Admit it; you've taken dozens or even hundreds of photos on your way to the perfect selfie. And even then, sometimes there's not a single good photo among them! Aaargh. So how do you take a great photo of yourself? With the right ingredients: good light, a great background and the right view.
#1. Daylight or artificial light!
Whether you're taking photos of yourself of others; daylight is a must! Always take photographs with the light in front of you (not behind). Your photos will be sharper and daylight is also much more flattering. So open the curtains and get clicking.
#2. Instagram material
A great background is one of the defining factors in your photo. We all check ourselves out in the mirror in our new outfits but that vacuum cleaner and pile of unfolded washing is not really Instagram material. It could be so much better: find a smooth white wall, a brick wall for an urban look or something with a lovely, matching colour. Don’t forget the lovely tile effect in the bathroom or the wood on the ground, with here and there a nice complementary colour or atmospheric detail which adds a bit extra! You can do whatever you like, just try things out. Add in good lighting and, in no time at all, you’ll be creating your own photo studio.
Tip: don't photograph yourself with your smartphone camera; use an ordinary camera. You’ll have to practice, but the quality is much better!
Take your time. It’s not just daylight that is key, but also the angle of light. Turn around and make sure that your good side (yes, that!) is not in bright sunlight or shade. You can't take the perfect selfie in one shot. Take a few photos and then see what you have, then you may find the perfect shot.
#4. On your marks… get set, go!
Be aware of your positioning when you’re taking a selfie. Position the camera slightly higher than you; this often creates a better view then from below. After all, who wants to be confronted with their double-chins? ;) And switch between standing and sitting, in a chair or on the ground. It's surprising what a difference this makes!
Tip: do you have an iPhone? Use the ‘Burst’ function. Just have to keep your finger on the button when taking a photo and multiple shots will be taken, one after the other. Then you can choose the best one.
Taking photos of other people: some people can and some just need a little bit of help to do this. With these tips, you should be able to snap the other person’s ‘best’ side.
#5. As natural as possible
Photographing others is not difficult as long as they are not too static. Photograph someone in their natural environment. Does the person love sport? Go and watch them! Someone else loves cooking? Have a chat while they’re cooking and take a few photos. Capture their look, position, gestures. Once they forget the camera is there, you can take the best photos.
#6. Use the surroundings
You’re on holiday and suddenly see a pretty, colourful street? An authentic pub, a substantial rocky outcrop or a quaint square with palm trees and elderly locals on the benches? Don't just let the subjects of your photo sit where they like, let them wander around. You can then take plenty of shots. There's sure to be a great photo in there!
#7. Say cheese!
Are you creating a portrait? Make sure you have a good depth of field to make both near and far look amazing. Do this by focussing the lens on the face (tap your phone’s screen on the right point of focus). Talk to the people you’re photographing, make them laugh and shoot the most beautiful and natural photos with a professional touch.
Tip: many smartphones now have a portrait setting. Use this to create a lovely portrait of someone quickly and easily!
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