How to Take a Good Selfie: Your guide to taking perfect selfies every time
Taking a good selfie is no mean feat. The conditions have to be just right, with the lighting, angle and filter all coming together in something of a perfect storm. Often, what started out as a quick snap can spiral into a full-on photoshoot, but fortunately, our guide is here to help you nail your selfie game.
We’ve rounded up our top tips for taking the best selfie, including how to frame your shots, finding your best light and which filters to try out, so that next time you’re snapping, you don’t clog up your camera roll.
Taking the Perfect Selfie: Lighting
Whether you’re using natural or artificial light, the most important thing to remember is that you should be facing your light source. Angle your face so that your features are fully illuminated, as this will prevent shadows forming around any blemishes or bags.
The closer your light source is to natural light, the better. Look for full-spectrum light sources which produce a soft, diffused daylight effect. This prevents discolouration and over-exposure in your photos.
Believe it or not, an overcast day is actually the perfect opportunity for a selfie-snapping session, as the light is uniformly bright without being overpowering. If you prefer an indoor selfie, halogen or incandescent bulbs are some good artificial lighting options.
Make sure you avoid overhead, fluorescent lighting, as this will cast unnatural shadows and give your selfies a bluish tinge. Never take a selfie with the light behind you, unless you’re going for that creepy, faceless silhouette look.
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Taking the Perfect Selfie: Angle
Any photographer will tell you that a good picture requires depth of field and perspective. While a good selfie might not have the same requirements, it’s important to understand the basics to get the best shot.
Many phones have the option to shoot in portrait mode. This focuses the lens on the foreground, highlighting the subject while blurring out the background. This makes for a more dramatic effect, which looks professional and tends to be flattering, and is often called the ‘bokeh’ effect.
It’s also important to remember that the object closest to the camera will look the largest. For most people, that means their nose will look slightly bigger in photos. Tilt your head to one side to bring your features more in line, or hold your camera further back to decrease the level of distortion.
Angle your camera slightly higher than your line of vision to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. If you can handle the embarrassment of using a selfie-stick, then you’ll reap the rewards, as you’ll have all the depth of field of a perfect shot.
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Taking the Perfect Selfie: Filters
Once you’ve nailed the perfect portrait, choosing the right filter can be a daunting task.
Filters can hide a multitude of sins – smoothing out uneven skin tones, brightening tired eyes, and enhancing your features.
According to a study conducted by Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech, photos that use a filter receive more online attention. After analysing 7.6 million Instagram posts, they found that filtered photos were 21% more likely to be viewed and 41% more likely to be commented on.
If you want to get more likes, then tweak your selfies to increase exposure, warmth and contrast.
The best filters to go for are Mayfair, Valencia, Hefe, Nashville and Aden – photos with these received the most positive engagement online. Hudson and Clarendon are filters to avoid.
So next time you’re trying to decide whether you should go #nofilter, remember the numbers and turn up the heat (and saturation).
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Taking the Perfect Selfie: Choosing the right phone
While you occasionally see people taking selfies with tablets and Polaroid-style instant cameras, there’s little doubt that the smartphone is the selfie device of choice for most.
It can be bewildering choosing a smartphone, though, especially if your single-minded aim is to produce the perfect selfie for Instagram.
Fortunately, our expert guide to the best camera phones is here to help. If highlights all of the top smartphone snappers you can buy right now, but to save you a click, we reckon the Huawei P20 Pro, and iPhone X are the best handsets for smartphone photography at the moment.
Better still, we can help you find some great deals on them!
Have you mastered the art of the perfect selfie? Tweet your best snaps and top tips to us at @TrustedReviews!