The Importance of a ‘Selfie’

As a photographer, it would seem amiss to not talk about the ever-so-popular ‘selfie,’ which has recently been named Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary. While I think the idea of taking a selfie is a bit polarizing these days, I love the idea of capturing who you are and what you look like in an exact moment in time. I have been taking self portraits since 2006 when I purchased my first Apple laptop. I used the Photobooth feature to easily snap photos of myself, way before the term ‘selfie’ was coined. It is a great way to capture exactly where you are in a certain time in your life. Unfortunately, the ‘duck-face’ and ‘cell phone in the mirror’ shots have given the selfie a bad wrap, but it doesn’t have to be that way. there are lots of ways to capture a self-portrait and capture the beauty of you and your surroundings.

Here are a few tips the next time you’re taking a photo of yourself:

– Make sure you step away from the mirror so you can’t see the reflection of your phone. Use the timer on your phone (if your phone doesn’t have a timer, several apps offer this feature).

– Bend your arm and point the phone downwards to avoid getting your arm in the photo.

– Look away, and then look back at the camera before taking the photo to avoid a posed and contrived look.

– Avoid using a flash. Use natural light instead. Look for where the light is coming from.

– I understand you might need to take several to get a shot you’re happy with, but avoid putting all of them on social media. Pick your favorite one or two to share.

– Hold the phone above you a bit; this will give you a flattering angle.

The ultimate goal is to not make it look like you took the photo. Here are some of my favorite selfies that I have taken over the years.