1: Lighting Is Key
Good lighting can make or break a photo. As a general rule, the best light is found outdoors. Avoid bright sunlight that makes you squint and causes shadows on your face. Instead, put the sun behind you or look for somewhere that is shaded. Try turning before you take your selfie to see what the light looks like as you face different directions.
Inside, look for well-lit rooms with plenty of natural light. Move closer to the window if needed to ensure you find good light. Whatever happens, avoid using the flash on your phone for selfies, this is rarely flattering.
2: Choose Your Angle
The angle we take a selfie from can transform the image. Holding the camera straight-on is rarely flattering. Instead try holding your phone a little bit above you. The downward angle is flattering to most people (and avoids the double chin look!). Also experiment with holding the camera slightly off to one side. This can help add shape to your face and make you look better. Did you know that you can take a photo on an iPhone using a volume button? A great alternative if you struggle to balance the phone.
The other element to choosing your angle is being aware of what’s in the background. At home, a small step to one side can avoid the washing basket or nappy bin featuring in the background. Watch out for tree branches or lamp posts that look like they are growing out of your head. Also think about what you do want to include. A landmark or a favourite play set up all add context to an image. To get more in the background try using the back camera for your selfie. The downside if you can’t see the photo as you take it, but it is easier to include the background in your image.
3: Take Multiple Shots
It’s sometimes worth spending a few moments taking multiple shots, in search of that one great selfie. If you’re including your kids in the photo, this is a great way of getting that smile. A quick tickle or a cheesy joke may lead to a silly face, but then a lovely natural smile in the moments after. By shooting continuous images you’ll make sure you’ve caught that perfect moment on camera. On an iPhone you can take a live photo, or keep your finger on the shutter to activate burst mode. In burst mode you can slowly move the camera to take photos from different angles. Remember to go into your photos afterwards, once you’ve selected your favourite you can delete all the duds that didn’t make the cut.
You may also want take multiple photos with your camera in different orientations – shooting landscape often means more of the background is included in the photo. Try playing with different crops in your camera – if you love posting your photos on instagram try setting your phone to take square photos.
If you want to learn more about taking better photos, sign up below for the newsletters to get tips and other news delivered straight to your inbox. For more details on beginners photography courses in Berkhamsted see here.