Whether you like it or not, selfies have skyrocketed in popularity. Celebrities are doing it, the president is doing it, even the pope is now part of the trend. Social networks are one of the reasons why selfies are so popular as that's where self-portraits usually end up. Another is the adoption of smartphones, which let us quickly snap a self-shot and post it online.
But how do you take a good selfie anyway? Well, there's a number of factors you should consider before pressing the trigger. Do you look your best? Is there anything or anyone in the background that shouldn't be there? Are you holding the camera at the optimal angle? Is the occasion appropriate for taking a photo at all?
So yeah, taking stunningly good selfies can be tricky, but it should be possible with a bit of practice. Our tips and tricks can surely help as well. Flip through the slideshow below for some valuable advice on taking great selfies.
Taking the perfect selfie
Taking the perfect selfie
1. Light matters
Proper lighting can make the difference between an average and an award-winning photograph. That's why you should take your selfies in a well illuminated place, and your bathroom probably isn't one. It is also advisable to make sure there are no strong lights anywhere in the background. You know, like the sun. Unless your goal is to take a silhouette photo of yourself, that is.
2. Look at the camera, not at your screen
Here's one thing we're all guilty of. Looking at the screen, not at the camera, makes it seem as if you're looking down at something. Unless you intend to achieve the said effect, try to look at the camera when taking a selfie.
3. Be creative, be silly
Why take just one photo of yourself when you can take many? Then put them in a collage, add stickers, and share! Be creative, see what you can come up with.
4. Background blur can be awesome
One way of taking better selfies is by applying a DSLR-like blur effect to them. Doing so focuses the attention of the viewer onto yourself and removes whatever distractions there may be in the background. Keep in mind that while many modern smartphones have this effect built into their camera apps, it won't work with their front-facing camera. This is why you need Google Camera to do the blurring for you. Check out our previous selfie guide
for more details.
5. Eliminate shakiness, use a timer
Cameras and shaky hands don't get along well – the slight movements may produce unwanted motion blur, which can ruin your photo. Even if you have a steady hand, the act of pressing the shutter can produce a visible amount of blur in the shot. A way around this is to use a timer, and most camera apps should have one. A delay of 2 seconds should be sufficient.
6. Use your main camera, if possible
Using a phone's main camera to take a photo of yourself can be awkward. You can't see neither yourself, nor the shutter button on the phone's screen. But it is guaranteed that your phone's main camera will produce a higher quality image, so the effort will be worth it. If your phone has a physical camera button, don't forget to use it, and if it doesn't chances are one of its volume keys can be used as such.
7. A clean camera is a happy camera
The glass covering a phone's front camera can get quite greasy after only a few phone calls, and if you don't know how much of a difference a dirty lens can make, take a look at these two sample shots. Notice how contrast is reduced significantly in the above photo. That's why you should give your camera a quick wipe with a soft cloth before taking any shots.
8. Don't use too much filters and editing
Photo filters are okay when used appropriately and with moderation. Before you apply one, however, ask yourself whether that's really necessary. Why ruin a photo with fake contrast and saturation (or Hefe, whatever you call it) when it looks great the way it is?
9. Try a camera app made for selfies
You might also like these helpful articles on selfies and smartphone photography: