Are you tired yet of seeing Coronavirus this, Coronavirus that? I’ll admit, I’ve fallen into that too – providing resources for photographers and small businesses to help them get through this time – BUT even I need a break from it. That being said, let’s dig into something a little more fun.. tips from me on how to take the perfect selfie or “usie” which I hear is a selfie with two or more people. I keep hearing that the art of taking a selfie is dead however, I refuse to believe it or give into that. Sometimes you want to capture a moment and just because you don’t have someone there with you, readily available to snap your picture, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t capture it. Remember, pictures are how memories can visually live on for years to come. Keep reading for some of my favorite selfie tips:
1 – Just Take the Picture!
Typically, if you’re in an area worth capturing via selfie there are other people around and you may think, “I don’t want these people to think I’m a weirdo taking this picture”. But I’m here to tell you… forget about those other people. Chances are you’ll never see them again nor are they really paying as much attention to you as you think. Forget your shame or embarrassment and just take the darn picture. You’ll regret it later if you don’t! 🙂
2 – Long Arms Help
If you’re taking an “usie” or as I call it a “couples selfie”, a rule of thumb is to have the person with the longest arms hold the phone. Long arms equal less distortion and allow for more of the background to be captured. So, as much as your man may fight it, have him snap the picture – keep in mind, he may need guidance on the right angle though.
3 – Find Your Angle & Your Light
Just like with traditional photography, LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING and I mean it! When taking a selfie, or really and kind of picture, it is best to have the light in front of your face lighting you up. So find a place to position yourself where the light will be hitting you face on and you’re golden. Oh and if you can find a soft breeze to go along with it… even better!
While you’re focusing on finding the light, you also have to take into account your angle. Number 1 rule with angles: DO NOT take any under shots where the phone is facing up underneath your chin. It isn’t the most flattering angle, unless you’re a supermodel who can get away with anything. Hello, double chin! To help with this, think about propping your phone up by using things around you. I’ve looked like I was building jenga sets before trying to make a prop work for me, but guess what? I got the picture. By propping your phone up, your phone stays in one location while you have the opportunity to move throughout the shots to find your ideal angle.
4 – The Self-Timer is Your Best Friend
There’s a reason your phone comes with a self-timer – whether you need three seconds or ten, use it! And don’t be shy.. give it a try numerous times until you get a picture you’re satisfied with. It’s a great tool. Sure, you may look a tad crazy if you’re running from camera to your photo spot, but I promise you, everyone has looked ridiculous at some point in their lives. Even if you aren’t using the self-timer, it is still good practice to take several selfies until you get the perfect one. It rarely happens with the first shot.
5 – Back Selfie
Know your limits and switch it up when you’ve reached them. Meaning, know when taking a selfie from the front isn’t working and try taking a “back selfie” instead. For instance, if you have zero make up on, but your hair is looking pretty decent and you need to create some content, prop the phone up and do a back profile of you looking at the sunrise or out onto a landscape. I have several “back selfies” and they are some of my favorites.
6 – Ask Someone to Take the Pic
This also plays into knowing your limits or knowing what you’re after. If you don’t want to get caught taking a selfie or want a picture with a full background, get up the courage to ask someone to take the picture. Most people will say yes, especially if you’re at a tourist heavy location where everyone is trying to take pictures. Have someone take your picture then offer to take one of them. Again, better to have the moment captured than to not! Also, try to scope out someone who looks like they may know how to capture angles or are willing to take a few…normally a woman – nothing against you wonderful men!
Are you ready to go out and take the best selfies ever now? Just remember – you don’t have to be a model to want to capture a moment, even if it has to be in selfie style, AND we normally think we look ten times more ridiculous than we actually do. We are truly our worst critics, but those beautiful moments you’re living through are worth capturing! And when all else fails, drink a glass or two of wine beforehand and you’ll lose all cares in the world and be shocked at how good your selfies will turn out. What selfie tips would you add to the list? I’d love to hear them so I can try them out myself!