I consider myself something of a selfie pioneer. A trailblazer, if you will. I have invented groundbreaking selfies like the following:
Don’t try these at home.
However, in spite of my selfie skills, I’m still teachable, and because I wanted to learn from the best, I turned to my trusted panel of selfie-snapping experts for today’s special assignment. The experts include, from right to left:
- Lola: My daughter and IG photographer, who has never taken a bad selfie
- Alex: My niece, whose adorable beach selfies are often imitated and never duplicated
- Maddie: My niece and fashion assistant, a style icon who regularly stops traffic with her girly and glam looks
Together, we broke down the elements of a good selfie, and answered your questions.
Mirror Selfie Vs. Regular Selfie
A regular selfie is simply a pic of your face that you snap yourself, but a mirror selfie is typically designed to show the outfit, and can be taken in a dressing room, your closet, or any other well-lit space with a full length mirror. Depending on your goals for the mirror selfie, you’ll want to decide how to pose. If you want to look cute, than a flattering pose is always helpful, but if your goal is to either document the outfit details or show the outfit in my Facebook group for feedback, then a clear picture taken straight on is much more helpful
Hold the camera about a foot away, and between waist and bust height, for a clear and proportional shot. Step closer or farther away from the mirror as required to get your outfit in the shot without a lot of surrounding wall area. You can either choose to cover your face with the camera to keep the focus on the outfit or let it show.
Here are some examples of good mirror selfies, including one with my face obscured. The simpler the background the better, so that can be improved on in these photos, but they show the outfits clearly.
Good Lighting vs Bad Lighting
While you can be creative and make the most of any lighting situation, the most flattering shots happen in good lighting, and good lighting tends to be natural light. However, stepping outside in the harsh midday glare is not your best bet. Bright sun casts shadows and magnifies imperfections. Instead aim for earlier or later in the day.
Remember: If your picture is bad, it’s not you, it’s the lighting.
Good Angle vs Bad Angle
A camera close to your face can distort it, making your nose appear larger and your face appear out of proportion. Practice with camera tilts and face tilts until you find a combo you like. Here’s a general rule.
With practice, you will learn your best angles, but remember that you only see someone’s good selfies. For every good shot you get, expect many not-so-good ones. This is normal and part of the process.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Here are some examples of selfies I liked, and selfies I loathed. First, let’s start with the Good. These are all selfies that I like and that I posted. That doesn’t mean that these are perfect or that there isn’t room for improvement.
Same face, different angle and lighting, and a world of difference.
Step by Step To Taking a Good Selfie
Here, your step by step guide to taking a good selfie!
- Clear the Clutter: Whehter it’s a messy room or a dirty mirror (or camera lens) keeping it clean can make the difference between a good shot and a bad one.
- Face the Light: Overhead light is rarely flattering. The best lighting bathes your face in a flattering glow, so face a light source (preferably a window) for the most flattering look.
- Play With Angles: No one knows your face better than you, so play with angles of your head and your camera until you get the right one for your features.
- Snap Several Shots: When I used to be a fashion magazine editor, we went through hundreds of pics of professional models, who were always young and beautiful, to find that one perfect shot, so don’t be discouraged if you take several duds until you get one that is worth posting.
- Edit Expertly: While it’s okay to crop or lighten a picture a little, filters are not the best way to edit your pictures. Not only do they look fake, but they’re also kind of “out” right now in selfie-world.
Are you a selfie expert or a selfie novice? And which of these tips and strategies did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments!