Creating the perfect self portrait using your smart phone can be an
excellent way of expressing yourself to your friends and followers on
social media, as well as create a lasting memory of yourself at a
particular time and place. It can also be a way to clog all your
friends' newsfeeds with poorly-taken, utterly irrelevant and
unappealing photos of yourself that can potentially be offensive to
some for the waste of time it took glancing at you and the effort
required to scroll away. Here is a short list of tips and
recommendations you can follow in order to become to most professional
#Selfie artist on your friends feeds!
-Is it a #Selfie worthy situation?
This should be the first question you ask yourself before you blindly
take out your phone, pucker up your lips and pose with peace-sign, and
snap away. Back up a second: is this worth sharing with my friends and
potentially whoever else on my friend/follower list? Am I doing
anything incriminating, potentially offensive or trashy and classless
that others will judge me wrongly for? No? Do I even really truly
care? Assessing these thoughts will help you avoid the unnecessary
negative consequences of posting something you may later regret (which
we're all guilty of at some point). Just questioning the situation and
yourself sometimes will save you the purposeless effort of taking a
photo you didn't need to (and for the matter, truly didn't want to in
the long run). Be smart! And look good doing it.
-Ample lighting and letting the camera focus
This one is a no-brainer. But it is a common mistake to see on social
media an otherwise nearly perfect self portrait completely RUINED by
the photographer's inconsideration of the lighting in the surrounding
area of the photo frame. And remember to take your time: focus is
important (Unless you intend to hide blemishes/imperfections on your
face by purposefully not focusing... but we'll all know). No one wants
to see your cataloged exploits through pictures that don't make
complete use of your smart phone's megapixel camera. Avoid nighttime
outdoor #selfies as they almost never look good, try shooting in the
opposite direction of where the sun is in the sky, avoid super bright
light in direct sunlight but also obscuring shadows (especially on
Consider yourself as the main subject of the #selfie. Take note of
your surroundings. Create the right balance of the amount of your
beautiful face contrasted against wherever you are (your background).
Create a photo with near-golden ratio proportions by finding that
just-right balance of subject and background, you'll know you've found
it when the photo looks just "so". Try to avoid taking photos where
your face is over ~85% of the image, and also consider possible other
unassuming people in your background who will never know they were in
your photo, ever.
Maybe your photo is caption worthy, maybe it isn't. Always will depend
on yourself and the context of the photo. But sometimes thinking of a
witty or DEEP THOUGHT PROVOKING caption or quote will add extra allure
to your self-portrait. Try it next time if you haven't and watch as
the likes come dinging in!
-Consider use of filters and external photography applications
Instagram and other photo sharing sites usually have a wide array of
photo filters to choose from, and even most current generation smart
phones have rudimentary filters/color correction tools to help make
your photos more enchanting and magical looking for all your friends
to drool over! Some inexpensive yet very useful external photo
applications available for iPhone are Camera+, Snapseed (free!), and
Afterlight, all of which give you a very huge selection of unique
filters and editing tools that are sure to bedazzle your photographs
and make them look more professional than anything your completely
unaware friends can compete with. But, this isn't to say a good ol'
#NoFilter photo can't be just as impressive. Incorrect use of a filter
(or in those nightmare cases, MULTIPLE filters...) can in fact ruin an
otherwise good photo's appeal by how obvious and distracting they can
There you have it... an amateur's opinion on how to not seem
superficially amateur to others through social media self-portraits.
Take from it what you will... the recommendations in this article are
just based on my undemocratic standards of what looks good. But "good"
is subjective, so it really depends on yourself. Overall, above all
the tips posted above, be yourself and exude confidence. Social media
is about sharing experiences and communicating through
self-expression. Remember: it is never meant to be taken THAT