December 7, 2022
Although we are long past the selfie stick craze to to take pictures, selfies still dominate our image galleries. Whether it’s a normal outing, gathering, vacation, or holiday, most people still prefer the phone’s front camera to quickly snap pictures and post on social media. While the advanced camera tech on today’s smartphones ensures some memorizing selfies, the tips below will help you take your selfie game to the next level.
A fancy selfie camera setup on your phone won’t make you a better photographer. You need to nail the basics of selfie photography. Follow the tips below and take the perfect selfie.
1. Face a light source
Even with the world’s best front-facing camera, your selfies will turn out average if you aren’t facing the light source. This stands true for selfies and your normal photographs. Whether you are using a dedicated lamp in a room or taking a selfie outside in the sunlight, you should always face source of light for the best results. The direct light will highlight the main subject (your face) in the picture. You should also avoid any direct shadows over your face. Nothing ruins a perfect selfie like a huge shadow.
If you are using artificial light such as a selfie light ring to brighten up the scene, don’t place it above your eyes as it could create dark circles. You should maintain a distance to the light source or use a light diffuser to prevent overexposed selfies. Also, avoid fluorescent light of any kind. It results in a blue or green color cast and spoils the natural look.
2. Avoid screen flash
While most phones come with an option to light up the screen to create a flash effect, you should stay away from it. Screen flash isn’t as effective as a dedicated selfie light ring. It can only highlight the center subject and doesn’t brighten up the entire scene, leaving you with an average selfie. You might even end up with an infamous red-eye effect. That’s surely not a good look unless it’s Halloween.
3. Smile normally
Your best angle or ideal lighting condition won’t matter if you take selfies with a fake smile. Use a natural smile, as your friends and family can immediately spot a fake one. Try taking a few selfies to find a smile. that’s natural and captures your essence.
4. Play with different camera angles
You won’t want your Instagram account filling up with selfies that all look alike, right? Keep the camera up, put your chin down, and try various angles until you find one worthy of posting on Instagram or Snapchat.
Some people might not look the best staring right into the camera. Those highly symmetrical photos are less visually pleasing. Slightly turn sideways and try taking the picture.
5. Try portrait mode
Most front-facing cameras have portrait mode. It will blur the background and put focus on the main subject, delivering a professional-looking photo. If your phone doesn’t have a portrait mode, or you forgot to use it, you can always use Google Photos to add background blur to your selfies. Check our Google Photos tips post to learn how to do it and other tricks to organize and edit your selfies.
Apple even goes a step ahead and offers different light effects in the selfie camera’s portrait mode. You can play with contour light, studio light, stage light, and monochrome effects to apply studio-quality lighting touch to your portrait mode images. The Portrait Lighting feature is available on iPhone 8 Plus and later phones.
6. Use a timer
Use your phone’s selfie camera timer and capture the perfect selfie moment. Look for the timer option in your phone’s camera app and choose between 2s, 3s, 5s, or 10s timer.
7. Use wide-angle mode for group selfies
Sometimes, it can get difficult to keep everyone in the frame. For group selfies, we would recommend using wide selfie mode to fit everyone in the final shot. If your phone supports such a function, you will notice a group icon on the front camera interface. Check the screenshot below from Samsung Galaxy A52 running One UI 4.1 software for reference.
From now on, no one will complain about being left out or getting an unusual half-cut face in a selfie.
8. Use photo editing apps
If you’re not fond of the default filters on your camera, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no shortage of capable photo editing apps in the Google Play Store. You can use the Pixlr app to make collages or go with Photoshop Express to play with different filters. Try not to go overboard with tons of filters, stickers, effects, and frames, as subtle tweaks tend to better stand the test of time.
Take selfies like a pro
Now that you took some good selfies, it’s time to share them with friends on Instagram and Snapchat. If you some private selfies you want to keep to yourself, you can easily hide them on your phone.