By: Amanda Cosenza (wheres_amanda)
Let’s face it, we are a culture that loves selfies. They are easy to take and can show off our outfits or makeup really well. The best part is they require very minimal setup and can make people feel like they are right there raving with us.
As a festival photographer, I have learned various tricks and tips on how to take pictures in all kinds of settings. I believe that what I have learned can also be applied to enhance even the simplest of selfies. That is why I am going to share some simple things you can do to improve your rave selfies. So get your smile ready because it’s time to capture some memories!
Clean Your Camera
A lot of people do not realize that the simplest way to improve your selfie is to clean your camera lens. Microfiber cleaning cloths (like the one you would use to clean seeing eyeglasses) are the best. This simple task can help any picture you take (not just selfies) come out much better so be sure to clean both your front and back camera. Extra points if you bust out an entire screen cleaning kit.
Lighting is Everything
The difference between a fabulous selfie and one where you look like the girl from the ring can be the lighting in which you choose to photograph in. The ideal situation is just when the sun is beginning to set. There’s a reason why they call it “golden hour”.This is the time when the sun is still bright enough to light a photo but not shining so much that you have to squint your eyes. The daylight is also redder and softer, creating a beautiful glow for pictures. During this time, if you are somewhere cool like the Gorge then you can also have the most gorgeous sunset as a backdrop for your selfie.
If you are unable to snap your pic during golden hour then be aware of how to “find your light”. If you are at an indoor venue then the best lighting is probably going to be the bathroom. If you really want to go for the gold then get yourself a selfie ring light or one of those light-up cell phone cases. Another option is to ask a good friend to turn the flashlight on their phone on and shine it near your camera. The key is to make sure the area around the camera takes in the most light. If taking one mid-set then try to wait until the lights are the brightest or even wait until the end when the house lights come back on. Remember to keep the sun or light source in front of you for the most flattering shot. Nothing can ruin a good selfie like sweaty bodies in motion blurring the background. Try to find a cool piece of art or a simple wall so that you can be the star of the image.
Rule of Thirds!
This is a rule that photographers follow and it can be applied even to selfies. Go into your camera settings and make sure the “grid” is set up to display as this will help you find the right position. Line up your face so that your eyes line up to about one-third of the way down from the top. Also, place your face one third to the left or right. Next, do the 90-degree test. Turn 90 degrees and set up to take another selfie. Sometimes this slight change in position can help you grab better light or position. Also if you have not figured it out yet, try to determine which side is your “good side” beforehand.
Remember You Have Two Hands
While traditionally selfies are taken with one hand, if you enlist the help of both then you will have an easier time getting the best angle. Go all out and get a selfie stick if you really want to commit to getting the perfect shot.
Now do not go too crazy here. Yes, there are apps out there where you can reconstruct your whole face but you are beautiful just the way you are! However, your picture may not fully show that if the lighting or white balance is off. Using apps like Lightroom or VSCO can help to enhance the overall feel of the picture, making the colors more vibrant and enhancing the lighting. If you really want an extra edge you can buy presents on Etsy for pretty reasonable prices.
So clean your lens, find that light, smile, and get ready to snap away!