If you're a fan of posting the occasional photo of your face, then you might be interested in learning a few tips and tricks to taking a better selfie — whether you want to admit it or not. These kind of helpful hints are pretty abundant on the Internet by now, but a lot of the tips feel a bit obvious, IMHO. I mean, yes, I already know my back camera is better quality, but I want to watch myself as I take my picture. I know I need to find my best lighting, but how am I meant to know what's the best lighting for me?
"The hashtag #selfie appeared on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn't widespread until around 2012," Oxford English Dictionary editorial director Judy Pearsall said when the word was added to the dictionary in 2013. If we've been taking selfies since 2012 and earlier, surely we know the basics of selfie taking by now, right? But with most Internet and/or technology, you really can learn something new every day. For example, I only just found out you can take Snapchat videos by holding down volume buttons last month (thanks Kylie Jenner).
What I'm trying to say is that you may know how to take a great selfie of yourself, but you could always take a better one. Here are seven unexpected tricks for taking the perfect selfie.
1. Position Your Head At An Angle
Most of us will do this naturally (at least I do) but Seventeen suggests that this trick highlights your cheekbones and makes your eyes look bigger. In W's 'How to take a Selfie like a Supermodel' video, the models agreed with this tip, saying that an angled head makes your chin/jawline more prominent.
2. Use Backlight To Provide A Softer Focus
In BuzzFeed's #flawless selfie tips video, they don't simply say to find your lighting, and then leave you to it, but instead the video shows how different lighting will affect your selfie. If your light source (for example, your window) is behind you, then your background will white out and your features will look a lot softer.
3. Use Direct Light For A Clearer Image
In the same video and in most selfie-taking tips lists you'll find, almost all will explain that facing into a direct light source will make for the clearest selfie. It also will help remove unwanted shadows from your face.
4. Consider Your Background
Although you're the focus of the image, a background can really change your selfie entirely, according to Allure. A plain background brings the focus onto you. A background with colors that match your makeup or clothes will make them stand out more. A constantly varied background makes it look like you have an active, fun-filled life even if you don't — because that's kind of what Instagram's all about, let's be honest.
5. Make Sure You Have Options
If you can't be bothered with tapping your life away, the burst feature on your iPhone will take care of taking multiple snaps in seconds for you.
6. Tap The Screen For Focus
Although taking your selfie with the back camera is a guarantee for a clearer image — who the hell takes a selfie like that? Glamour says the best way to get a clear image of yourself while taking selfies is to tap the screen so your phone knows that you are the focal point of the photo and not the background and will adjust the light balance accordingly.
7. Zoom Instead Of Holding Camera Closer
According to Scoop Whoop, holding your camera closer to your face will distort your facial features. Instead use the zoom feature to get a closer shot whilst holding your camera away from yourself.
Some of these are iPhone hacks and some of them are all about the technique, but either way making the time to pay attention to detail will hopefully improve not just the selfie taking experience, but the selfie itself.