5 tips to take a great selfie

Have you noticed how the popularity of selfies has exploded all over Twitter, blogs and showbiz websites?  Celeb selfies are particularly amusing and literally everyone is at it.  From those ubiquitous queens of pop Katy Perry and Rihanna via Victoria Beckham and her ilk through to the very cool Zooey Deschanel and Lena Dunham, the celeb selfie is the new black.

Have you been trying and failing to take a good selfie yourself?  OK, well here are some top tips from London’s only online dating photographer.  Read this and get your camera ready.

1. Get in the right mood

Are you feeling good?  Sassy?  On top of the world?  Make up on?  Fave outfit ready to go?  Only pick up your camera when you are feeling at your most confident and bold.  Not quite feeling it yet?  Put on your favourite song, put on your highest stilettos or do whatever it takes to get you in the right mood.  Being confident will make a huge difference to your final images.

2. Make sure your picture is pin sharpSelfie

To make sure your pictures are cut above the rest, make sure they are as in focus and sharp as they can be.  There are a couple of tricks to this:

  • Zoom all the way out – this will give you a better quality picture.  Use your legs as the zoom i.e. walk nearer to your subject
  • Find good quality light – you need lots of light to make sure you have the best chance of getting a pin sharp picture.  Overhead light or side lighting is usually good.  Avoid light coming from behind or you will end up in silhouette or lighting coming from below, you’ll look like something out of a horror movie.
  • Keep very still, especially your hand holding the camera.  Any movement from you or the camera will cause blur.

3. Check your background

I can’t emphasize how important this step is.  It’s one of the first thing professional photographers think about when they compose a shot.  For a portrait, ideally you want a nice simple, plain background so that all the focus can rest on the subject i.e. you.  If you’re finding it difficult to find a well-lit area with little clutter around it, then you can get creative and fashion a plain background by fixing up a sheet, pashmina or something.  Keep it light coloured but avoid white, which will be too distracting.  Definitely avoid having the bathroom in the background.  It’s been classed as a big turn off.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Take lots and lots of pictures, experiment from different angles, try moving the light source around, if you can, to see what makes you look best.  The aim is to focus on your eyes so you will need lots of attempts probably to get this right.  Two things to remember:

  • Look into the camera’s lens in the mirror rather than into your eyes otherwise the final image will be a bit disconcerting
  • Make sure the flash is turned off – there’s nothing pretty about flash bouncing off the mirror in your photo.  It’s distracting and horrible to look at.

5. Edit

Once you’ve shot your images, download them and go through them all picking out your favourite ones.  Then use a free online photo editor such as Picmonkey  to tidy them up.  There are lots of different tools and effects so go play around with them.

And that’s it, you’re ready for your close up.  Go experiment and have fun with it.

Saskia Nelson is the talent behind Saturday Night’s Alright, London’s original online dating portrait photography business and is passionate about helping London's fab single people to shine online. She specialises in creating gorgeous photos for her clients to help them build awesome online dating profiles that help tell the story of who they really are. She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog.

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