Since the rise of Instagram and front-facing cameras on our phones, the selfie has taken the world by storm and, whether we like it or not, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.
We’ve seen selfies in space, at the Oscars – even the Pope and a macaque monkey have got in on the action.
From Kim K to Obama, famous faces are mastering the art of the perfect selfie, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you improve yours.
Any photographer will tell you that lighting is key when taking a photograph, and the same goes for selfies. Avoid the bright midday sun and aim for an early morning or late afternoon snap when the sun is low in the sky. For an indoor selfie, nothing beats soft window light or the glow of a nearby lamp. Wherever you are, experiment with lighting from different angles depending on the look you’re going for.
Everyone is different, so it helps to experiment with different angles to determine what suits your face best. Typically, the most flattering angle is to hold your camera at 45 degrees, just above eye level, and tilt your face slightly. Avoid the dreaded double chin by extending your neck slightly, and crop in close using the rule of thirds to frame your face.
Like Madonna so famously said: Vogue! Above all, keep it natural. Whether you’re channeling your inner diva or going for that chilled out carefree vibe, be sure to relax. Avoid clichés (did somebody say duck face?) and you can’t really go wrong. Still feeling a little awkward? Walk away from your camera for a minute, then come back and snap away quickly.
If you’re still lacking confidence, or simply don’t want to come across as too narcissistic, get your friends or loved ones (even your pet) involved for a group selfie, or ‘groupie’ – hey, it worked for Ellen Degeneres! Perfect on a night out with friends, a holiday with family, or simply just for fun; groupies are a great way of telling a story and adding context to your photos (and a whole new context to the term ‘groupies’).
We’re all guilty of doing it, so don’t be afraid to tweak your selfie a little. Shift the colours, apply filters (Valencia being a popular choice among Instagram users) or even try your hand at a bit of subtle airbrushing, there are plenty of apps out there to help you achieve selfie perfection.
Ditch the messy bedroom or dingy bathroom. When it comes to choosing a background, you have two choices. Keep it super simple to keep the focus on you, or make it a big feature that tells a story and puts you in context (think iconic landmarks and exotic locations). Watch out for photo bombers – they may make for hilarious internet memes but unless they’re a famous celeb, you probably don’t want them milling about in your shot.
Take it to the next level – top 5 places in the world to take a selfie
Officially named the most popular place in the world to take a selfie, the Eiffel Tower is a firm favourite with tourists and celebs alike. Get a dramatic shot at the foot of the tower, or opt for something a little more scenic and shoot from a distance.
A little closer to home, London is packed with perfect locations for selfie-seekers. From London Bridge and Big Ben to The London Eye and the zoo, you’re sure to find more than one photo opportunity.
If it’s magical, fun-filled group selfies you’re after, then it doesn’t get any better than Disney World. Strike a pose with your friends in front of the iconic tower or rope in your favourite Disney character for a quick snap. Top it off with a colourful filter for maximum effect.
For stunning views of the New York skyline, including the Empire State Building and Central Park, climb to the top of Rockefeller Center in NYC and grab a selfie or two from the observation deck – perfect for city lovers.
Looking for something a little different? If you’re up for the trip, head to the 15th century Inca site of Machu Picchu. Considered one of the best hikes in the world, take the 26-mile Inca Trail to the peak for stunning views and, possibly even better, a sneaky selfie with a llama!
Take it to the next next level – tell us your favourite places to take the perfect selfie.