Are you wondering how you can make the most out of your selfies?
You’re in the right place.
Selfie photography is becoming a distinct type of portrait photography. No doubt. Taken with a small mirrorless or a smartphone, selfies travel the world at fast speed thanks to social media.
Many people have become experts at taking the perfect selfie no matter if it’s to promote themselves or a product. Bloggers, Instagrammers, the so called Influencers have learned how to take most out of their social media presence, and different types of selfie poses are an essential part of that.
Here are some great tips and ideas for you to take your selfie game to the next level.
Don’t forget to read till the end of this article for a bonus video.
How to Pose for Selfies
As always, I believe in putting into practice what you learn. You will improve more as you start taking your selfies and experimenting with different poses and in different light conditions.
While there are no real hard and fast rules you must follow, there are some selfie ideas which can make your selfie stand out.
Extend Your Neck Forward
You can learn a lot from classical portrait artists. Look closer at any famous painted portrait, and you can tell the sitter often appears to extend his or her neck forward. It makes your face look slimmer, and at the same time, makes your features stand out.
Apply the same technique when you take a selfie and the final result will be much better. It will also help to make your eyes stand out more and reduce or eliminate double chin.
Does The Background Matter?
You may not think that the background matters, but it does. The background of any selfie like any other genre of photography can make or break the photograph.
A nice background is particularly important if you are promoting a product. Is there anything around which is likely to stand out and perhaps spoil your selfie?
The colors of the background can also help making your outfit standout. A white t-shirt against a orange/teal, sand/sea background is a perfect match.
To obtain this image, you can position a small tripod in front of you and use a mirrorless camera with 180 degree flip screen such as the Olympus Pen EP-L 9 and set it to a 10 sec timer.
It seems obvious, but you have no idea how many people forget to put a good smile when they take a selfie or posing for a portrait shoot.
Remember though, smile genuinely.
Check out some famous Instagrammers selfies, and you can quickly tell when someone is smiling genuinely or not.
A portrait painter would tell the sitter to engage the eyes. You need to do the same thing. Look straight into the camera, and smile genuinely making sure it is not just your mouth which is smiling.
A good trick is to think about something funny, something or someone that makes you happy.
There is nothing like a pair of sparkling eyes to make a selfie stand out.
It’s all About Good Light
Light does matter when it comes to taking selfies. Before you start snapping away, check out where the light is coming from and how much light you have.
Too much light can make you look pale, and too little light will make the image look grainy.
Don’t settle for the first image you take. Instead, take a couple standing in different places in the room or in the outside area that you are in. Play with the light, and see what looks best on this particular occasion.
Also, remember to face the light instead of turning against it. For example if you are indoor you will face a window. Put the source of light always in front of you.
Do Something Interesting
Doing something interesting is another skill you should learn. That does not mean you should stand on one leg or poke your tongue out. For instance, if you are promoting a book, it would be a good idea to take a selfie of you reading the book. If it is a wildlife scene, step slightly to one side and point to the scene or a particular animal which is part of the image.
Take a Classic Black and White Portrait
Black and white portrait are stunning to look at but are seldom used when it comes to taking a selfie. If you are going out for the evening and is all dressed up in a nice dress, take a black and white selfie instead of the usual color one. You will look like an iconic film star and the image appear softer.
Our lives are packed with color, and breaking them up with some black and white photography makes a difference.
Highlight the Place Your In
When you are a travel blogger, you are probably in the business of highlighting the place that you are in when the selfie is taken. This is where the background comes into play again. Find an interesting spot to stand in. If you are standing on the equator, look out for the sign which points out the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Stand underneath it and take your picture.
Promoting a special service is easily achieved in the same way. So, before you jump on the Orient Express in Venice, make you take a photo of yourself standing in front of one of the carriages with Venice Simplon Orient Express written on it.
Apply the Rule of Thirds
All trained artists are familiar with the rule of thirds. It is guideline how to create the perfect image. Try to imagine a blank piece of paper broken up into a grid with two vertical and two horizontal lines. This creates nine equally proportioned boxes. Think about how you can fill those boxes in a variety of interesting ways.
Often used in landscape painting, but can be applied to all kind of genres including selfies.
Know Your Good Side
Even famous models have a good side and a bad side. But, how do you find yours? Studying yourself in a mirror will help. However, that does not always work. Instead, start snapping away and take countless images of yourself. When you have some time to yourself, sit down to study your selfies to find your good side.
The next time you take a selfie, make sure you show off your good side. This is important if you are promoting beauty or skincare products, and fashion.
Try Different Angles
Playing around with different angles can make you and a background object stand out more. If you find yourself standing in front of the Il Porcellino in Florence, make sure you snap it from the best angle.
The light is important when it comes to working with angles, and you should make sure you are aware of the light before you start experimenting with angles.
Incidentally, the famous Florence boar, Il Porcellino, looks best from a slight side angle. Many say he looks rather cute and has a certain glint in his eye.
Take a look at how Sorelle Amore a professional Instagrammer and YouTuber has perfected the art of self-portraiture in this video.
Knowing how to post for selfies is a bit of an art form. There are many selfie ideas that can make different types of selfie poses more interesting.
Play around with different ideas and poses, experiment with different light conditions and backgrounds, but most importantly don’t forget to have fun with it!
Stefano Caioni is the founder of Pixinfocus. His passion for photography helps him discover new places and live new adventures.