Seven Selfie Sins to Avoid
Whether you’re a sucker for a sexy Snapchat or your front camera is only ever used for a family FaceTime, we are all confronted with a close up of our face at one time or another! As selfies are becoming even more pivotal in how we keep in touch with friends and loved ones since the global lockdown, why not make it an enjoyable and confidence-building experience, rather than something you dread. So sack-off feeling self conscious in front of the camera! Avoid these basic selfie mistakes and you’ll feel confident and content when snapping cheeky selfies!
- Stiff smiles
No image can look bad if you’re flashing a natural, genuine smile! Everyone looks their best and most confident when they embrace their natural smile. Think of something that truly makes you smile, which will create a look of genuine happiness that will shine through in your photo. Don't force your face into a grin that's too big or forced. Just relax and take a few calming breaths so that your face and neck is relaxed. You can even try keeping your eyes shut until the moment before you take the shot. Expressions look best when they're fresh.
- Not knowing your angels
Ok so we might not all be professional models, but we can all strike a pose! Instead of facing the camera straight on, try moving your body to the side and look slightly over your shoulder at the camera. In this position your face will look more defined and your neck longer! When it comes to selfies, there is one golden rule never to forget: keep your chin down and the camera up. Hold the phone so that the bottom of it is level with your eyes, or better yet use the Geko Case to stick your phone to the window! This way you can strike a killer pose, capture the natural light and keep the camera fixed at the perfect angle.
- Bad lighting
So yes we want to be our authentic, natural self in a selfie, but we still want to portray the best version of ourselves that we can! Certain lights can actually make us look like we have dull skin or dark circles under our eyes, when in reality we don’t! So in order to capture your true beauty make sure you have thought about your lighting. Artificial light, or light from above you is likely to create shadows on your face, so stand in front of a window or use a ring light attached to your phone to ensure your face is well lit. Or better yet, go outside and bask in the sun's glow (with sunscreen on of course!). If it's the middle of the day and the sun is high, the shadows can look like bags under your eyes, so get out and about around sunrise or sunset to capture the perfect golden hour glow.
- Over editing
Filters and editing software are great as we all want to portray the best version of ourselves in a selfie. However it’s easy to get carried away! Removing those natural lines around your eyes and mouth, or smoothing your skin out to the point where you look like a cartoon isn’t reflecting your genuine self. We are all human and these small details make our selfies look unique and human! If you are using a filter, instead of just selecting a photo filter on Instagram, you can choose to not use it at max capacity. Click on the filter until a sliding bar comes up and adjust the strength of the filter, making the photo appear less edited. If you have a bit more time then editing your photo manually can create a much more sleek and natural look. Apps such as Facetune or Snapseed allow you to adjust the features of the photo depending on what needs adjusting. If you want to make your skin look more glowy then up the warmth feature. Want those colours to pop more? Up the saturation! But again, remember that less is more when it comes to editing, so it might take some practise to find the perfect balance.
- Distracting background
At the end of the day, a selfie really is all about yourSELF and so you don’t want your cluttered bedroom stealing the spotlight!! Make sure you have a look at the background of the picture to check you’re happy with what can be seen. A quick tidy up of your bedroom or moving away from crowds of people can make all the difference to your shot. Be aware of anything in the background of your selfie that people could use to identify you. Someone can find out a lot of information about you, that you might not want them to know, simply from seeing your school blazer or work uniform hung over the back of your chair. So do a double check to make sure there’s nothing that will draw focus away from you!
- Dead eyes
So we’ve established that a genuine smile is essential, but sometimes that smile doesn’t make its way to your eyes! If you don’t actively express your happiness through your eyes, you can end up looking disconnected or unconfident. Having engaging eyes instantly draws people into your photo and brings your face to life! So as the legendary Tyra Banks would say “make sure you smize!”. Smizing, or ‘smiling with your eyes’, means increasing the intensity of your gaze, squinting slightly as though you’re reading something in the distance, and subtly raising your eyebrows, all at the same time! It might take a few attempts to not frown or look confused, but practice makes perfect! Try it in front of the mirror until you get it right. It can also help to inhale through your nose just as the photo is being taken to help achieve the perfect smize.
- Too close up
It’s sad but true; you can’t take a flattering selfie with your face too close to the camera. Noone looks great THAT zoomed in! The parts of your face that are closest to the camera, like your nose and eyebrows, can look unnaturally large if they are too close to the camera. This is due to lens distortion. To avoid this make sure you’re following tip 2 and holding your camera above your face. This means your eyes are the focal point and will be exaggerated over your other features. It’s also another reason why facing the camera side on is better than straight on, as it will make your nose and other features look more in proportion as they are further away from the camera. If you find that your face is still taking up too much of the screen when holding your phone, try going hands free! Use the Geko Case to stick your phone to a window or mirror, take a few steps back and TA-DAA, you are the perfect distance away to capture your face and background without straining your arms! Simple!