Ah the selfie. A mobile device driven, pop-culture phenomenon we all love and hate at the same time. Laugh if you will at the hoards of folks self-snapping photos of themselves in front of monuments and over pitchers of margaritas, but I say if Hilary Clinton and Meryl Streep can take a selfie with no shame, then why can’t the rest of us? The problem with some selfies is that they look too much like a selfie. I’m looking at you online dating profiles filled with photos of your “awesome” bod standing in front of a mirror. Yeah, we see you. And we also see that phone you’re awkwardly holding out in front of you with your arm bent all crazy like. Can we pass some sort of online agreement that no one will ever take a photo in that pose again? Please?
Sarcasm aside, there are a multitude of apps out there to help you take the perfect selfie – one that makes you look awesome, rather than lame. Here’s a list of of the top three selfie-taking problems along with some apps to help you resolve them. (Disclaimer: this list does not help prevent selfie problems like throwing gang signs or making the duckface. That’s a post for another day.)
Problem – Your Phone Is Showing
As previously mentioned, selfies taken standing in front of a mirror are a no-no. Your weird arm angle and fake smile directed at the reflective glass looks contrived and forced. Your smartphone has a reverse camera for a reason! Most iPhones and Droids have a front facing camera option built right into the camera already but many apps, including Instagram, have a reverse camera option as well. Use it!
Problem – All Your Photos Look Like Mugshots
I’m not saying you don’t have a pretty face, but not every photo needs to be from the shoulders up. The solution? Download the Timer Cam app. It allows you to delay taking a photo for 5, 10 or 15 seconds. It too has a reverse camera function so you can set up the camera, stand back and see yourself, and then take your sweet time perfecting that pose before the shutter snaps.
Problem – You Look Like The Undead
Though it allows you to see the photo you’re about to take, one problem with using the reverse camera function on your phone is that the quality is a little less than when you use the camera the old fashioned way. If you’re like me, more often than not this means your complexion can start looking a little….dingy. Never fear! Photo editing apps are here! Everyone has their favorite photo editing app and Lord knows there are zillions of them. I find myself using the AfterLight app most often. It’s simple and straightforward and, in my opinion, has the best collection of photo filters in one app.
(Tip: the Captain filter in the Original filters set brightens almost any photo without yellowing it.) Plus, Afterlight has some very chic and clean photo frames as well to make your photos a bit more artsy. Other favorites I keep in rotation include Color Cap, ABeautifulMess, PicStich and Rhonna Designs.
Now you’re armed and ready to start taking selfies with confidence! Don’t forget, the best selfie takers use a combination of the apps above for the perfect photo. Just remember, keep it light, classy and fun. And please, no duck faces. I can’t stress that rule enough.
*This article was written for the Apptitude.io blog.