Probably the very first photo you take with every new smartphone you have, and unlike a few rare exceptions makes up half (or even more) of your personal Instagram feed.
Although the very first selfie was taken nearly 200 years ago (Robert Cornelius 1839), it was only in 2013 when the word “selfie” officially made it to the Oxford Dictionary, eventually becoming the biggest cultural movement and social media related phenomenon of this decade.
As of this writing there are 375,250,301 posts on Instagram with the #Selfie and that’s not even counting its many “spinoffs”– selfies, wefie, ussie, groupfie, belfie (buttfie), shoefie, dronie, famfie, hairfie, selfeye, shelfie, youie, dogfie, catfie, gymfie, edfie (okay, I made the last one up)—there seems to be no end to the growing derivatives of the word.
Everyone takes a selfie, from celebrities like the Kardashians, who are making millions from posting every imaginable “fies” of their body parts on Instagram, to your parents, bosses, your GGSS officemates, even that person sitting next to you (please don’t imagine them as one of the Kardash—oops too late. You can’t unthink that now.)
So how come they get hundreds or thousands of likes while yours don’t even get past the number of relatives you have as followers? Well for one, most of these Instagram celebrities have a full-on glam team to get them ready for a photo shoot—we’re talking hairstylist, makeup artist, manicurist, fashion editor, prop stylist, plus a cadre of assistants. But when it comes to your close-up for a social-media profile, that small army probably shrinks to one: You.
“So what, I don’t care about the likes,” you say?
Fine. But here’s why you should actually start thinking about improving your “selfie” game–everyone can see your photos (unless you made them private of course) even your future employer who Google’s you will see that photo of you drunk, wasted and almost passed out.
According to a LinkedIn expert, it takes mere seconds for your future boss to make a first impression with a photo, so you’d want to send the right message.
If you don’t trust the expert maybe actor James Franco will make more sense; “In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”
And this, my dear readers, is where I come in.
Whether you have selfie envy, want more likes on your post, or simply want to take that perfect shot, here are 10 tips guaranteed to improve your selfie game.
1. THERE’S A LIGHT, A CERTAIN KIND OF LIGHT. And that light should be amazing.
Ask any good photographer, and they will tell you that lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. Natural lighting works best so it’s best to stand near a window while FACING the light; but not so much that it makes you squint and scrunch your face. Remember not to stand with your back to the sun unless want to end up like a silhouette or if you’re going for that SOCO theme.
Take selfies in the morning, when your face is clean, your makeup is fresh, and your hair hasn’t yet been destroyed by wind/humidity/gym class, or your mood hasn’t been ruined by work or your boss.
Know that fluorescent lights are the enemy and that the glow of the golden hour before sunset is such a big ego-booster.
But this does not mean you should not take selfies at night or when you are indoors and the lighting is poor. The trick here is not to use the rear camera flash of your smartphone which can a bit startlingly bright, make you look ghostly white and make even the most lavish interiors look like a cavern.
Get a phone that is equipped with a good front screen flash. Its just enough to light up your face/s without making you look surprised or terrified. , Another trick is to hold a white napkin or paper towel near your face to neutralize the flash of your camera when you’re taking a selfie.
2. LOVE TRY-ANGLE: Ever noticed why a lot of IG celebs seem to have a particular pose or angle? Taking a selfie may not be rocket science, but many people haven’t discovered their best angle yet.
What’s the secret to a good pose?
Chin up, camera Down. The Kween Kardashian has said in countless interviews that the key to finding her best angles for selfies is about keeping her chin down and holding the camera a bit higher than face level to make her features appear more streamlined.
Keeping your shoulders down and back also lengthens your neck and defines your jawline, and movement suggests energy. When your shoulders are back and you’re smiling with open eyes, it’s gives the impression that you are confident, competent and curious.
As far as their infamous “duckface pose,” she says they love it because it shows off their cheekbones—although I don’t really suggest you do it, but if you really wanna try, whisper the word “prune” as you hit the shutter button for a more subtle pout.
If you are going for a pic that will break the internet, or at least use up more of your friend’s data leave your shame at the door—pout your lips, raise your brows, practice your smize and channel your inner Zendaya/Kylie/Gigi/Arianna/everyotherIGmodel.
But to find your best angle, you need to experiment first and take lots and lots of selfies and this means you need to have a lot of phone storage as well. Get a phone with at least 3gb RAM and 64GB of storage to ensure that you will not run of storage as you try to find you best angle.
Believe me, even the selfie experts will tell you that they still take hundreds of photos before finding one that is really worth posting and sharing to their followers.
