There is one thing that we have to clarify from the very beginning.
If a person is photogenic, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is beautiful. And the other way round. Turning out great in the pictures is, in fact, a skill. And you can totally learn how to look good in pictures if you are ready to spend a little of your time.
How do you take a good selfie if you are not photogenic?
In our era of social media, even the shiest tend to get their smartphone out to attempt to take a selfie from time to time. Some end up uploading the picture and others regret wasting the precious time of their lives, as none of the dozens and dozens of images turn out to be good enough.
In the end, you start assuming that you are simply not photogenic and that you will never be able to take that perfect selfie.
Related: Is Being Photogenic A Gift Or A Skill?
The great news is that there are plenty of tricks that you can use in order to look amazing in photos in general, not only in selfies. But when it comes to snapping a shot of yourself, the rules are even simpler. You need to find your best side; the angle of the phone camera has to be right; the light has to be gentle, but there should also be enough of it.
But first things first.
Why do you turn out bad in photos? This question might be bothering you, especially if you have had a look in the mirror a couple of minutes ago. And you thought that you looked stunning. But the hundreds of selfies have an opinion of their own. Let’s delve into this question a little more.
Related: 3 Reasons Why You Look Better In The Mirror Than In Pictures
Why Do You Turn Out Bad in Selfies?
The ugly truth is that the phone camera…distorts your face!
In fact, when you see yourself in a selfie that is not what you look like in real life. Firstly, the parts of your face that are closer to the camera will appear much bigger in the photo than they really are (a lot of people get frustrated about their nose, for example). You see, if you had extremely long arms (around 1.5 meters), your facial features would have turned out on the photo somewhat right. But because of the fact that we have to place the phone camera close to our face, we get distorted features.
Related: 6 Most Common Phone Camera Mistakes Everyone Does
Secondly, we are not used to what we see in the selfies. We are much more used to checking ourselves in an ordinary mirror, right? And when we feel like we look good in that mirror, we want to take a selfie. But what we see is totally different from our reflection.
This is because in the mirror we see ourselves in reverse and when you’re taking a picture your left and right sides do not switch.
As our faces are not symmetrical, we can distinctively see the difference between the way we look in the mirror and what we get in the picture. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have turned out bad on the photo. You are simply not used to seeing yourself this way round.
How to deal with the things mentioned above?
Well, the best advice would be – take a lot of selfies, not for the sake of uploading them, but to simply study how your face looks and what your best angles are. Taking great selfies is certainly a skill and you can totally master it with the help of practice and a few pieces of advice that we are going to share right now.
10 Tips on How to Take a Good Selfie If You Are Not Photogenic
1. Know Your Good Side and Angles
We all have a particular side or angle that we feel looks much better in selfies and is a lot more ‘photogenic’. If you haven’t yet found yours, try moving the phone around your face and snapping “hundreds of shots”. Then pick the ones that you like the most and remember the way you placed the phone and the way you turned your face. This might be your ‘good side’.
2. Find the Light
Generally, in photography, light is everything. It can make your face look amazing or totally destroy every single proportion. They say that taking selfies using natural light is great. But the truth is that sometimes the rays can be too harsh on the face, so avoid snapping a shot during midday.
However, you can always find a light source inside. Make sure that it’s not located behind you. Whether you choose to look directly at the source or sit to the side of a lamp – it’s totally up to you.
Remember about the shadows. Especially, if you decide to place the light on one of your sides. Make sure that there is no shadow on your face that makes all the features look worse than they really are. And pay extra attention to whether or not the light/shadows accentuate the bags under your eyes.
Related: Low Light Tips: How To Get Good Lighting For Indoor Photos
3. Place the Camera Slightly Higher or to the Side
This trick will make your face and body look slimmer and your eyes bigger.
Keep the camera up (the lower part of the phone has to be on the same level with your eyes or forehead); put your chin down a little; make sure to keep your eyes widely open and slightly lift up your eyebrows.
Taking a side selfie can also be beneficial for your facial features. If the angle is right, you might end up with a beautiful jawline. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to be looking straight into the camera. Usually, you will manage to get the most flattering pictures, if you look to the side (not too much though).
4. Push Your Face Forward to Get a Longer-Looking Neck
A double chin is never pretty. But you can easily end up with one, whenever you are trying to capture a 3D world in a 2D format. You see, you might not have a double chin problem in real life, but in the picture when your neck can literally become one body part with your chin…the results won’t be flattering.
So, try to push your face forward. Yes, the posture might seem weird in real life, but your neck is going to look amazing in pictures.
5. Attempt a Genuine Smile
The chances are high that you would want to appear friendly and happy in your selfie. Instead of trying to fake a smile or saying «cheese», think about something that really does make you smile. Pull out a wonderful memory out of your treasure chest, relive it and we promise that you’re going to have a beautiful facial expression in your selfie.
6. Slightly Open Your Mouth and Exhale
Your mouth and lips should not be stiff – it’s generally considered to be unattractive. But attempting a model face with an open mouth can also seem weird. So, simply slightly open your mouth as if you’re exhaling through it.
7. Master Photo Editing, but Don’t Overdo It!
It is incredibly difficult to get an amazing ‘raw’ photo on your phone camera. 99% of the beautiful faces that you see online go through at least half a dozen of different editing programs.
Of course, changing your entire face in one of the apps is a bit too much. Just like applying too many filters. However, one or two pretty effects and some slight manipulations with exposure can do wonders.
Related: Outsourcing Photo Editing Services For Photographers Debunked
8. Think About the Background
In case you want to take a selfie in front of an attraction, for example, you can’t really pick the background. But if you want to solemnly show your face, then look for a light background that will make your face brighter.
Related: Better Pictures With Blurred Background Photography
9. Find Your Signature Face
We want every photo to be unique and to evoke new emotions in the viewer. But that’s not quite what selfies are for. So, don’t be afraid to always have one single facial expression in the photos. After all, if you have found the exact thing that works for you and you look stunning in the photos, why not pull out your signature face again and again?
That’s exactly what Kim Kardashian does, by the way.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Flash and to Crop
There are times when you simply can’t take a photo without the help of a flash. For example, in a club. Such a selfie may turn out looking extremely cool if you’ve got your angle and side right. Your face will be lit up and the background will stay dark. Of course, the photo will not be of the best quality. But that’s not the main thing here, right? Simply make sure to find an app that can deal with the red-eyes effect.
Another thing that you shouldn’t be afraid of is cropping. A square cut, for example, may simply suit your face better. Or in case you want to get rid of an annoying background or the part of your body that you don’t really like in the picture… Just crop it.
How do you take a good selfie if you are not photogenic?
Well, the truth is that you can’t be 100% not photogenic, you simply have to learn how to take selfies the right way. And the tricks mentioned above will certainly help you with that.
Also, check out our article to learn basic tips for taking good photographs.