Unless you have been in hiding for months (maybe even years) with no access to social media or photo sharing sites, you probably know what a selfie is. In fact, the only person we know who isn’t familiar with the term is our grandfather…and he just turned 88. A selfie, if you want an official definition, is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”
There are books about selfies; in fact the queen of selfies herself, Kim Kardashian, has penned a book entitled Selfish, which contains, appropriately nothing but selfies. There are gadgets (such as the Selfie Stick) designed for no other purpose than to take a selfie. If you search the hashtag #selfie on Instagram you get a whopping 215,434,271 posts. Selfies are a thing, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere, so you might want to embrace them, and more importantly learn how to take really good ones.
Read Related: 10 Tips to Take a Great Selfie
Before you start snapping away, you should know there are both rules and tricks of the trade when it comes to achieving a flattering and appropriate selfie. Before we dive into how you can make your photo look great, it’s important that you remember your audience. And if you’re posting this picture to social media, your audience is EVERYONE. Literally…your parents, your kids, your ex-boyfriend, your boss…everyone you know or don’t know or are “friends” with on Facebook can see that photo, and it’s available for public consumption forever. As Allure reports, according to Nicole Williams, career expert at LinkedIn, you need to “keep in mind that an employer is looking for who you are, but you want to pare things down a bit and make sure you look polished. Keep facial piercings and body art to a minimum.”
Make sure you are posting something that is appropriate, considerate to your loved ones, and puts you in a good light. Here are some tips to help you maser the art of the selfie.
Work With Good Lighting
The point of a selfie is to show people your face, so make sure you don’t take your picture with a massive shadow cast over you, making it impossible to see you. Natural sunlight always looks best (if you’ve ever taken a photo under fluorescent lighting you know what we mean). So if you are inside look for a window and let the sun’s rays light up your shot. If you are outside, try to face the sun so there are no unwanted shadows.
Be True to Who You Are
Warning: most people can spot a fake smile or a forced pose a mile away. Don’t try to look like something you aren’t and don’t pretend to be someone else. Instead, try to find flattering ways to enhance what makes you special. And remember: a great grin goes a long way, so when in doubt, just smile. No duck lips, no weird hand gestures, and no cheesy poses. Just be yourself.
It’s OK to Use a Filter, but be Honest
Filters are there to help make your photos look beautiful, even if you’re not exactly skilled with a camera. But if you do use a filter, then own it. Nothing is worse than someone who posts a gorgeous picture with an angelic glow and a perfect tan and they claim #nofilter, when clearly they enhanced every inch of that photo.
Experiment with Your Angles
Most of us have a good side. Maybe you don’t know what your good side is, or maybe you refuse to take a picture from any other position, but when it comes to selfies, you need to play around with poses and find an angle that works best for you. After all, these photos are taken up close and personal, unless you have insanely long arms. Do whatever it takes to accentuate your best qualities by capturing them in the best possible light and angle.
Don’t Overdo It
There are some people who post a different selfie every 5 minutes, and the term “annoying” doesn’t quite describe how we feel when their photos flood our newsfeed. Don’t be that girl. It’s OK to share a selfie when the time is right, when the mood strikes and you have a reason for posting your shot. But beyond that, cut yourself off.