3. BACK TO FRONT: When taking selfies, there used to be a lot of disagreement about whether you should use the camera on the front or back of your smartphone. That’s because a few years ago front cameras were crap and basically useless, but with the ongoing selfie revolution, some smartphones have front cameras that have even higher megapixels than its rear shooters.
The advantage is quite obvious, with a big and bright full screen display, you can see yourself and compose your shot better using the front cam instead of having to guess how it would look like if you’re using the rear cameras.
Selfie phones now even have a much higher resolution for its front camera, and currently 24-megapixels seems to be the sweet spot for these front shooters. The Honor 10 Lite further adds AI recognition, an F/2.0 aperture and 4-in-1 light fusion technology exposure compensation to its front camera technology.
4. USE PORTRAIT MODE: Instead of just sticking to photo, go for Portrait Mode instead to get that glamorous studio-level feels even if you are just inside your messy bedroom. Newer smartphones like the Honor 10 Lite allows you to shoot portraits using either front and back cameras. Enabled by AI technology, stereoscopic portrait can be achieved through various photography lightings such as soft lighting, butterfly lighting, split lighting, stage lighting and classic lighting so you could choose the most flattering lighting effect for your selfie. You can also turn bokeh effect on to blur your background and get rid of unwanted photobombers.
5. USE AND ABUSE PROPS: Let’s face it, not everyone is blessed with a face that could launch a thousand ships. If you feel that posting a close-up of your face would instead force your friends to report you and have your account banned, it might be good idea to highlight something else your photo.
I once had a friend who always posted selfies with her face taking up almost 70 percent of the photo. Needless to say, the key word in the previous sentence was “once.”
Got a new shade of lipstick you’d like to show off, maybe a pair of cool shades, perhaps a new watch or if you have such a lovely view on your background, you might want to shift the focus from your face to these other “props.”
Badly taken selfies have been known to induce violent reactions, angry emojis, lost appetites, and can sometimes even end friendships. So if you really couldn’t resist the urge to post a selfie you could always add some AR Stickers for instant cuteness. Puppies and kittens are adorbs, but you as a cute puppy or with cat ears? Instant Like! Besides stickers, there are also choices of background clips and music if you want to create short videos instead.
6. DON’T BE ASHAMED TO EDIT. When it comes to selfie’s, don’t fall for the #NoEdit #NoFilter hashtags. It makes a huge difference when you edit a photo to adjust the brightness & contrast and make it appear sharper.
Tweak your selfies to increase exposure, warmth and contrast and If you find something that doesn’t look right, by all means crop away!
Besides editing, another trick is to use filters to help make your selfies even better.
According to a study conducted by Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech, photos that use a filter actually receive more attention. After analyzing 7.6 million Instagram posts, they found that filtered photos were 21% more likely to be viewed and 41% more likely to be commented on.
Among the IG filters that are certified faves of celebrities include, Valencia, Mayfair, and Walden, but again it would still depend on your selfie.
That said, remember not to over-edit and get carried away. The key is to just make little adjustments. Don’t edit your selfie to the point that it will make you look like an escapee of Madam Tussaud’s. That also means you don’t have to keep Beauty Level on maximum.
7. LOOK HERE! Should you look at the camera or do you look at the screen? It’s the question I often hear when people ask celebrities for a selfie, and you should actually know the answer! Because the only thing worse than snapping a blurred “celfie” is a photo where both of you are looking at different directions. It’s one of those things you easily tend to overlook but its crucial especially during those once in a lifetime moments.
Staring directly at the screen might also make your selfie look like a mugshot so you should really know exactly where to look. Unlike other notched smartphones, the newer dewdrop notch makes it much easier to identify location of the front cam.
8. THE MIRROR SELFIE: There’s something about the mirrors and the lighting in bathrooms that make it an ideal place for mirror selfies. If you aren’t in the mood for a face-on selfie, but you’re totally into your OOTD, mirror selfies can also be super cute.
It’s also a great way to show your full physique whether you’ve just finished a gym workout, added a millimeter to your biceps or debuting your newly developed abs. It’s also a good way to show everyone that you have a new smartphone #humblebrag.
Another reason for the mirror selfie? You can practice your smile or Catriona-inspired smize, that is until you have perfected it and are ready to show the world your close up. Remember flash a real smile and no image will look bad—even if you have a few missing teeth.
9. CAPTION THIS: You came, you saw and you Slayed. But without a killer caption to go with it, your selfie will die a quick death. Coming up with a good Instagram caption is important because it could be the key to having your post seen by more people. The new Instagram algorithm tends to favor posts that get a lot of engagement. A great caption will add context, show off your/ or your brand’s personality, entertain the audience, and/or compel people to take action like hitting the heart or like button. That doesn’t mean you should fill it with hashtag-ridden essays and cryptic emoji messages. Now if you want to find the perfect caption for your selfie, you might need to use the split screen feature of your phone instead of having to switch apps.
