First of all, it’s important to clarify that in this post a selfie is only considered a selfie if you take the photo yourself.
I know that this may seem obvious to most of you, but you’d be surprised how many photos I’ve come across on social media that are labeled #selfie but are clearly taken by someone else.
Even the English Oxford Dictionary agrees:
SELFIE noun A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.
Now that we’ve got the definition of a selfie settled, here’s what you need to do to make sure you look amazing every single time you take one.
Find your best light
Nothing ages you more than dark shadows under your eyes because of harsh lighting. But how do you know what light makes you look your best?
JLo to the rescue!
Jennifer Lopez recently shared her secret to taking flawless selfies, “Turn in a circle with your phone held high in front-facing camera mode until you find the best light before taking the photo.”
Is there anything she can’t do?!
Take off your hat
Do you know what a hat does? It shades your face. And like we mentioned above, nothing ages you more than unsightly shadows cast on your face. Plus, the point of a selfie is so that people can see you, not your hat!
If you must keep it on to complete your look or hide unsightly hair try tilting it back slightly to let the light hit your face, or tilt your chin to reduce shadows.
It’s all in how you hold it
Hold your phone or camera slightly above eye level and angle your face, so you are not facing the camera straight on, for the most flattering look.
Whatever you do, don’t tilt your face up to the camera. This will make you look strained. Keep your chin down and never take your shot from below.
Don’t just stand there
Show your personality in your photo!
Stick out your tongue, vogue, give your best intense look, blow a kiss, wave, give a sassy smile… this isn’t a professional portrait!
Show some context
The point of a travel selfie is to show that you are in a different place!
Make sure what is behind you or around you showcases the place that you are in, whether it is an ancient ruin, a beautiful beach, or a quirky shop.
Consider the crop
Wait! Before you post that selfie, take a minute to consider if cropping the photo would make for a better composition.
Is there something cluttering up the background? Would zooming in a bit highlight your surroundings better?
Edit if you must, but don’t overdo it
There are so many photo editing apps out there and it can be tempting to get rid of every line, blemish, and wrinkle in every photo you take. But before you turn your selfie into an airbrushed picture of perfection, remember that no one’s skin is that smooth, your teeth are not that white in real life, and that halo of light does not really exist.
You’re not fooling anyone — we can all tell when your photo has been edited too much.
So, edit if you must, but just remember that the best part about you is that you are unique and that there is no one else out there who looks just like you! Embrace your own unique look, (perceived) flaws and all!