Taking a selfie is the modern form of sitting for a portrait. While it may lack the hours of devotion and technique, it is, in a way, an art form.
If you've been trying to improve your selfie game, try these model-ready techniques that everyone should know.
Look Up at an Angle
Knowing how to work your angles is a basic selfie technique that everyone should practice. Taking a selfie from slightly above your face at an angle often results in the most flattering photo.
Why is this angle so effective? Taking a photo straight on flattens your features. Adding a slight angle creates dimension and captures the 3D aspect of your face. The reason people say that the camera adds weight is because it essentially flattens a 3D object into a 2D object— in this case, your face. The upward angle highlights the space between you and the background to add depth.
Remember to Smize
Ditch the forced smile and learn how to smize instead. Fake smiles look inauthentic because they don't reach your eyes. By learning to convey your emotion with your eyes, you'll set the tone for your selfie. Whether you decide to smile, smirk, or pout, a smize will bring the look together.
Take some time to practice your smize in the mirror. Think of something funny and watch how your eyes react. Forget worrying about fine lines and crows feet— the key to a perfect smize is a little crinkle.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Most people who feel awkward taking photos can tell you that it mostly has to do with their hands. Wondering what to do with your hands in a picture leads to self-consciousness, discomfort, and confusion. You can quickly eliminate this response by keeping your hands busy.
Hold onto something in your photo. You can use a prop like a coffee cup or handbag. Alternatively, you can work your surroundings into the image by grabbing a doorframe or putting a hand on a wall or ledge. If props and surroundings aren't on brand, play with your hair or the collar of your shirt. The key is to stop worrying about what your hands are doing so that you can relax and look natural.
Get Some Distance
Getting too close with a camera can distort your face. Whether you're learning how to take a group selfie or going solo, distance is the key to getting a great selfie.
If you don't have long arms, consider using a small selfie stick or tripod. You can also use other props to hold your phone up and use the timer for some hands-free selfie action. Mirrors are another useful tool for capturing fantastic OOTD selfies and full-body shots.
Learn Some Basic Edits
Before you post your selfies, learn some basic editing techniques to sharpen the image. The intention behind a selfie is making people feel like they're right there with you. Basic edits to highlight your best features or balance out the lighting can make a big impact. Adding a consistent filter or color scheme (for example, matte or high contrast) creates an aesthetic.
Be careful not to overdo it when editing your selfies. Using Snapchat filters that completely distort your face shape comes off as disingenuine. Adding layers of filters that take away from the realism of the image is also an outdated practice.
Keep Your Background Tidy
Finally, never underestimate the power of a tidy background. Take some time before each selfie to clear the space behind you. Chaotic backgrounds or "when you see it" moments take away from the picture and distract the viewer. Once you choose your OOTD for a mirror selfie, kick all the other things you tried on out of the camera frame.
With these great selfie techniques, you can capture great photos to level up your #SelfieSaturday.