Selfies have become a major part of people's lives. Social networking sites are a testament to that, with news feeds often flooded with selfies of all kinds. But are they always great? Nowadays, taking selfies has become more than just "point and shoot" – with people considering angles and different features to capture the perfect one. Even devices these days are coming with selfie modes and options to take better and enhanced shots. If you want to take great selfies at every occasion, check out the tips and useful features below.
Know your device
Odds are there are some special camera features that you're not using yet. Explore your phone's special features to get wow-worthy shots. Samsung Galaxy S6 features a virtual shot mode that allows you to rotate around an image in post-editing, and has special features, such as panoramic photos, selective focus and HDR mode for professional-looking shots. It also has a 120-degree wide angle view to fit in more people than ever, à la the famous "Oscar selfie." Once you're done, you can share the photo with your contacts using Wi-Fi Direct, S-Beam, Bluetooth and more. The first of our photography tips from professionals is to explore your camera to find out about special features like "Burst Mode," time-lapse images and using alternate buttons as your shutter button for a better grip.
Nine times out of ten, natural lighting is the most flattering option. Go near a window or take a break on the balcony for photos that will flatter your skin tone and reveal the beautiful nuances of your appearance.
We've all witnessed the dreaded party selfie on a Friday or Saturday night: a dark, blurry
background, with faces washed out and distorted by a blinding white flash.
Rather than using a harsh flash in a nighttime or dimly-lit environment, have one friend turn on the flashlight on their phone and hold it at an arm's length for better lighting for your photo. (The recently launched Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 come with front-facing Flash LED to provide better selfies in dark environments)
Find your angle
Selfie queen Kim Kardashian offers lots of selfie photography tips, joking that she takes 300 selfies in a row until she finds the perfect one. If you learn your angles, you can pick your best picture from only a few options. Most people prefer to take photos with their chin angled down to avoid the dreaded double chin in photos, and capture the shot from above the eye line for a more flattering look. Photographers report that most people don't look best straight-on, so tilt a bit to the side until you find your best angle. One extra tip? Don't forget to breathe! It makes your face look much more relaxed and helps smiles look more natural.
The rule of thirds
Every photographer knows that a great photo starts with excellent composition. Most photographers use an approach with the "rule of thirds," which states that photos look best when the subjects of the photo are featured along the invisible lines that divide a photograph into thirds vertically and horizontally. Instead of putting your face right in the middle of your best selfie, try moving it or cropping it to the left or right third of the photo for maximum visual impact.
Nobody's perfect! Although heavily-edited photos from your social media feeds might lead you to believe that you're the least photogenic person on the planet, don't worry – there are lots of apps and built-in editing features that can give the subtle tweaking or the major overhaul that you're looking for. Samsung's "Beauty face" mode on smartphone cameras can reduce unevenness or imperfections on the skin, make your face look slimmer, and even enlarge your eyes for a dramatic look. Apps such as Facetune can remove a grey hair, wrinkles and blemishes with ease, while Photo Makeover can help you make subtle adjustments to compensate for bad lighting.
Avoid selfie clichés
We've all scrolled through our Instagram or Facebook feed and thought: "Another one?" Selfie clichés are easy to spot on social media and should be avoided at all costs. How many times have we seen the "Restroom selfie," taken under harsh fluorescent lighting with a shower door (or worse – a toilet!) in the background? Just as common is the "Driving selfie," usually taken on the way to work or to the gym; audiobooks may be a better and safer way to pass the time while on the road. The "Mirror selfie" is perhaps the oldest of all selfies, popular on MySpace and other old-school social sites, but inevitably just looks silly. Make your photos stand out from the pack by shunning these popular and repetitive styles.
Go off the beaten path
Yes – selfies are supposed to be impulsive, spur-of-the-moment shots that capture your daily life. But let's be honest: most people's daily lives aren't all that interesting! Remember that for out-of-this-world selfies, reality is not a necessity. Stage great shots by paying attention to your surroundings. Did you just buy a beautiful new blazer and want to show it off? Wait until you're at your desk and take an impressive executive portrait.
Trying out a new hair colour? Capture your great hair day on a stylish terrace, where it can move subtly in the breeze for a dramatic effect. Even if you're not an expert when it comes to photography tips, the next time you're running errands, remember to take note of potential backdrops – artwork, chic lobbies, colorful fruit stands, etc. – to plan your next great shot.
Do you have any selfie tips of your own? Please share them in the comments section below.