Welcome to 2017 and the selfie is everywhere – all over social media and on everyone’s phone. We all do it. We have more access to photography than we have ever had, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the images are any good. If you want to make the most of your selfie, follow our quick and easy tips for the perfect selfie.
Angle Is Everything
We’re talking about the angle of your head and the angle of the camera. Firstly, if you hold your head perfectly straight and look into the camera that’s on your eyeline, you’re going to end up with an image that wouldn’t look amiss in a police line-up. It’s not flattering. Have you ever met anyone who likes their passport photo?
Hold the camera higher than eye level. It’s much more flattering. It’ll make your eyes look bigger and any chins smaller, because your head is lifted. Tilt your head, too – it highlights your cheekbones.
The next tip is a bit more technical, but don’t worry. You need to consider the lighting. Professional photographers make their images so much better than ours just because they know how to work the light. Get this right and not only will your skin glow and your hair look really shiny, but you’ll get dazzling eyes with the catchlights.
Stand near a window, or go outside to make the most of the natural light, which is always more flattering for a portrait than artificial light. Strip lighting is the worst! See where the shadows fall and angle your face so the light hits your features. A classic trick the pros use is to bounce light into the face. It gets rid of unflattering bags and wrinkles without the need for editing afterwards.
We don’t expect you to be carrying around reflectors as part of your everyday wear, but there will usually be something useful lying around. Pros call them reflectors, but we’re not talking mirrors – a piece of white paper, even a napkin, held out of sight of the camera but close to your face will help bounce light towards you.
Another trick is movement. You’ve doubtless seen the giant fans used in pop videos to get hair “blowing in the wind”. You can create a similar look with a gentle paper fan. They key is to think “breeze” rather than “hurricane”.
If you’re struggling for light, some clever make-up to highlight your key features will give your skin a wonderful glow – again without need of a filter. Stage make-up is bold so features don’t get lost, so creating a ‘focal point’ on your face with bold eyeliner or a statement lipstick will make for a more memorable image.
If in doubt, there’s an app for that! You might even have software built in to your phone that will allow you to smooth your skin and whiten your teeth. Add a filter, too, if you like, to give the image a definite feel, like an arty black and white or vintage sepia finish.
Above all, don’t take it too seriously. If you want to strike a silly pose, go for it. You’re taking pictures to look back and remember the good times, so let’s make it fun!