest of photo editing tools. They don’t even know the difference between editing and photo filters.
Let us first clarify what filters actually do!
Filters do not allow you to change any detail in the actual photo. All that a filter does is that it simply adds a new layer above the photo to give it an entire different look and tone. Think of it this way:
“You are standing right in front of a person with nothing but air between you two. Then suddenly a translucent (semi-see-through) cloth comes between you two. The person looking at you will get a different look of you but you have actually not changed even a bit. Neither did your background change. Nor was there any change in your facial expression or the amount of sweat you had on your forehead! Basically, nothing changed except for the cloth that came in between.”
So, filter is basically that cloth we just talked about. It makes no changes to your actual photo except that a new layer of tone or colour comes in between, making your picture look different.
ADD FILTERS! Yes, they will give a whole new dimension to your picture and make you look different in one way or the other. The two commonest filters are ‘Black and White filter’ and ‘Sepia filter’ but they are not the only ones. There are many more filters and you can keep experimenting with all of them until you find the one which suits best for the picture in hand.
Where to find filters?
If your smartphone brand is smart enough, the likelihood of multiple filters already existing with your preinstalled camera app is very high. However, if your camera app doesn’t have proper filters, you can actually find and install a separate app which will allow you to do so. Else, ditch the phone app and go for a software program on your computer. Simple software programs are there which will allow you to do basic editing and they even have filters. In case you need something more advanced, you can always go for Photoshop.
Editing is not crime
Well, some people will say you that you should not edit your selfies. They are plain wrong. There is no such hard and fast rule which states that editing a selfie is a crime. You can always edit your photos. However, while editing your selfies, you should always keep the following tips in mind:
- Never make heavy edits to dramatically change your photos. For instance, if you are editing your pic to completely change the background, that’s not suggested.
- Make light edits like taking care of blemishes on your face or may be hide a pimple which shows up prominently on your face.
- Make sure that the editing is not making your selfie look unnatural. Try to keep your photo as much natural as possible. Light setting may be edited a bit and so can be the natural colours, brightness and contrast.
- You can crop or resize your image to fit your social media account’s requirements.
Rule of thumb while editing – do not make the photo look fake.
Take care of the settings
There will be certain settings which are always considered off limits. For instance, if you are taking a selfie when you are in a wedding party or a birthday party, it is always okay. However, if you are at a funeral and you are clicking selfies, neither will the people at funeral like it and nor will your friends and followers will like it unless they are totally brainless. Also, if you are clicking a selfie at a funeral, you are rendering yourself as brainless and insensitive.
Similarly, if you are somewhere at a memorial site, it is best that you do not pull out your phone for clicking a selfie. It might offend others and guess what, the chances are very high that you might be insulted and thrown out.
Do not go for life-threatening situations
For the sake of selfie, many people simply disregard the value of life. For instance, if you trying to click a selfie when you are para-jumping or you are climbing to the top of Burj Khalifa to click a selfie, you are simply risking your life. Similarly, if you are standing in the middle of a railway track with a train speeding up behind your bum and you are clicking a selfie to show your courage, athleticism or you are trying to prove yourself an adrenaline junkie, you are making a mistake. Come on! You won’t get your life back. Rather sit tight in your couch and think of new and exciting methods and poses and places of clicking selfies which are not life threatening.
Selfie clicking is basically photography no matter how ridiculously stupid and annoying it is. Since it is photography, it is basically a form of art that you cannot expect to master from day 1 unless you are a professional photographer. So, keep trying and keep all the tips in mind. You will eventually get it right and remember – life is precious. Don’t lose it for the sake of a selfie.