To be honest, I’m a fan of selfies. If I’m going to post photos of myself online, I want to have as much control over them as possible. At first, some people tried to pretend that their selfies were really taken by other people, but ever since “selfie” got inducted into the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, I think we’ve all given up and embraced them.
So how can you take your best selfie?
Find your best angle
First of all, find your best angle. According to selfie queen Kim Kardashian, tilt down your chin and angle the camera slightly downward so you’re looking up at it. Take a few test shots and move your head around slightly to see what looks best. If you have an iPhone, you can use Burst Mode by holding down the red capture button and varying your position slightly. Then, you can sort through those photos in the burst to pick the most flattering ones.
Sometimes, the background of the selfie is even more important than the subject. In that case, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and get a selfie stick. I understand that they don’t have a reputation as being particularly “cool,” but we’re already talking about making a seemingly-effortless selfie the best it can be, so it’s possible that that ship has sailed. Plus, you can get photos like these:
Choose good lighting
At one point last summer, I decided I wanted to be an iPhone photographer and downloaded the VSCO app. It was a short-lived dream, but I read up on a few tutorials about how to play with the brightness, shadows, highlights, contrast, and so on in your photos. I followed the directions and took quite a successful photo of soup, if I do say so myself, but I ran out of energy to do that for every photo. My main takeaway was that lighting is incredibly important.
Optimal selfie lighting can be hard to find, particularly if you’re out at a venue at night. But don’t worry! Beyoncé’s personal assistant Ty Hunter has a solution for you. He has created a line of protective cases for smartphones that have LED lights around the edges to create a perfect selfie glow. These LED borders offer the same fully-lit effect that starlets’ dressing tables did in the Hollywood Golden Age, so take this age-old lighting trick and don’t be afraid to ham it up in your selfies! Tech company LuMee also carries self-lighting phone cases that come in a variety of fun colors.
Make colors pop
On ABC’s The Bachelor, the lead isn’t allowed to wear certain colors or small patterns and checks because the producers don’t believe they translate well on camera. This is a good rule to follow when taking a selfie, particularly if you are not skilled in editing the sharpness of your photos or if you want the focus to be on your face. In order to keep it simple, stick to a solid color that compliments your skin tone. If you’re not sure what tones make your skin pop, determine if you are cool or warm toned, and then take a look at these color wheels for suggestions of what will be flattering.
You’re all set!
Wait, let me take a selfie.