GROUPON GUIDE

How to Take a Selfie Without Shame

BY: AMELIA BUZZELL | 8.29.2013 |

Chicago photographer Wendy Alas knows a thing or two (or 365) about self-portraits. Though she shoots weddings and other events like a pro, the trained photojournalist also took a picture of herself every day as part of a year-long self-portrait series she conducted from 2009 to 2010. In the years since she completed that particular project, cell-phone self-portraits—or “selfies”—have become even more popular, though as any avid Facebooker can attest, the results are often less than flattering. Here, Alas shares a few tips for taking more elegant self-portraits.

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Show Your Best Side

Alas says that side angles are usually the most flattering, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only option. “If you have a strong jaw, you should definitely show that off with a straight-on snapshot,” she said. As for angles to avoid: “One that I see all the time … is [a] high, handheld camera looking down, which will make your head look big and your body [look] tiny.”

See the Light

“I love natural-looking images and natural light! Window light FTW!” Alas joked. When taking a selfie indoors, she recommends using a white reflector or a piece of white cardboard to diminish shadows on the face. “Try it and you’ll thank me later.”

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Ditch the Duck Lips

“Just opening your mouth slightly will create that confident look on your face … I also believe in Tyra Banks’s smile-with-your-eyes look. It’s a pensive, almost vulnerable look that will make you look super cool and confident and approachable.”

Try Instagram

“I love Instagram, [and] I love that you can take videos now, too,” she said. “I recommend the Mayfair, Lo-Fi, Rise, Valencia, and Walden [filters] for portraits; they just even out your skin tones and make you look flawless.” Another tip: the Lo-Fi filter helps correct overexposed or too-bright photographs.

The Final Word

“Use a timer, a tripod, and have fun with it.”

Photo: Jeremey Watson, Groupon

Check Groupon for deals on pro photography in your area, or read some more DIY tips:

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Guide Staff Writer
BY: Amelia Buzzell Guide Staff Writer
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