So you finally got your first smartphone? Your aunt got you a selfie stick for your birthday? You want to take a selfie that doesn’t scream SELFIE? Whatever your reasons may be, follow along for a few tips on how to keep your selfie game strong:
1. Use the Rear-Facing Camera for a Higher-Resolution Image
Brazilian born, Brooklyn-based photographer and blogger Hortencia Caires took the above image with her rear-facing camera. “Lighting also is key!” She says that when she doesn’t have access to a strong natural light source, she takes advantage of a separate light, like the 19" Interfit Fluorescent Ring Light.
2. Get in the Light
“A good selfie is all about finding the light!” Brooklyn-based freelance journalist Hannah Bae agrees, and suggests getting near natural light—whether it’s outside or near a window, whenever possible.
3. Look at Your Lens—NOT Your Screen
“Don’t be afraid to take your selfie at an unexpected angle; looking at the lens gives the illusion of really looking at your viewers.” Whitney H.I, freelance videographer and drone specialist takes advantage of a black-and-white filter and negative space for her selfie.
4. Adjust for Height
Unless your forehead is your favorite feature, when one person is taller than the other, adjust accordingly!
5. No Arms/Hands/Selfie Sticks Allowed!
I know it’s a selfie. You know it’s a selfie. That doesn’t mean it has to look like a selfie. The 7 Line Army and the Citifield Sheas know how to play with perspective and tilt to eliminate distracting arms and selfie sticks from their angle of view.
6. Mix It Up
Who said a selfie has to be of your beautiful face? Whether it’s to show off your #OOTD (outfit of the day) or pride for your team, mix it up! “It sometimes takes more than one try!” Bryan Lowery, a mechanical engineer turned clothing designer photographs his sneaker collection most often from a variety of angles until he is satisfied with the final result.
7. You Don’t Have to Include Everything…
And last, but certainly not least, if you must take a mirror selfie—hey, I get it—rear-facing camera and a view of yourself in the frame, just remember the mirror is going to reflect the background as well. “If you’re going to take a bathroom mirror selfie, do the world a favour and crop out the toilet.” Trophy Wife Barbie suggests.
Life is hard. Selfies don’t have to be. Whether or not you find yourself rolling your eyes over the mere thought of taking a selfie—or you’re the friend with a selfie stick, chances are you’ve been in more than one selfie by now. If you’re anything like me, you may have gone through similar stages of steady opposition, followed by gradual reluctance and/or coercion, until finally you find yourself embracing the selfie; throwing up a peace sign and saying “Kimchi!” with several of your closest friends on the streets of Seoul.
That’s, at least, my selfie story. It’s what happens when you find yourself living in South Korea—halfway around the world from my closest friends and family during the advent of smartphones, followed by the acceleration of social media and instant connectivity. “I’d argue South Korea’s selfie game is the strongest in the world. Koreans had a word for selfie—‘selca,’ a portmanteau of “self” and “camera”—well before the former entered the mainstream English vernacular.” Hannah Bae, a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist concurs.
Before selfies became the mainstay in the USA, I was simultaneously ahead of all of my friends Stateside, yet far behind all of my friends in Korea. My mother, obviously, loved seeing my face as I lived abroad and traveled around the world. My friends may or may not have rolled their eyes as I embraced the art of the selfie. Just because the selfie phenomenon has become commonplace, doesn’t mean your selfies have to be predictable. Hopefully the aforementioned tips help breathe new life into your selfie game. Now get into the light, use your rear-facing camera, angle your lens just right, and take your best shot—ahem—selfie!