The word 'Selfie' has made it into the Oxford dictionary which means that it's here to stay for a while.
Whether you love or loathe them, seems like everybody's doing it and I think that if you are going to do it, do it right!
There are lots of apps and filters that can help tidy up a picture but it's much better to get it right in the first place.
So here's 5 ways to take better self portraits..
However you look at it, 'Selfie's' are a growing phenomenon and if you have tried and failed to get one that you like then these tips can help you get it right more often.
Whilst you can point and shoot blindly it's best to be able to see how you're composing your shot with back & front cameras on your smartphone. This also helps you get it right quicker thus saving your battery which can get drained very quickly when using the camera.
When taking your picture it's a good idea to select the timer button either 2 or 5 seconds is ideal as it reduces camera shake and gives you some time to compose yourself.
2. Natural light
Most smartphones will come with a decent flash but to get a well exposed, natural looking image it's always best to find a good, even natural light source. A large north facing window with indirect sunlight coming through is very flattering for most skin tones and if it has some diffusion, like a net curtain or smoked glass then even better. For best results stand/sit at 45 degrees to the light source/window or outside on an overcast day for even light coverage and natural soft light and shade.
Avoid strong back lit shots as it can under expose the face and cause ugly shadows.
3. The right angle
Most people look better when the angle of the camera is around 30 degrees to your face. This removes double chins and gives more jawline definition. Your eyes should be the main focus of the picture and ideally place then on any of the intersections of the rule of thirds for maximum impact. (see below)
Then simply move your face to 3/4 angle to the camera either way and see which looks best, this is finding your best side as most people's faces aren't totally symmetrical.
The trout pout and the duckface are attempts to pose like a model but the best expression is one of relaxed fun, so just before the shutter goes, think of something funny and so both your eyes and your mouth are looking happy!
Whilst selfies are meant to be spontaneous and fun, most of them seem to be taken into the bathroom mirror which isn't very inspiring or original.
So always pay attention to the background, for maximum impact it's best to keep the background as plain as possible, a wall or open space is ideal. If you are wanting to add a bit interest then a cityscape, landmark monument or just a clear blue sky would make your Selfie look more appealing and professional.
5. Snap appy?
Before you post your picture all over the web, just spend a few minutes giving it a bit of punch.
You can do this via the many apps that are available i.e. instagram or Camera+ but if you have done the previous steps right, you will only need to add a touch of contrast, brightness and a bit cropping which can be done via your in-camera editor.
Remember, less is more. (Unless you win the lottery of course!)