“Selfie” was the word of the year for 2013. Years later it has yet to give up that mantle of favor. Some people have said that the craze of taking selfies is indicative of a society that has become self-obsessed. I prefer to think of it as a sign that more people are discovering their self-worth. Taking selfies signifies for me a time of empowerment, fighting back against preconceived notions, about beauty in particular. Sure there are negatives to taking selfies, but, like fire, selfies and the social media platforms where they’re posted, can heat and sustain you, not just burn you. It’s all in how you use them. In my mind, like so many things, it comes down to education. The more you know the better choices you might make, and the better content you might generate.
In my circles, I’m known for my selfies, second only to my smile. People ask me all of the time what my secret is to capturing great individual and group selfies. It’s not a secret, really, and it certainly isn’t rocket science — it just comes down to technique second and knowing yourself first. If you know yourself and know your message, it’s easy to know how to communicate with your audience. That’s what a selfie truly is… communication.
Here are my 13 tips for taking selfies that will get you noticed.
- Use Your Forward-Facing Camera
There is no denying that the rear-facing camera is easier to use for selfies, but forward-facing cameras produce better pics. It will take some getting used to, but muscle memory is a great thing. Once your finger learns where to go, you’ll be on your way to making beautiful selfies over and over again.
- Chin Down, Eyes Up
- Shoot Above Your Eye-Line
No matter how you place yourself, shooting from above your eyeline will raise the spirit of your selfie. Most people don’t want to look up your nose in your selfie. Save that view for your doctor.
- Arm Extended, Elbows Bent
Give your audience more of you by extending your arm when taking your selfie. Make sure to bend your elbow out of the frame so that you face is center stage, not your arm.
- Look in the Lens
No doubt taking a selfie in the mirror is a long-standing tradition. It’s a great way to capture a more full-body image to share your latest fashion find, for example. Make sure you look into the lens instead of the mirror. The lens is the gateway to your audience, and it is them that you are wanting to communicate with, right?
- Find Your Light
A twinkle in the eye is magnetic. Bring some magnetism to your selfie by finding the light with your eyes before you snap your picture. It doesn’t have to be a spotlight, a sliver of sunlight will do. Just keep moving your face until you feel the spark in your eye. A little spark can be enough to ignite a fire with your selfie.
- Say Something With Your Eyes
Your selfies don’t have to be all smiles, but they do have to say something. Tell a story with your eyes that your audience will be sure to want to learn more about.
- Keep Your Props Close
Your story may require visual aides. Keep your selfie compact by keeping your props close. It may feel awkward in your hands, but it will sit just right with your audience.
- Use Your Background
Selfies aren’t just about you — they are about where you are and what you are doing. Bring your audience into your world by sharing a bit more of it with them. Bring your background into the foreground. Make a party of it.
- Play with Angles
Selfies don’t have to be shot straight-on. You can play around with angles to shake up your audiences’ vision. Turn your camera this way and that, creating a selfie that lives outside the box, or the rectangle, or the square …
- Squeeze in Your Friends
- Don’t Fear The Sun
It’s always important to put some light in your eyes, but there is nothing wrong with having a little at your back too. It can make for a very artistic selfie. It may take a few tries to make sure you aren’t casting yourself in shadows, but when you get it just right, it’s downright angelic.
- Beware the Photobomb
Be sure to check your selfies before moving on to your next frame. Sometimes you might find an extra participant than you originally intended. A photobomb doesn’t necessarily ruin your selfie; sometimes it can make your story that much more interesting.