We like to teach you new things here at Sloanie HQ, and this week a practical skill is on the agenda: how to take the perfect selfie. Kim Kardashian – professional selfie taker – confesses that the selfies to make it onto her Instagram feed are the product of ‘about 300’ photos taken beforehand until that perfect shot is achieved. Phew, it’s not just us!
1. Find your angle. A smartphone tilted at 45 degrees, held slightly above the eyeline, is proven to be the most flattering angle. Scroll your way through any celebrity’s Instagram feed and count how many selfies are taken straight, head-on. Not many. Turning and tilting your head slightly to one side slims the face and eliminates dreaded double-chin syndrome.
2. Put yourself in the spotlight. Standing in front of a sunlit window, in a bright room or a sunny field will all help to blast away the shadows and imperfections better than any bleach-out camera flash. Make sure you’ve got light shining onto your face as light from behind will throw you into shadow. Beauty blogger Tina Craig says that al fresco selfies are best and need no filter at all: ‘I prefer no filter for selfies taken outdoors in broad daylight, which is the most flattering.’
3. Clear your backdrop before you start snapping. Nobody wants to see your unmade bed, drying laundry or half-drunk cups of coffee. Interesting backgrounds are a great idea though – landmarks, landscapes, cityscapes – it’s not all about you, honey!
4. Strike a pose. This one takes some experimentation and practice for most, so have some fun! Think of something comical or someone who makes you smile. Sing your favorite song or rock a quizzical raised eyebrow if that’s more your style. Better yet, grab a friend to feature in your snap: selfies look far less awkward and feel heaps more natural when they’re taken with a pal or a group. Photographer Tony Kim explains that, ‘it usually leads to laughter and some silliness, so your photos end up looking less staged and more candid.’
5. Filter! Over a third of us do this to our snaps routinely, so unless you’re hashtagging #nofilter, it’s fair game. Instagram’s Nashville filter works well with fair complexions, whereas Valencia works to balance and even out darker skin tones. And finally, good old black and white is always more flattering, without distorting.
6. And finally: diversify. We all love to double tap a good selfie but make sure you mix it up by making sure your Instafeed offers a varied spectrum of snaps. Where have you been? What have you been up to? Who have you hung out with? What are you reading? Your social media feeds are a means of scrapbooking or journaling, so use it to tell the whole story.
What are your tried-and-tested selfie tips? Comment below or tag us in your best headshots @SloaneRanger and we’ll regram our faves. Ready for your close-up?