Tips to Getting THE Perfect Selfie for Social Media
Whether you love them or hate them, selfies are here to stay. Visual additions to social media are pretty much a requirement and the selfie reigns as King. However, as much as they are in the mainstream, the ability to capture the best selfie possible isn’t as easy as it would seem.
The truth is that what most people see shared on celebrity level branding accounts is anything but a quick selfie. Most of the time, their candid selfie is really equal to a professional photoshoot. The selfie that is shared is one among hundreds that are discarded.
Prior to sharing the selfie, photo editing is done to the picture to perfect it even more and then it is reviewed (or at least it should be) by someone on the branding team to make sure the photo editing didn’t go over the top. We’ve all seen the morphed and distorted pictures posted by celebrities in an attempt to enlarge, decrease, or take out a bit here or there on their bodies. Never mind the over brightening of the eyes and teeth and/or the extreme removal of any creases in the face, it’s all too prevalent to the point it’s expected, though rarely accepted.
While I am certainly no expert, here are a few tips to help you get the best selfie for your social media needs and to make sure it is warmly received by your friends and follows:
· Don’t rely on filters to make sure your pic is great. The better the picture is before filters are applied, then the better the result. Pay attention to the background and the lighting. Make sure the area behind you isn’t cluttered or that it takes the viewer’s attention away from you and the other subjects in the picture.
· Your face isn’t always needed in the shot. Be creative and use your hands or even your feet as the foreground subject.
· Though not truly a selfie, include shots of you in your social media portfolio that are taken by others. Outstretched arms and selfie sticks can’t always capture the moment to perfection. Pictures of you from the side or from behind are often the best selections.
· Don’t face the camera straight on. Angle your body and it will be slimming and less flat looking. Use this same concept when taking selfies in mirrors, especially so when taking full length shots.
· Take advantage of the cropping function and come in tight on your face. Crop with your face not centered. You don’t even have to include your whole face for an interesting picture.
· Use the environment around you such as leaves, bushes, water, etc. for it is the unexpected that will grab attention to your picture from all of the others.
· Professional photographers use a rule called the “one-thirds rule” and you should, too. Rather than center your face in the frame, align the line of your eyes down one-third of the frame, then off center your face into one side more than the other. Off centered and up a bit is more flattering than right in the middle of the frame.
· Try using both hands instead of one to hold the phone/camera.
· Holding the camera lens above you and to the side offers more flattering results than straight on or looking down.
· Take a deep relaxing breath and release it before taking a photo. The relaxing breath will show on your face.
· Extend your neck forward for a more flattering picture.
· When using filters and edits to smooth your face, to brighten your eyes and teeth or to alter your body, don’t go too far. You want to look great, but you don’t want people to immediately notice that you look different or unnatural. The key is to do just enough.
· Smile with your eyes. Feel it, think of something joyful and let your smile show in your entire face. People respond better to pictures that have “real” smiles.
· Switch out the filters you use so that the array of photos you post aren’t in the same tones.
· Change your lighting by changing your position. Take pictures with the light coming upon you from different directions. It will allow you to choose the one with the most interesting composition.
· While you may be the subject of the picture, do your best to tell a story in the picture, in the series of pictures, or with a set of pictures that reveals both you and the event you are capturing.
· Once you get the pictures, make sure to label or tag them so that you can easily identify them in the future. Then back them up to another source to protect them such as a cloud source or an external hard drive.
Documenting your life, building your personal brand, or having fun sharing with family and friends is great and you want to do it with the skill to make your selfies the very best they can be, however don’t spend so much time behind the lens that you forget to enjoy yourself and your life.
Thank you for reading — it means a lot to me. I appreciate your sharing as well. Please follow me on Medium, Twitter, or LinkedIn — I’d love to connect and be a part of your network team. On social media I share my own articles, but also those that I find helpful and relevant to business, success, entrepreneurship, community enhancement, and personal development. You can find out more about me at SherryBlue.com.