Self Session 101

by | Feb 1, 2019 | Arts & Life, Uncategorized

By: Jory Oclarino

Given that social media has taken over our everyday lives, selfies have come to be a part of our daily routine. However, some of us are new to the game. While not all of us are going to end up with selfies like Kim Kardashian or Pietro Boselli (not that we even have the time to), we can at least learn the basics of taking a selfie to avoid the common “I took like 200 tries but none of them turned out good” situation. So here are three basic rules you need to know in order to take a selfie that will be Insta-worthy.


Lighting is one of the basic rules to taking the “perfect selfie”. In fact, lighting is so important that it’s been made portable. From phone cases, to mini ring lights, it’s become so accessible. THERE’S NO EXCUSE.

For lighting, you want something neutral. Not too blue because you don’t want to look as if you were freezing, but also not too orange because you don’t want to channel oompa loompa vibes in your selfie. Golden hour, which runs from 1:00 pm to your local sunset hour is a good source of light to make your skin look dewy and your photo warm. Remember that daylight is FREE. However, there are also artificial lights that can mimic daylight! Ring lights and Softbox lights are some alternatives I would recommend if you’re planning on purchasing daylight alternatives. So get out there OR stay inside and go to a window and find your perfect blend of light.


Angle is another important factor in determining whether that selfie is going to be uploaded to Instagram or not. It’s important to learn your face structure, what works well with the camera, and what doesn’t. Hence why some people use the term “good side”. However, with angles, it’s not just what side of your face looks better, but what height your phone should be in when taking a selfie. Determining your best angle takes 30 seconds to a minute. Don’t know how to start? Here are the most common angles I have seen. The “phone a bit above the head” angle. This angle causes your eyes to look bigger and your jaw to appear smaller. (You would usually see this in Kardashian selfies). The “phone parallel to the face”. This is an angle I personally can’t rock. You would usually see this commonly as a headshot, or mugshot. This angle is perfect if you have an even face. Left. Right. Up. Down. Llastly is the “phone below the chin”. These are perfect for people who have good, strong, jawline. This angle can also help lengthen and accentuate the neck.


Your pose in pictures can make or break your photo. Depending on the type of emotion you’re trying to portray in your selfie, a pose could go several different ways. Facial emotions are important. A basic one is smiling, however, if you want to enhance that happy photo, actually LAUGH when you’re taking it. I know. “You want me to laugh while taking a selfie?” YES. It looks more natural and less forced which can give the viewer a better emotional connection with the photo. Wanna go sultry and sexy? SMIZE. SMIZE. SMIZE. Have you heard the famous supermodel Tyra Banks say “I need you to smize?” Smizing is basically smiling, but with your eyes instead of your mouth. Try and lift the lower lids of your eyes and look at the camera as if you’re looking at the person you’re about to have the craziest sex with. Scandalous, I know. Do it for the gram. Finally, if you want to portray sadness, try and look away from the camera. Have your eyes look down or into the distance and let your face sit naturally. Don’t pose. Let your face be. Also, when you’re taking a selfie, don’t be afraid to use your hands. Hands by the neck, or by the face. Use it to your advantage! GOOD LUCK!

Photosource: Andri Koolme/Flickr

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