Since the Oxford English Dictionary crowned 2013 the year of the selfie, the trend has showed no signs of slowing down — even toddlers, our grandparents, presidents, and popes are taking them. Besides, we’ve been finding means of self-representation since man first put paintbrush to cave wall. From Rembrandt to the latter days of Myspace, it’s obvious that our human nature embraces being fascinated by ourselves. If you have joined the selfie craze and wish to achieve the perfect shot, here are 5 basic rules to ponder before posting your next shot and to avoid the embarrassing results of snapping quick selfies walking through a door, and yes, even in the bathroom!
1. Selfie, Not Self-Centered!
Selfies aren’t essentially a bad thing. In fact, they can be really hilarious and there’s the element of excitement in sharing fun moments with friends by taking a picture of ourselves. However, don’t let selfies just become an opportunity for everyone to see your face — you have a great face, but not everyone needs to see it every 10 seconds.
2. Think Before You Selfie
We live in a culture where we post everything, but we have to be sure we post with meaning and intention. Don’t post a selfie just to get likes, followers, or shares. Also, ask yourself if you’re just looking for attention, if yes, don’t post. Selfies should aim to share a fun moment, capture an event, or tell a story. Another problem with taking constant selfies is that it disconnects you from what’s happening around you and from reality, i.e. real human interaction.
3. Filters & Selfies
There are many filters that we can add to our photos. They can add fun effects and we are tempted to believe they make us “look better.” However, don’t be afraid to post a selfie without a filter. On the other hand, if you look like you’re about to keel over or haven’t slept in weeks, go for an extreme filter, such as Inkwell or Willow in Instagram, to wash out those lines and dark circles.
4. Practical Tips
On a less philosophical note, it turns out that taking your phone cover off and just shooting with the phone itself has a major impact on the clarity and quality of your pic. Although there’s a hole in the cover for your camera lens, it catches the camera focus in the periphery, causing the image to be less clear — the difference is like day and night.
Talking about night and day, the best selfies are captured outside especially early morning or late afternoon. Another tip is not to reverse the camera on your phone so that you can see yourself — it lowers the quality of your photo. Lastly, to get your angles right, experiment in front of the mirror and discover what pose or head tilt best reflects your face. If it’s emotional engagement you’re after, the best eye line is directly to the lens.
5. Don’t Try Beat the Kardashian Face
Unless you’re actually a Kardashian, don’t try look like them — the gaze and puckered lip thing is really hard to achieve. Also, let’s get real, when you take a self-portrait you’ll never outpace a model when it comes to having eternal patience for her photographer. Nevertheless, take your time, explore every possibility within the photo and try be creative as possible — after all, selfies are supposed to be fun, everyone loves a good selfie, and our culture loves taking them!