How to look better in your selfies - tips from a professional photographer

Have you ever wondered how come celebrities always look so good in selfies. Here are some of the tricks on how to look better in selfies from a celebrity portrait photographer Zuzana Breznanikova.

Lighting

The right lighting can really transform your photographs and make you look more attractive. Use natural lighting whenever possible. If you are indoors face the window - indirect lighting works the best (from behind a curtain). Avoid camera flash if at all possible as it is too harsh. Time of the day matters especially when shooting outdoors - the best light is after sunrise and before sunset also known as the golden hour - it is the one time where you can shoot facing the sun otherwise it is best to have the sun behind you. Avoid midday sun as it creates harsh highlights and shadows and too much contrast. Check out this post on the importance and use of lighting in photography

Know your angles 

If you don’t know your angles experiment - most people don’t look as good straight on camera but when they turn to the side a bit. Do you know your good side? Many people have a better side which is usually due to where a parting is or how symmetrical one side is compared to the other - no one is perfect. Do you have a double chin? Then extend your neck a bit forward and shoot from slightly above.  

Position of a camera

The most attractive angle for most people is above eye level but not too high as this will distort the angles and make you look smaller. Try not to shoot too close up - extend your arm in front of you or to one side can work even better and make it easier to shoot from a side. Don’t angle the camera too much. Some celebrities and social media influencer use a trick that I will reveal for you - they might look like they are taking a selfie and position their hand like they do but sometimes they get actually someone to take the picture further away from them which results in less distortion. 

Posing in selfies

Avoid cliches - forget America’s Next Top Model. It is best to do natural poses and make sure you feel comfortable otherwise you won’t look comfortable. As a general rule if the pose feels awkward it is very likely that it won’t look natural. Don’t overthink it or overpose but remember not to slouch. Try having your body to the side a bit rather than straight on camera especially if you would like to accentuate your curves (if you are a girl but the this kind of pose tends to make guys look better as well). 

Expressions 

Make sure you don’t force any expressions. The best advice I could give is to try to capture the moment - the moment when you feel the emotion. Don’t try to force the smile or say cheese or anything else silly like that - it never results in a natural photo. If you want to smile on the photo but you don’t feel like smiling than I would either to postpone taking a selfie in that moment or try to think of a happy moment - perhaps a happy memory from a childhood or a holiday. Avoid having eyes too open as it can make people look scared. 

Background

Make sure that background is not too distracting and that the focus is on you. If shooting indoors avoid having a light source behind you and ensure that the background is clutter-free. Nature usually makes a good background.  

Taking a full-length photo 

To take a full-length photo yourself you will need to stand in front of a mirror. There are different poses that look good for a selfie one of which is bending the front knee a bit and touch the knees. If you would like to enhance those curves you might want to turn your hip to the side a bit. 

Don’t over-edit the photos

As you know there are many filters and apps for editing. I would advise against the use of any apps that blur your face as that can make the photos and you fake. My advice would be to correct any exposure issues, increase saturation and sharpness if needed and perhaps use a filter that makes the photo come to a life but don’t go overboard. 

I hope you have learned something new and have found some of the tips for making a good selfie useful.


If you do get bored of trying to take a good selfie you could always book a professional portrait shoot with me and get a whole set of amazing photographs that will wow your friends, family and your followers. 


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