It started with Facebook and has only been encouraged by every form of social media that followed in its wake. We’re talking about the beloved selfie. Young professionals (YPs) love to take selfies, whether in the car, on a boat, in the hair salon or even at the desk. Back in the days of actually having to develop film when it came to personal picture taking (remember?!), selfies were rare. It makes sense – they are not the easiest things to take and usually require multiple attempts at that perfect shot, with arm-length selfies more often than not a recipe for frustration and photo disaster. We have a few thoughts when it comes to the self-photo; call it a selfie 101:
Be Aware of your Surroundings:
Be aware of your backgrounds while snapping selfies. You may capture something unexpected in your shot. Also, if you’re in public, don’t think that nobody notices you snapping away at yourself. It’s better to be short, sweet and relatively undetected when shooting selfies in public. Others may laugh at you otherwise. We would.
Make it Interesting:
Don’t be too posed, take it too seriously or make it too calculated when it comes to the selfie. Do something interesting and conversation-worthy rather than simply snapping a close up shot of your face (no matter how well edited that shot may be). This could mean a shot of you at a theme party dressed in a ridiculous hat or makeup, with a pet, on a roller coaster, or at the zoo in front of a giraffe… you get the point.
Be Strategic with Social Media Selfies:
Selfies are seemingly designed for social media profile pictures. There is nothing wrong with the odd strategic selfie, especially if used as a profile picture, but a Facebook or Instagram profile that is oversaturated with selfies either makes you look full of yourself or like you have zero friends (aside from yourself, of course).
Bathroom Selfies are Usually Not Okay:
When we think bathroom selfies, we think teenaged girls who’ve spent hours locked in the bathroom straightening or curling their hair and applying their makeup, then taking at least 20 shots before they get it just right and are ready for social media upload eagerly awaiting an accumulation of “likes.” We are going to go out on a limb and say that bathroom selfies are usually not OK for anyone over the age of 25, unless done very strategically. Even worse than selfies in the bathroom are selfies in bed; nobody should see those, except, of course, if you are sending them to your significant other.
Vacation Selfies Make the Most Sense:
Especially if you’re travelling alone and want to capture that amazing sunset, ocean, mountain or rain forest in the background, have no shame in snapping a few selfies. Vacation selfies don’t tend to be so calculated, posed or carefully selected only after being taken a million times. As a matter fact, they should be more fun and spontaneous. Who cares if your hair is blowing in the wind or you’re makeup free – you’re capturing the moment.
Selfies with Others Usually Suck:
Let’s be honest, especially when taken with smartphones, selfies with one or two others usually end up on the cutting room floor when it comes to making it onto social media sites or albums. Taking a selfie of yourself is difficult enough, trying to fit more people in inevitably will result in many more tries to get that perfect shot, rolled eyes from the people around you (whether in the front of the car or fellow partygoers in the bar) and a potential waste of time. Sometimes it works, but not usually.
Tips for the Perfect Selfie:
1. Please, don’t suck in your cheeks and make a kissy face, or (even worse) the loathed duck face. Try not to pose at all.
2. Angles are of utmost importance when it comes to selfies. Angle your body or face slightly to one side and angle your face downwards. Hold your phone high above your head and away from you at a 45-degree angle. Angling your camera slightly above yourself when taking a picture tends to be the most flattering.
3. Maintain a long “turtle” neck to avoid the double chin and don’t lose eye contact with the lens.
4. Straight-on photos tend to flatten you out, so avoid being dead centre in the photo; it can look very mug shot-esque.
5. Early morning (just after sunrise) or late afternoon (just before sunset) is the ideal time for lighting.
6. Relax, be comfortable and confident. Own it.
Photo courtesy Styleite.com