How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie!

How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie!

In previous posts I’ve talked about having the need to have a decent self-portrait or ‘selfie’ on your website or publication to show the human face.

If you don’t have a website or business you almost certainly will have a social media presence, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or anything else.

In this day and age of digital social interactions I believe it’s still important to control your personal image and make sure any ‘selfie’ is a true representation of you.

That’s right, ‘you’ not your dog, kids, motorbike or picture taken on holiday in a bar in Bali.

Once you get ahead around that you then need to decide what sort of self-portrait or selfie you think represents you best

  1. You may want a more conservative head shot.
  2. Or a full-length portrait with business like clothes like jacket and trousers.
  3. On the other hand, you may want to convey a trendy relaxed image.
  4. There are no rules except to be true to yourself.

The four most crucial factors to getting a professional ‘selfie’ or self portrait

1 Equipment

I’m going to show you on a smartphone but any camera should do the job provided it works

2 Light

Light is everything. If the light is dull or too bright the image can be too dark or ‘blown out’ (a term for images that have the highlights way too bright).

3 A way of mounting the camera.

A tripod is undoubtable the best way if someone is not taking it for you.

4 Staging

Make sure you select the correct pose. You may have to take several different images at different angles to get one you want to use.

Incidentally there is no rule that says you must use the same image across the all platforms or for the same purpose

Man in turban at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Man in turban at Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Set the camera up;

1 Regardless of what the use is, make sure you have the biggest resolution.

  • Much better to size down than try to upsize.
    For example on the Samsung S series smartphone cameras you will find picture size next to the settings icon.
    Select 16M or 12M or whatever the largest number is.
    The resolution on the IPhone is set to maximum and has no adjustment from that except with the use of a third-party app.
    Some other brands only give you the option to select large or high
    Note: The front camera usually has a much smaller resolution than the main camera, so avoid using it for this application
  • Find the timer and set it to 10 seconds
    You can usually just leave the camera on auto if the light is pretty good.
    But you can change the settings on some smartphones.
    The only settings I recommend changing are either the ISO and/or the exposure compensation.
  • Mount the camera on a tripod or any other way you can find to mount.
    I use the Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand a great little find that has a mini stand.
    It can also be fitted to a standard tripod head.

2 Set the scene

  • Find a well-lit position.
    You can be creative by sitting or standing near a window and allow the light to be strongest on one side.
    Alternatively, if you want to light up both sides, use a whiteboard on the side away from the light.
  • Think about the background.
    Make sure it’s not cluttered and distracting to the eye.
    Again, a whiteboard is handy.
    White (or off white) backgrounds are always the best way.
  • Think about your position.
    Ideally you want to be slightly lower than the camera if possible to avoid unflattering distortion.
How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie
  • Now comes the tricky bit.
    Unless you have someone else helping, you are going to have to focus the camera on your final position, be it a full length or head shot.
    The easiest way to do this is to put something in that position and then focus on it.
  • Just press the shutter button and then get into position.
  • Take plenty of images, trying different poses and maybe different locations.
    You can’t take too many!

3 Review

  1. Review on your phone and add a filter if you wish.
    There’s plenty of them out there!
  2. Load the images onto your computer.
  3. Look for softness (slightly blurry), unwanted distractions or items and light
  4. Crop if required.
    You may need to crop for different applications.
  5. Upload to your platform of choice


Rinse and repeat if need be.
You may think you’ve got it right but there’s always room to improve.

Summary for “How to take an ‘awesome’ selfie”

  • Make sure you are true to yourself and have a ‘selfie’ that truly represents you.
  • Decide on your orientation and pose
  • Four crucial factors for selfies are:
    • Equipment
    • Light
    • Mounting
    • Staging
  • Set the camera up
  • Set the scene
  • Review

Do you see yourself taking some great travel photos that you can share or display?

Or can see yourself reliving your travel experience by bringing home some emotive travel photos?

Maybe you want to get your travel photos published.

If one or all of these is YOUR goal, I can help.

If you go to the form below you can sign up and get my free eBook “9 ways to improve your Travel Photography”.

At the same time, you will also subscribe to my Travel Photo Tips Newsletter which is exclusive to those who have signed up.

Remember if you want to take great travel photos

  • that you can share and display.
  • that help you relive your travel experience
  • give you a chance to have your travel photos published

Then go to the form below and subscribe to my Travel Photo Tips Newsletter and for your trouble get my eBook “9 ways to improve your Travel Photography”

Any questions then please write your comments below or contact me here

Now that you’ve got down this far can I ask a favour.

Please share this with anyone who is going on a trip and wants to take and bring back some great travel photos.

You’ll be doing both them and I a favour.

Categories: How to, Technical, travel photographyTags: , ,

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