If you’re not an experienced selfie machine then like most people sometimes you struggle taking pictures that you really believe accentuate your best features.
Selfies can be tough, but the information is out there – like this handy guide from HowToGeek – and with modern smartphones ditching shabby front-facing cameras in favour of 12 MP depth-sensing arrays with Night Mode and simulated studio lighting – taking great selfies is easier than ever.
Here are 6 Tips That Are Sure to Make You a Selfie Connoisseur:
1. Use the Best Natural Light Available
Natural light is a double bonus – it’s both free and flattering. Users can use daylight to their advantage to create a range of natural effects, even in harsh direct sunlight.
Smartphones have really small camera sensors, so the more light you can force into them, the better the image will be. Poorly lit selfies, particularly on older devices that lack features like Night Mode, can look grainy and lose a lot of detail.
How do you take advantage of natural light? Pick a window that’s not receiving direct sunlight for the best effect. An overcast day produces the best light for taking pictures of your face and upper body.
2. Light No Good? Create Your Own
Daylight only lasts half of the day, so sometimes you’ll have to create your own light. Users may be tempted to use desk laps or similar, but these lights are not balanced in terms of warmth so they may make your skin look weird, regardless of what your tone is.
Cheap ring lights are perfect for the casual selfie taker, or anyone who wants even lighting at the click of a button. However, users should avoid ring lights with exposed LEDs that lack a diffuser for more flattering results.
3. Look Up, Don’t Look Down
The angle at which a selfie is taking has a massive impact on the outcome. Users should experiment with different angles to see which effects they prefer – though an important rule to adhere to: Always look up, never look down.
No, you don’t always have to lift the camera over your head but it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re facing 90º or greater for the most flattering results. Extending your neck and accentuating your jawline helps minimize some of the flaws we keep focusing on.
4. Keep the Background in Mind
A distracting background can ruin a good selfie. Remember, it’s a selfie, not an everyone-ie. Selfies are by nature a showcase of the foreground object (the selfie-taker), so minimizing the background and focusing on the foreground is a good idea.
Many smartphones nowadays feature a “portrait” mode on the front-facing camera, which uses depth sensors on the front of the device to blur objects. This effect can blur out the background, helping people focus on what’s most important.
A nice tight crop on the subject of the photo can help train the eye to go where you want.
5. Ditch the Selfie Stick – Try a Tripod Instead
If you’re a ritual selfie taker, then it’s probable that you love your selfie stick, but sometimes images taken with the stick all seem to blend together and look very similar. Most are shots from the same distance in front of your face, at relatively the same angle, with one or both arms extended to hold the stick away from your face.
There’s a better way forward if you’re feeling inventive – cheap, flexible smartphone tripods allow users to position their smartphone almost anywhere. Since users will be able to turn any surface into a tripod stand, they’ll take more interesting photos.
6. Incorporate Movement
Static images can too often begin to look boring and staged. Introduce some movement into the shot to transform it from a sterile portrait into an interesting action photo.
Hair is a great way to introduce movement, especially medium to long lengths. A simple desk fan or gentle breeze can introduce enough movement to your hair to create some motion blur. Users can also try taking selfies while walking, or using public transport.
Even jumping into a pool – but make sure your phone is waterproof first.