2014 was officially declared the year of the selfie, not that we didn’t need it declared to already know. Just take one look at any of our cellphones in the DF office and you’ll easily find at least 100 photos that we’ve taken of ourselves within the past 365 days. #sorrynotsorry
“2014 was officially declared the year of the selfie”
But really take a look at all of those photos. Were they good? Like good-good. Nope, we didn’t think so, and ours weren’t either. Why bother taking so many “okay” photos of yourself just to never end up putting them to good use since you’d rather a nice one? Not all of us own some crazy DSLR with a next level lens, so professional shots are completely out of the question. Luckily for you, we’ve figured out a few easy and simple tips that will instantly improve your selfies so that each and every one is #gramworthy.
1. Use natural lighting
Try your best to avoid using artificial light whenever possible since it casts a yellow glow to your photos and will bring out the orange tones from your skin. Artificial lighting can also cast harsh shadows on your features which is a big no-no.
Instead, stand in front of a window and use the sun. Natural sunlight has a blue-tone to it and will counteract any yellows from your skin. Try to avoid using direct sunlight at 12PM since it’ll be directly overhead and may cast shadows downwards onto your face.
If you want that soft glow from within, try to target your selfies for the “golden hour” when the sun is either rising or setting.
2. Bounce the light off of a whiteboard
Sometimes even when you’re using natural sunlight, you’ll still end up with shadows on one side of your face. Get rid of the shadows by using a reflector to bounce back light. It doesn’t have to be something super fancy from a camera store though. We like to use a white foam board that we picked up for $2 from the dollar store.
We’ve found that one of the biggest reasons we wind up with crappy selfies is because of lighting. Improve your lighting to improve your selfie. Trust us, we’re pros.
3. Use Snapchat to take your photos
Yup, you heard us. Use Snapchat instead of the camera app on your phone to take your photos since the framing will be much wider. Whenever you take a photo using Snapchat, the camera sensor fills the full frame as opposed to cutting it off, whereas your camera app trims off the edges. This will give you room to crop out any fly-aways or background details you don’t want to include in your selfie.
4. Take many to choose from
If you’ve ever taken a look at a photographer’s camera, you’ll notice that there are many photos of the same thing. Why? Because there will always be those small, subtle and minute differences which you didn’t realize that you disliked until you have the chance to look through all of the photos. Give yourself many of options to choose from so that you’re not pigeon-holed into a crappy photo. The point here is to improve your selfies, not be forced to use a bad one.
5. Find your best angle
If you’re just joining in on the selfie game, sometimes it takes a while to find your best angles. And by awhile we mean lots of trial and error. We sometimes still magically find amazing angles that we never knew existed when we try something new.
With those hundred photos that you just took, find a commonality between the photos that you like and how you’re posing so that you can save yourself some time in the future. Instead of wasting time taking 50 photos of your ugly side, take 50 photos of your pretty side so that you have more to chose from.
6. Edit your photos in VSCO Cam
Why? Because you can really fine tune the settings of your photo by heightening up the brightness, toning down the contrast or even adding subtle shadows. You’re literally creating your own personalized Instagram filter without ever having to touch Instagram’s settings.
And voila! You just learned how to improve your selfies!
So go on, take those 50 photos. We want to see your best ones!
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