You ever wonder why you have such a hard time getting your selfies to look right? The face you see in the mirror doesn’t look much like the one in your selfies. Some scientists asked the same question. So, Dr. Boris Paskhover and some other researches at Rutgers and Stanford decided to prove it.
Using some complex mathematical models, they found that a selfie can distort your face up to 30 percent, especially your nose. Maybe that’s why my giant schnoz looks like a balloon when I make selfies.
What are you going to do? It’s time to figure out how to take better selfies, right? Here are 6 reasons why your pictures suck and how to fix them.
1. You’re Arm Is Too Short
When Dr. Paskhover and his fellow researchers took a ton of facial photos at distances ranging from five feet on down. They figured out that the average person holds their phone about a foot away from their face. At that distance, the camera’s forced perspective gives the distortion feature mentioned above.
The ideal distance, unsurprisingly, is the standard distance for portraits about five feet. At that range, photos show no distortion at all. Before you try to figure out how to make your arm a few feet longer, there are some great stuff to help you get some distance.
Try out a bluetooth selfie stick or a tripod. Both options are great for giving your photos the right distance to show your beautiful face exactly the way it’s supposed to look. They also make it easier to photo the whole gang when you’re out having fun.
2. You Have Bad Lighting
Unless you’re an instagram model (or maybe a wannabe model), you probably don’t pay much attention to light when you take a selfie. But lighting may be the most important aspect of a selfie and the easiest way to make them better. Since most front-facing cameras aren’t as nice as the rear ones, they need all the help they can get.
How do you take advantage of the light? The first step is to find a good light source. Natural light is best, but you can also soft light that comes from multiple angles. If you’re strapped for a good light on the go, the best way is to make one yourself with a selfie light that can attach to your phone.
Next, you gotta use the light the right way. Place the phone between you and the light source. If the light is behind you, you’re face and clothes will just get washed out or dark. With the light on your face, the camera will catch all that natural beauty (and the filters, too).
3. You’re Posing The Wrong Way
There are a few simple rules to taking a good selfie, but they don’t come naturally. We’ve been trained to look at camera’s a certain way and smile a certain way, but they don’t make for good photos from so close.
There are a few tried and true tricks to getting a good selfie:
- Look up toward the camera
- Pull you chin down and raise the camera up
- Drop your shoulders to help make you look relaxed
- Smile like you really mean it
- Try holding the camera at an angle rather than straight on
You might already know these, but it’s always good to review the basics, right?
4. You Forget Your Background
With all the selfies floating around the internet, you’ve probably seen some epic fails. Maybe the worst ones are the bathroom mirror selfies with a little, um, bathroom in the background. Yuck. Even the best selfie can get ruined by a bad background.
Make sure you check your background before you snap that hot pic. Even more importantly, check that background before you post the pic. You’ll probably spend a bunch of time admiring the amazing lighting and your awesome pose, but don’t let that distract you. A few minutes of scanning the background can make your selfies better and keep you from an embarrassing mistake.
5. You Have A Crap Lens
Phone companies are racing to capture market share with their cameras. Some phones are using high-end megapixels. Other phone companies are adding nifty lenses and extra cameras to give you more functionality.
What if you can’t afford the top-end camera? Some clever companies sell lens attachments that can make photos a lot better. They don’t just work for selfies, either. You can get all sorts of lenses for every situation from telephoto to wide-angle.
6. You Don’t Take Enough Selfies
If you’re reading an article about how to take a better selfie, you probably don’t hear that you take too few. But you know what they say, “Practice makes perfect.” Maybe it’s better this way, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
What do I mean? You gotta take a lot of good selfies to get some great ones. You have to take a lot of great ones to get good at taking selfies generally. When you’re taking your next selfie, take a ton of photos. The more you take, the better you’ll get at it.
Taking great photos or epic selfies isn’t quantum physics. Once you know, and practice, the basics, your selfies will just get better and better. With a little work, you won’t have to worry about why your selfies suck. You’ll be telling others how to get theirs to look as great as yours.