5 EASY steps to capture the perfect *Selfie* by Brandee Leafty Photography, Portrait Photographer

As you know, the “selfie” has taken over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & even Pinterest! Have you ever wondered how to create YOUR best selfie? Point the camera at your face, pucker your lips and go, right?!? Wrong.

Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be on your way to the perfect profile pic.

Step 1: Choose your best side and figure out how to light it.

The first thing you want to do when trying to create that awesome self portrait, (which if you didn’t know already, is what we used to call it back in the day..and that’s coming from a 28 year old!) is to figure out which side of your face you like better then, what kind light is given and how to use it in an appealing way. This step is probably second nature to you, but you might not have realized it. If you were to bring out your phone and pretended to take a picture, I can bet that you already shift your face to your “better side” then without even noticing you’d probably move around your phone, like your trying to find a signal or something. Step one, mostly likely second nature, but just in case, I will explain it all anyway. Choosing your best side is pretty easy, cover one side of your face while looking in the mirror, then switch sides. Did you like the right or left side better?


Once you’ve chosen a side, look around at your light. Are you indoors or outdoors? Is the sun harsh or is it pretty cloudy? Let’s pretend you are inside and your greatest light source is a lamp, go stand by it.. (but not too close or you’ll look like your telling a ghost story next to a campfire.) Move your phone side to side, watch what happens with different angles and direction of light. Do this until you like the amount of light on your face, as well as the shadows, they should be soft and light.

Watch this video to see an extreme example of direction and light 

HELPFUL HINT: You should not have harsh or dark shadows directly below your nose/nostrils or eyes, it tends to make people look tired and/or droopy. Shadows that have distinct outlines are too harsh and mean that you should take a step or two away from the light. This tip should help with all lighting situations, harsh sun especially.1117141847  Using the hint, can you tell which is better?1117141849

Step 2: Make sure your camera is at or slightly above your eye line.

0121151034There is a common misconception about holding the camera directly above you, that it will make you look skinnier. While there are parts of this that are true, but a lot of the time it’s done to an extreme which does something I believe to be worse. THE FIVEHEAD… you know, when your forehead looks like a fivehead?! There are so many people that are more worried about making their butts look skinnier that they forget to pay attention to their head. I guess they could be doing it on purpose…

Anyway, if you keep your camera at eye level I promise the next step will take care of your bum. No sacrifices needed.

Step 3: Lean forward.

So, instead of putting the camera higher and pointing it to your head, push back your bum by leaning forward. If you do it right, you shouldn’t even be able to tell in the picture that you’re doing it. What you want to do is, drop all your weight on to one leg and bending your other leg, give it some attitude… it’s more fun. Then. while keeping your back straight, lean forward. You see, anything that you want to appear smaller needs to be furthest away from your lens. Simple right?!

Step 4: Bring your chin forward and down.

Another thing most of us don’t want to extenuate is the dreaded double chin. In day to day life most of us don’t actually have one, that is, until a camera comes out. All of a sudden we don’t know how to hide it! Don’t you worry anymore.. all you need to do is stick out your chin as far as possible and bring it down. Connect it with your shoulder and you’re officially modelling! This step is much easier to show then to explain… take a look!

Brandee_Leafty_Photography_Maggie_5 Brandee_Leafty_Photography_Maggie_6

In the picture on the left Maggie is not defining her jaw line by extending her chin out and down. In the next image, on the right, she is most definitely working the right angle. I bet you can’t even tell that she is making such an effort to do it! This 18 year old thought I was crazy. She could NOT understand how this uncomfortable pose could turn out so beautifully. When she saw it for herself, she was stunned! She was certainly glad that she trusted me! You will be too!

0116151527<<<—- Can you tell in this selfie that I am sticking out my chin and pointing it down?

Probably, now that I taught you this awesome new trick… I hope you use it! When you are sitting, like I am in this picture, it is the very best time to stick out your chin!

Step 5: RELAX YOUR LIPS!!!!!

Relax your lips… sounds easy right? It’s actually super hard! Especially when you can see yourself. We all know that when we pucker up, we suddenly have amazing cheekbones BUT we look like a dorks everywhere else! So join with me and stop!

I promise that if you are in the right light, featuring the best side of your face, dropping your hip and leaning forward, extending your chin out and down, you won’t need to make a duck face to like the picture.


Now give it a try and tell me what you think! If you have a questions feel free to ask them.

 I am here to help!

Thanks for reading!


Brandee Leafty Photography


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