Ofcourse, I already searched for some witty Insta captions you might want to use:
“Never let anyone treat you like you’re ordinary.”
“Make them stop and stare.”
“Be a stiletto in a room full of flats.”
“She acts like summer and walks like rain.”
“Be more of you, and less of them.”
“Self love is the best love.”
“Smile big, laugh often.”
“Some days you just have to create your own sunshine.”
“Being happy never goes out of style.”
“Morning coffee, because anything else is worthless.”
“Fresh out of the shower, no makeup on.”
“When you take a selfie so good, you can’t believe it’s you.”
“Sure, I do marathons. On Netflix.”
“I need a six month holiday, twice a year.”
“There is no we in food.”
“We go together like cupcakes and frosting.”
“People will stare. Make it worth their while.”
“Too glam to give a damn.”
“Life isn’t perfect but your outfit can be.”
“I’m nicer when I like my outfit.”
“Glitter is always an option.”
“Caring doesn’t really go with my outfit.”
“Life is way too short for bad vibes.”
“The way you speak to yourself matters the most.”
10. GET A SMARTPHONE WITH A CAPABLE SELFIE CAMERA: Last and certainly the most important is to of course get a smartphone with a good selfie camera. Because no matter how you’ve perfected the first nine tips, you really can’t do much with a crappy phone.
When it comes to smartphones, not all cameras are created equal, but thankfully unlike before, you don’t have to pay a lot to get a phone with a good camera.
The Honor 10 Lite lives up to the reputation of its older brother bringing together speed style and a selfie camera that can go head to head and even better other phones in its price range.
Perfect Selfies meet Perfect Style in the Honor 10 Lite with its 24-megapixel selfie camera with a wide f/2.0 aperture, boosting both the resolution and definition by as much as 20%. For its rear camera, the Honor 10 Lite has a dual 13-megapixel + 2 megapixel back shooter with the main camera containing an F/1.8 super big aperture.
It can take studio-level selfies thanks to its AI technology, allowing it to take portrait shots through various photography lightings such as soft lighting, butterfly lighting, split lighting, stage lighting and classic lighting.
It has an upgraded beauty algorithm that is adjustable by gender, skin tone and age, ensuring you shine from every angle, even if you’re not looking your best. The suite of beautification edit features includes skin smoothing, skin tone adjustment, acne cover-up, face slimming, highlights and shadows, oily skin fixing, eye enlargement and brightening, eye bag removal and teeth whitening.
In addition, with the 4-in-1 light fusion technology, the phone enables more light to be captured under low light conditions because four adjacent pixels intelligently connect up to create one large 1.8 μm pixel, while it offers a truly superior selfie experience when used in either day or night lighting, indoor or outdoor.
These cameras support AI scenes recognition for 22 classes and 500+scene tags plus the function of automatic photo optimization, adjusting to the subject and boosting the color to make your photos stand out even more.
Another standout feature of the Honor 10 Lite is its AIS handheld super night mode, which is normally only found in other brands’ flagship models. With the help of AI Night mode the Honor 10 Lite allows you to take stunning night shots even without a tripod or making pro-level camera adjustments.
Just like your selfie’s the Honor 10 Lite is also a stunning piece of technology. Inspired by the beautiful color of the sky, Honor chose a youthful, energetic and natural design that fades gradually from light to dark – Sky Blue.
It also showcases Honor Dewdrop FullVIew screen, giving its large 6.21 inch (2340 x 1080p FHD) display a 90 percent screen to body ratio. It has a 3D curved design which makes it very comfortable to hold in your hands.
The Honor 10 Lite is no slouch when it comes to performance, as it is powered by the Kirin 710 chipset and a flagship-level Cortex-A73 core paired with a 3GB RAM and 64GB storage, which is expandable to 512GB.
The Honor 10 Lite will be launched on January 22 and will be available nationwide very soon, and on Jan 26 there will be a Honor Roadshow in SM North EDSA where who buy Honor 10 lite can get big bundle as well. Final price has yet to be announced.
For more information about the Honor 10 Lite visit www.hihonor.com/ph and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Special thanks to Lou Ventigan @LemonGreenTeaPH Jeman Villanueva of @OrangeMagTV Rodel Flordeliz of @RodelFlordeliz and Ruth Dela Cruz of @Ruthilicious for joining helping me with my SelfieExperiments.