Long before now, most of us have needed to visit a photo studio or get the photographer to our houses before we could get our pictures taken. However, with the invention of digital cameras and phones, taking pictures has become easy to do. Pictures are taken every day and everywhere, and we’re often taking those pictures ourselves, especially when showing the world our fun side, fashion sense, confidence, and sometimes personality.
A selfie, a word that was coined in 2005 as a way to describe a special kind of self-portrait, is an informal picture generally taken with a digital camera or smart phone held at arm’s length, snapped on the fly and usually destined for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or some other form of social media. Taking a selfie can be a hard thing to do because you are in front of the camera and at the back of the camera simultaneously. Therefore, taking one is more than just pointing the camera at your face and clicking away. You have to learn the art and perfect it for a great outcome.
From actors and musicians, to award winning scholars and even presidents, everyone is taking a selfie. When taking a selfie, you want it to be a good, attention-grabbing selfie without coming off as an egomaniac.
So, what do you have to know and learn to pull off a great selfie?
Have a Defined Look
Before you pick up your phone, tab or camera to take pictures, you must decide what you want to look like. Yes, I know it a selfie but the saying “a picture speaks more than a thousand words” is still very much relevant. And since the major purpose of taking a selfie is most times about showing off something, abstract or concrete, you have to decide on a look. So, take a good look at yourself in the mirror or preview your look on the camera before you start snapping away.
Use Good Light
Because the camera is very close to you, using the built in flash might not give you the kind of selfie that you want. So, it is advisable to use natural light. Using natural light for pictures gives it a natural, soft look. So, next time, try standing next to a window and letting the natural light coming in through it fall on your face; this will give your selfie a soft, natural look and also help eliminate dark shadows.
Experiment With Different Angles
Raising your camera or phone slightly above your face makes your face slimmer. Turning one shoulder a little bit towards the camera will allow your chest to be captured with your face. But in all, you just have to find a good angle for your selfie. Knowing your good side and taking the photo from that side of your face is a great idea, especially the side of your face that looks the most balanced and symmetrical.
Show Off Something New
Don’t just take selfies and share on social media for the sake of it, remember pictures speak. So, when showing off something new, frame the photo in a way that highlights the new features that have you so excited.
Avoid The Mirror
Unless there is no other way to get the shot you want, never use a mirror for your selfie. It will appear in reverse and your camera will be visible. Plus, your selfie could appear distorted, since mirror glass doesn’t always reflect back a perfectly accurate image. The best selfies are the ones you just stretch out your arm, use your wrist to point the camera towards your face, and snap away. The exception to this would be if you want to take a full-body selfie, since it can be hard to capture more than your head and shoulders without using a mirror.
Use The Back Camera
Most phones now have the kind of cameras you can switch back and forth, so it is tempting to watch the preview of yourself while taking a selfie. But know that pictures taken with your front camera have lower resolution than ones taken with the back camera. It is therefore advisable to use your back camera to snap selfies. Forget about the stress, the quality is worth it.
Watch Out For Photo Bombers
There was a bathroom selfie I saw on Twitter where the photo bomber was half naked. Apparently, the lady taking the selfie didn’t notice that her friend left her cubicle door opened, she just snapped away and uploaded instantly. So be careful, photo bombers (intentional or unintentional) can ruin your perfect selfie. Before you take your selfies, you must make sure your environment is clean and safe enough for the perfect picture you want. Some photo bombers are not entirely bad though; some could turn out more perfect than expected, just watch out.
Use Editing Apps
If you have some editing apps on your phone, there is absolutely nothing wrong in making use of them. You can filter the picture; you can make your selfie as light or dark as you want. If you master these apps and use them correctly, they make your selfies look even better.
Don’t Overdo it
You should take a lot of selfies; it’s the best way to ensure you end up with a good one. You should look exciting; it’s the best way to get you more ‘likes’ on your social media page, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want us to see your new selfies every hour on our time line, or see you constantly making some silly faces all in the name of looking interesting. Don’t get me wrong, silly faces are good sometimes, but we don’t want to see that ‘infamous’ duck face every time you post a selfie. So, take as many selfies as you want, but keep your selfie posting to a minimum. Just remember that it’s best to do everything in moderation.
About the author: Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele. He currently lives in Lagos.
Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.