Take better selfies - a couple of easy tips to up your selfie game

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Seems to be the season for ‘top-tips’ posts at the moment, but this is one that I get asked a LOT! How to take a better selfie…

If you take a look at Instragram or Facebook you can’t help but see streams of selfies – whether you love or hate them there is a place for a great photo of yourself on social media. I mean, what better way is there to show the world who you are than to let them see your gorgeous face! Here they are…

No photography tip list would ever exist without putting ‘find good light’ at the top. The difference that good light makes is incredible – I mean, we all know how bad downlights in bathrooms can be! You want to look for window light or full shade outside – somewhere where the main light source is coming from the side, not above. A great tip is to hold the phone up near your face so that you can see yourself. Look at the light and how it falls on your face, now slowly turn around and watch how the light changes as you move. Generally speaking, avoid indoor overhead lights and never use the flash on your phone... it doesn’t look good.
Most people do have a ‘better’ side. In the mirror (when you are on your own – so nobody can see ;) ) take the time to stop and see what side looks better. I like to start in the centre looking straight at the mirror. Gently tilt your head up (to 12 o’clock) to the top left, middle left, bottom left, straight down so on. You are looking to see which angle looks best. Once you know it, you can use it to your advantage!
Have fun with angles. Try turning one shoulder slightly forward then the other... see what looks better. Many take their photo from up high – that’s okay, but make sure you aren’t creating a distorted face shape and don’t make it so that you need to raise your eyebrows into your hairline or cause extra wrinkles. So raise your camera up, but not too much. Also, people connect with you through your eyes. Try to set your focus on your eyes, and whatever angle you tilt your head, make sure your eyes are what people can see.

Just like in my top 10 tips for posing, stick your chin forward and ever so slightly down. You want to elongate your neck, remove any double chins (or in my case, triple chins) and define your jaw line.
Clear out the distractions. Unless you are trying to show the world what your messy lounge with piles of laundry look like, try where possible to keep the background to your images clear and distraction free. You want people to look at you, not the nude toddler running behind you.

Accessorise. Unlike a full portrait session where you want to carefully think about what to wear, a great selfie allows you the freedom to interchange bright glasses, add funky hats or a slick of bright lip stick. Go crazy.
Take a LOT of photos. Then delete all but the very best. There are a million apps around that you can download and use to edit your pics. But there are some things, like focus and bad lighting that no photo editing software can really improve.
Have some fun. The upside of the rise of the ‘selfie’ is that no one is expecting it to be a perfect portrait. The selfie can be an expression of who you are, what craziness you are getting up to. Don’t take yourself too seriously!

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