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  • Author Verity Burns
  • Published June 4, 2014

How to take the perfect selfie

To pout or not to pout? That is the question. Taking a great selfie is an art – but follow these tips from What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision‘s Verity Burns and you’ll be well on the way to perfection

Photography-tips-perfect-selfie

selfie noun, informal
/ˈsɛlfi/
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

 

Selfies. Everyone’s at them. Celebrities can’t get enough of them, our social networks are full of them and there’s been at least one questionable pop song made about them. They’ve even made it into the dictionary, not to mention helped raise £8 million for Cancer Research through the #nomakeupselfie craze earlier in the year.

 

Most of us have been guilty of indulging in the odd one or two, but in case you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon just yet, we’re here to help. The art of the perfect selfie takes some practice – but grab your smartphone and follow our top tips, and you’ll be giving the Kardashians a run for their money before you know it.

 

Pick your camera
Most smartphones these days have two cameras, the main one on the back and a front-facing option. The former usually offers a much higher resolution so the quality will be better, but getting the framing right will require some practice as you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Beginners might want to start by using the front snapper – that way you can see what works best for you in real time.

 

lg-g2

 

With the LG G2, you’re in good hands whichever you choose – take the easy route with the 2.1-megapixel front-facing cam, or turn it around for your face in full 13MP glory.

 

Lighting, lighting, lighting
Lighting is one of the biggest considerations when creating a successful selfie. For a start, your main light source should always be in front of you – backlighting creates all manner of unflattering shadows – and preferably natural light as it will give the truest colour reproduction. That said, direct sunlight can be pretty harsh on a complexion too, so anything that will diffuse it – clouds, curtains or a bit of shade – will do your selfie the world of good.

 

Right angles
Got a good side? Get ready to flaunt it. Often the most flattering angle (and the one we see adopted by most serial selfie-takers) is achieved by extending your arm and raising the phone above your head slightly, so you’re looking up. This will be sure to banish any sign of a double chin (it happens to the best of us), while also ensuring your face is well lit. Add in a slight tilt of your head and you’re one step closer to being a selfie pro.

 

Background check
So you’ve got the basics down – now to make sure there’s nothing in the background that might ruin your selfie. Annoying siblings? Photobombers? Last night’s washing up? All of these will ruin the moment (unless you’re being, like, totes ironic, obvs), so stick with something fairly plain so the only focus of the photo is you looking fabulous.

 

Strike a pose
Now to decide what look you are going for in your selfie – serious, silly, sexy? Luckily there’s room for all of these with the LG G2’s burst mode, which lets you take 20 photos in quick succession. Then just pick your best look at the end. Remember: the more natural you feel, the more natural your selfie will look – you really can’t beat a flash of teeth in a genuine smile. If you really must pout, actually purse your lips as if you’re puckering up and you should be able to dodge the dreaded duck-face.

 

 

Be focused
No one wants a blurry selfie, and as your face is the main focus of the picture here, we want to make sure that your smartphone’s autofocus has clapped eyes on you correctly. To double check, just tap your face on the screen and any necessary adjustments should be made automatically.

 

Even better, the LG G2 has optical image stabilisation built in – so you don’t have to worry about arm wobble resulting in a blurry snap at the end of it either. (Pro-top: this is particularly advantageous at the end of the night.)

 

It’s all about timing
Now it’s time to take your shot, and there are a number of ways to do it. You can use an on-screen button, a hard key where available (sometimes a dedicated shutter button or volume key) or timer. A timer is often the best option if it’s offered (some apps will offer it if your phone doesn’t), as it means you don’t even have to hold the phone, allowing you both hands free for your pose.

 

Should you prefer to fire the camera yourself to get that extended-arm-in-shot authenticity, the LG G2’s innovative rear buttons make it easy to do no matter how you’re holding it.

 

App happy
You’ve now got your selfie, but your work here is not yet done. Good cropping and flattering filters are every selfie-taker’s friend, and there are plenty of apps out there to help give that perfect finishing touch to your snap.

 

Instagram is one of the most popular, offering 20 simple click-and-see filters, framing help and a wealth of sharing features – but those wanting greater control on their effects might wish to look elsewhere. Apps like Snapseed for Android or Pixlr Express are a little more in depth, offering controls over things like brightness, colour and saturation for ultimate selfie tweakability.

 

Verity Burns is multimedia editor on What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine.

 

So now you’re a selfie pro, you’re just going to want a smartphone that’s just as talented. Read all about the LG G2 here >>>

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