Sunday, 8 April 2018

Selfies Galore... But Any Good Ones?!

I have a friend who takes amazing selfies. Yeah I actually did ask once or twice would he please tell me how can a selfie turn out that good.

There is something called being photogenic apparently. Ok I knew that existed but never before did I know that being photogenic is totally unrelated to being pretty or handsome. You read that right. The most beautiful girl in the world might actually not be photogenic at all!! It is all about the contours of the face and how they will 'flatten' out in a 2D pic. Maybe that is why I always think about another friend's pics that they don't do him justice whilst his videos make him look totally different to the pics.

I have a roundish face and most of my selfies look pudgy to me. Erm, I think my version is actually better than 'nerdy', which I got told as well. People comment I look nothing like my pics and I never could figure that one out as to me I look just like, well, me!

Given I have a round face, that I always seem to choose the wrong angle (or so I get told!) and that I tend to look too serious when I am taking my own pic (I'm trying to concentrate on that angle, right?!) I do look quite not up to scratch in pics. To be fair, the back camera of a phone seems to magnify facial blemishes too, have you ever noticed that?! On the other hand I have also noticed that when I am not the only one in the pic, I tend to look better. You could argue that I might be standing next to someone who looks worse than me in the pics but given most of the time that other person is my dear gorgeous son, I rather think it's a matter of holding the camera far enough to fit both of us in the photo that does the trick.

I won't be sharing any pics of myself with my son as I have some self-made privacy rules on here but I am going to share a few of my selfies. Maybe you can judge for yourself how badly I can take them. Feel free to post your comments below.

Top Left - pudgy face (taken face up on bed)
Bottom Left - actual smile (taken with Photo Booth which makes it easier to take good selfies)
PS - No, I am NOT naked in the bottom left pic, my hair is covering the straps of my top!!


  1. From experience I can tell you that there is no such a thing as being photogenic or not. It's all in the mind, after all it's a combination of perception, self confidence and a basic knowledge of art.

    Let me focus on selfies (self portrait) not to deviate from the topic. You just need to find your best looking angle. Everyone has one; if you think you don't, it means that you still haven't found it yet. A good tip is to look at the mirror and become good friends.

    Once you know which is your best angle you'll automatically feel more confident when posing (and not just in selfies but photos in general). Bear in mind that a selfie you are both the photographer and the model (subject) whilst in photography, unless you give the photographer your best angle, he'll have to find it him/herself.

    Now comes the fun part but also the most difficult part. We've all heard the saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Therefore if we want to convey a message through our selfie our facial expression is fundamental. Accentuate your expression while you recite the vocals as in 'A' 'E' 'I' 'O' and 'U'. Practice them in front of a mirror until you get them right.

    Last thing is the composition. Google up close up and extreme close up face shots to get an idea how faces are shot. There's no need to go further in detail but for the benefit of whoever would like some further literature, look up 'head room' and 'division of thirds rule'.

    Time to create memories and enjoy your selfies ^_^

    1. Thanks for imparting the knowledge :-) Interesting that you should mention a 'best looking angle'. I have been toying with angles this past week, after tackling this article, and it does seem to me there is just one particular angle that makes me look good, if I may say so myself! What I still definitely need to master is taking selfies in mirrors... should be easier, right, and yet I manage to make them look even worse than selfies taken with the back camera.

    2. Do not limit yourself to just one good angle, there are 360x360 angles in all :P

      Try and create a set, one looking straight, one 3/4 view (turning your face at a 45 degree angle to the side), a profile (side view), one from a very high perspective and a very low one. Don't worry about extremes because they help you see the difference quite easily.

      Most people taking selfies do so while aiming their mobile phone from a very high angle. The idea is that from a high perspective, the eyes look larger and whoever has a double-chin hides most of it. However once they get used to that type of image they won't like any of their other photos. Just play around and experiment. Set the camera/mobile phone and keep in mind that that's the point of view of your picture.

      Something I completely forgot in my previous comment is 'lighting'. Too much light on the subject (your face) will make you look flat; too dark and your skin gets pixelated. Avoid back light especially if you're not using a flash because you'll end up with a silhouette.

      As a reminder: Have you ever heard someone complaining like this? "When they take me a photo while I'm unaware I really come good, but when I pose for it I don't like the way my face looks at all."
      The trick is self confidence, when you're aware and tense up, we have a lot of muscles in our jaw that tense up as well ruining the simple relaxed expression and our natural smile (because when we pose we are shy to show our teeth).