When I asked members of a Facebook group for tips on taking a good selfie I got some helpful responses but I also got a negativity.
Selfies are seen as narcissism, as being self-obsessed but I think they’ve been misjudged. Today is SelfieDay so I thought I’d take the opportunity to celebrate this much maligned photographic technique.
Watch below to find out how I learned to love the selfie:
The written word is so easy to misunderstand. Is that comment on your Facebook post meant to be self-deprecating? sarcastic, genuine?
The emoji has gone some way to help us express ourselves with text but there’s one thing that can communicate it better than anything else. Our face, the selfie. A simple look can be packed with nuance and emotion that it’s almost impossible to communicate any other way.
If you’ve ever seen someone trying to sound happy when their face is full of misery or a heartfelt apology made by someone who looks distracted you’ll know exactly what I mean.
There is room in the selfie world for posed photos. If you work alone and need a new LinkedIn photo, a Twitter or Facebook avatar quickly a selfie can be a good solution.
Here’s one I took and edited ever so slightly with PicMonkey.
Scroll down to find tips for taking good selfies from the Irish Bloggers group.
The posed selfie is only the beginning of what you can do. To see selfies in full flow you have to look at Snapchat and Instagram.
Selfies for social media
Selfies may not be the choice for your website but for social they work well. You’ve probably noticed that photos with people in tend to get more interaction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s because as human beings we like to make human connections, we see a face and we relate to it. It’s a great way to start connecting with your audience. The more they feel like they know you the more they will feel comfortable with you.
I find myself using selfies on Snapchat to express ideas and thoughts. I find you can get as much info into a captioned selfie as you can a 10-second video and they are much more digestible. My trick is to think of the emotion or idea I want to get across and then over act it as I hit the shutter button. It might not always be flattering but it works.
I don’t want to see beautiful posed photos on Instagram and particularly not Snapchat all the time. Yes, if you are a celebrity and your look is your brand you probably don’t want to be caught looking a bit dishevelled. For the rest of us mortals, a shot where you don’t quite look your best can help people relate to you. Try it if you are brave enough.
When I started using Snapchat in earnest earlier this year I would have cared more about my appearance but the more I use it the less I worry if I look ugly or fat or if I’m posed at an unflattering angle. Instead, I try and tell stories in an entertaining way and I’ve started to feel happier in my skin.
How to take a good selfie
I really don’t know! I’ve followed tips and I know I can make myself look better in photos now if I want. There are a few keys (thanks to the Irish Bloggers group on Facebook for helping with these)
- Shoot just above eye level. Not too high, everyone will think you are trying to hide your double chin
- Wear makeup, nothing more than you usually would but lighting can be unflattering. A bit of powder, even for you those not used to wearing it can eliminate that glare from the end of your nose. Lip Gloss and light dewy makeup work best. (Thanks Nicola Collins & Rebecca Doran)
- Use natural light. This can be hard, particularly in bad weather or the winter months but whenever possible you’ll always get a better picture in natural light. You’ll also get less weird looking shadows
- Be natural, forget about duck face or a pout. Catch yourself unaware and get a natural expression, the more you think about it the more posed and less interesting it will look.
- Selfie sticks. I know they are hated but I’m a big fan of the selfie stick, you can get the camera further away from your face and get interesting stuff in the background.
- Apps. I asked people to recommend apps that would make me look younger. Many recommended PicMonkey I use this myself quite regularly. June suggested the weightloss filter. FaceTune, Snapseed and Camera+ were other recommendations (Thanks, Sinead, Claire, Joanne & Cliona).
If you want a real step by step guide to filtering with Instagram here’s a great post from In The Dee Tales. I tried it but ended up looking a bit silly so I’m not sharing.
If you’ve never taken a selfie before today is the day to do it. Let me know if I’ve inspired you, show me your selfie.