What’s the thing with selfies, anyway? Friends and followings keep flooding my Facebook and Instagram feed with their cheap auto-portraits. I find myself fighting the urge to block some of them. If you are going to send out tons of selfies, make sure to get them right or at least interesting enough for people to want to interact with it. Here are 8 easy tricks to make better selfies.
1. Enough with the bathroom selfies, already!
No more bathroom mirror shots, please. If your plan is to take a full-body snap to show off your outfit, and your arm length falls short, use a timer. Yes, there is such a thing on your phone or camera. If not, look for an app that delays the shot.
2. Mind the background
This tip is in direct relation with the first one: The background matters. Stage your picture so that your surrounding adds value to it. If you are in vacation, you won’t lack of picture-perfect spots. Otherwise, stick to clear, uncluttered backgrounds.
Photo credit: David Blackwell via Flickr CC
3. Lighten up
Use good light and play around with it for various effects: natural light from a nearby window, the sun standing behind you, etc. Portrait photography has a set of lighting rules and effects to inspire you.
4. The more the merrier
Remember Samsung’s Oscar selfie going viral? It makes me think that more there are familiar faces gathered in a photo, more likely it is to get likes. The technical term should be groupie, if you ask me. You will probably get more engagement on your photos if you share the scene with people your followers know and want to see you with.
Also take several shots so you can later one choose which one you like best. A handheld camera takes shaky and sometimes blurry shots.
5. Good side, better angle
In the science behind great photography, flattering postures play an important role. For portraits, you should hold camera above your eye level. If you include your chest, remember to stick one shoulder forward. Here is a list to consider.
6. Why so serious?
You don’t want the Joker’s daddy to put a smile on that face, do you? A selfie should be an impromptu photo, a moment of free expression. Be silly, be inventive, and be funny. Spare us the duck and fish faces though (Overused!), and show us your cute face.
Photo credit: Eva Van Ostade via Flickr CC
7. Edit it
You have already taken a well-composed photo? Enhance it with filters and effects. Play around with it, removing slight imperfections but don’t overdo it. This blog post covered a set of apps every photographer should keep close.
8. Don’t spam
Yes, we all are narcissistic egocentrics, and we KNOW the world is craving for a glimpse at our glorious faces, all the time. In return, know what and where to post them. Most selfies, worst or best, will have a good run on Instagram, just because it is a photo-sharing platform. Don’t pull the same trick on Facebook or some of the other social media outlets. You will just annoy your followers and end up blocked.