The ingenious decision of smartphone manufacturers to include a camera in the device, and even more, to include a camera that faces you while you can see yourself on the screen has revolutionized the way people take photos today.
According to Google, which runs the popular Android platform for smartphones and accounts for around 70% of all mobile devices currently being used around the planet, some 93 million selfies are taken from devices running the operating system every day. There is hardly a smartphone in manufacturing today which does not contain a front-facing or ‘selfie’ camera.
Selfie cameras have become so important over the years that smartphone manufacturers worked hard to improve their quality over time, even building phones around the idea that young adults, between the ages of 18-24, have a picture of themselves for every third photo they click. Today, some phones boast a selfie camera that even eclipses the main camera mounted on the rear of the device
The popularity and ubiquity of selfie photos are such that it has been taken at the top of Mount Everest and the bottom of the sea, even in space. Even animals are not immune to the allure of taking a flattering image of themselves. Some selfies have even broken the internet with a selfie taken by popular television host Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars in 2014 set a record for the most retweets with 1.8 million retweets.
The craze for taking selfies has even resulted in companies developing dedicated equipment to help you take them including extendable sticks with a remote, digital watches with a remote shutter trigger, and even fancy accessories that help you take photos of yourself from a distance. Others have been truly bizarre and NSFW, like the one advertised in a Saturday Night Live sketch which allows you to install the contraption in your derriere and you, had to clench to take an image.
It can also be argued that the popularity of selfies has led to the creation of an entire category of social media networks that focus primarily on recording in the selfie mode.
But there is a grim side to taking selfies as well. Taking selfies has become an obsession for many and can lead to over sensitization about your body image and studies have shown that it can lead to increased anxiety and impact your self-confidence.
However, there are some consequences worse than a loss of confidence in one’s appearance. Many people have lost their lives in their attempt to snap the most daring selfie.
Yet, people continue to spend a lot of time and money to buy devices that have better selfie cameras and keep posting selfies almost daily.
Today, we will share some tips and best practices to keep your selfie game strong, and perhaps even lessen your anxiety a little.
To take the best selfie you have to achieve a balance between the kind of device and equipment you use, the right kind of filters, and how much you practice your selfie skills and safety.
Getting ready for selfies
Selfies are obviously about you. And before you even open your camera app, you must take care of a few things to ensure that your selfies come out looking glam.
Always try and take a selfie in a well-lit area so that all your features are clearly visible. You can do that by standing in a well-lit area by the sun or by artificial lights. Just be careful that the light is not directly overhead or below you or else it will make you look like a horror movie villain. In the same vein, it is probably best that you avoid taking pictures in shadows.
When posing in the sun, try and avoid the sun hitting your face front-on. A little from the side or bounced off a wall or something will help give you a more flattering appearance. If you have to use artificial light, such as a ring light can be great, just be sure to place it at the angle from the side and even elevate it over your head and tilt it back towards you.
Try and experiment with angles, you can do that by either tilting your phone or your head. Everyone knows the common selfie of just holding your phone out with your arms stretched and a little over your head to get a shot like looking down at you. When doing that, make
sure your phone is at a 45-degree angle.
Further, you can point your chin downwards while looking up at the camera will help give a more natural look to your face. You can further accentuate your features by turning your face 45 degrees to one side though you can also look straight at the camera.
Make sure your eyes are the center of attention by always looking directly into the camera. There is nothing more attractive than a person who has wide eyes looking at you intently, allowing you to peer into their soul.
Everyone has at least one bathroom, a mirror, a car, and a restaurant selfie on their device somewhere. The next time you have the urge to pull out your phone and take a snap, maybe first take a look around and think a bit about what will become the background of your
photograph. Try and look for uncluttered backdrops, preferably with a bit of texture to give intrigue.
While not everyone can have pearly white teeth, it still does not hurt to smile a bit. Try to remain in the middle and not overdo the smile.
It also helps if you relax when taking the selfie and let it come naturally to you. The camera is a cruel beast and it knows when you are trying too hard to give a certain type of look. So, relaxing your body, especially your face can help give you a more flattering look.
Then there is the ubiquitous mirror selfie. It is nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has at least one in their pictures gallery.
Here are some easy steps on how to take full-body selfies: Experiment with photos so that you get the hang of getting the camera placement right and learning about the best angle to take a picture of your body from.
When taking a full-body selfie, try not to just stand straight. You can position your body at an angle, maybe bring your legs across and throw a shoulder back a bit. Make sure you are strategic about how you use your hands. They can be great instruments to direct the vision so don’t hide them behind your back but use them to direct the viewer’s attention to your best features such as your jawline, your eyes, your hair. Essentially learn what Stanley Kubrick did and repeat it.
When holding your phone for a mirror selfie, be careful to not let the phone reflecting in the mirror block out a good side of yours.
While the above are some general tips on getting a good selfie, let us break them down and go over some selfie tips for guys and girls.
Go through Instagram and other popular social media networks and make a note of all the popular poses. You can’t have a good selfie game if you can’t pose. There are some staple poses such as the ‘duck face’, its cousin the “kissy face” and the “model pout” - where you
pucker up and pout to varying degrees. Then there is the fish gape where you look off-camera with your face a little agape.
It also helps to know your way around editing photos a little and all the top filters that complement your features when posted. Again, the only way to determine this is to experiment, experiment and experiment to find the one which
While these are some selfie tips for girls, the guys can also get in on the action.
For men, selfies are a little different. For one, they are not required to pout. They can if they wish, but it is not mandatory.
Just looking straight on into the camera with a pair of smoldering eyes should do the trick. You can choose to leave your lips parted or closed, smiling or angry based on taste.
For those of you who have a pet, flaunt it, the awkward the posing the better. Also, it does not matter if your pet is a cat, a dog, a goldfish, or a goat. Just make sure it is not a mouse, a gerbil or hamster or a spider, or a lizard, go by what the gross meter tells you.
If you are into fitness and hit the gym regularly, selfies featuring your muscles are a sure hit. And if you have been flabby before and ripped now, muscle flex should be natural to you by now.
You can also take selfies chilling next to your prized possessions such as your car or bike, your gaming rig, tools, or your sporting goods. Being at consummate ease is the ultimate selfie for men.
When styling for selfies, gents should opt for shirts or T-shirts which are of a solid color. Some facial grooming, unless you are sporting a well-manicured beard, can help you look neat.
While selfies are all about pictures of you that you have taken yourself, getting a little help sometimes is not a bad thing. "
Thankfully, taking a selfie is not only a very simple process but also quite an important one and there are a few basic tools that you can use to help you take the best selfie.
On the hardware side, you will be well served to invest in a basic tripod that can hold the phone. You can also get a wireless shutter trigger to snap your photos without having to set the phone camera on a timer.
An external light, like a ring light, can help you light your selfies better, even during the day.
On the software side, download a few photo editing apps like Snapseed and Lightroom mobile to quickly edit your photos.
It also helps to learn about the effects all the different filters in Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have and how you can stack filters and recreate looks across apps.