Whether you like it or loathe it, the age of the “selfie” is upon us. And even if you don’t partake in that particular pop culture ritual, there’s never been a time when a photo taken of you will be seen by more people thanks to good old social media.Translation: More than ever before, taking a good picture is of the utmost importance. We turned to a couple of experts for advice on how to find your good side and take amazingly gorgeous photos.The Model:Lonneke Engel (YouBeauty’s holistic health columnist) has worked with top photographers from Bruce Weber to Patrick Demarchelier (of “Devil Wears Prada” fame) and Mario Testino, and is most recognizable for her 15 years of work with Ralph Lauren. So she’s obviously learned a thing or two about taking great photos. “My biggest tip in preparing for your ultimate selfie or profile picture is to practice a lot in front of the mirror,” she says. “That’s what I did! Look at your whole face, showing every emotion, and find out your good angles that you want to show.” Lonneke says that the best pictures come when you don’t force it or think about it too much—all that practicing will “program” your brain so that the right angles come naturally.She also offers this seemingly-obvious-but-oft-forgotten tip: When the camera is lower than your face, bring your face down a bit so the camera doesn’t look up your nostrils.The Photographer:Los Angeles-based photographer Stefanie Keenan photographs celebrities (Kerry Washington, Mila Kunis and the Kardashians to name a few), ad campaigns and beauty/fashion editorials. (You can see more of her work on Instagram @stefaniekeenan). Like Lonneke, she recommends spending some time getting to know your face in front of the mirror. And don’t forget to practice different smiles.According to Stefanie, about 80 percent of the people she shoots have the right side as their best side. To make the best of this, she says to keep your chin down and tilt your head slightly to the right. Don’t go full profile or anything, just about three-quarters to the side.One big no-no: Pouting. “Don’t do it! Please!” says Stefanie. “Here’s what you do: Keep your upper and lower teeth about a half-inch apart but don’t separate your lips. You will get a natural ‘suck in’ in your cheeks and a bit of a pout and NOT a duck-face situation!”As for your eyes, while the photographer is getting ready to take the shot, close your eyes and scrunch your face for two to three seconds. Then open, relax and smile ever so slightly—flirty but not too big. “Smize as Tyra [Banks] would say.” Practice all of this in the mirror, says Stefanie. “Don’t be deterred when the photographer, or your friend, shouts to ‘SMILE!’ Just do your thing.”
The Selfie Master:Now for some advice on taking the ultimate selfie, we turned to Tina Craig, co-founder on the Snob empire that all started with Bag Snob, and now co-designer of a collection of bags for HSN. One quick glance at her Instagram (@BagSnob) will tell you that she gives good selfie advice.Two of her key techniques:
- The Bend and Snap: Looking down or leaning in slightly before snapping your selfie will soften any sign of wrinkles.
- The “Carfie”: Front seats of cars make for the best selfies (aka, the carfie). With bright streaming light from all sides, it’s like a mini studio! Angle the camera slightly below your face to take advantage of all of that surrounding light.
Now get out there and take some ridiculously good photos!