A selfie is a selfie is a selfie. But what separates a good one from a great one, and a great one from the perfect one? Many photographers have long articles on what makes a great picture (like Ken Rockwell, Michael Hodson, even Kodak has one). If you have the time to study photography - great! However, if you’re like me (a bit about me), you just want better photographs of yourself to post on social media. Here’s my quick list of components that make up the #perfectselfie: lighting, angle, pose, and that something extra.
Lighting is the most important aspect of any photograph because it affects the appearance of everything in the photograph. And when you’re photographing yourself, you’re the most important thing! Whether you use front light, side light, or back light, be mindful of what is revealed and concealed. Bright sunlight from the side can enhance wrinkles, but the soft light of a cloudy day can subdue those same wrinkles. If you need to make a dark place brighter, use your flash. Don't like the light on yourself or your background? All you need to do is move the position of your phone!
Unique angles can add another dimension to your selfie; they can make photographs more interesting to look at. Try taking selfies from above, the side, and from below. I’m sure most of you already know what side works best for you, but I challenge you to find more angles that work (look for 2 more!). Using the same angle repeatedly gets boring fast.
Similar to working with different angles, different poses or expressions can add further interest to your selfie. You may think that you’re limited to just a few poses when it comes to selfies, but be creative! Don’t use the same pose or facial expression over and over again. How about putting one hand on your hip and looking surprised? Or making a fist and frowning? Have you tried "the look-back"? Humans are naturally wired to analyze faces and body movement, so give’em something to look at!
That Something Extra
Last but not least - that something extra. I think this is what separates a great selfie from the #perfectselfie. You need something special, something unique, something unexpected. This can be an amazing backdrop, a loud colour, an odd pairing of objects, or a bizarre activity. Ask yourself, how easy would it be for someone else to copy this exact same photo; if you say impossible, then you have a winner!
I hope these 4 simple things will help you the next time you take a selfie - and I hope it will be the #perfectselfie! Join our search for the #perfectselfie on Instagram.