To Selfie or Not to Selfie


There are times when a cell phone photo simply will not do. We all love to be able to regularly update our status with fun shots of the here and now, but there is a time and place where that simply will not do to really communicate with clarity, emotion or fairness.

But why?

I am no photo nazi and have been known to fire off a few selfies (um, have you been by my Instagram lately?), myself. Being in the beauty business, regular impressions of changes in my look are not only warranted buy also solicited by my followers. But (you knew a “but was coming”), there are just times that require more. I need professional help, and am the first to admit it! I think that we all could use a little professional help. To help me illustrate, I have solicited the help of one of my beautiful clients. Her mother sent me some of her prettiest selfies (and she is pretty keen with a selfie sesh!)  to compare and contrast:

Camera phones never give the same quality or perspective – Camera phones were not designed to do all that DSLRs do. That is it, in short. Mobile devices include cameras for ease but not for photo quality. Despite the increasingly great quality of mobile phone cameras, because they are so small, there will always be a great deal of distortion and blur. Leavee it to your phone to give you a bobble-head perspective.

You will never have the same perspective of yourself that someone else will – No matter how much you love yourself or value yourself, you will likely not see the tiny enchanting things that someone else can. Your perspective – even with a great self-esteem – will always be colored by your preferences of yourself. Also, because you do not have a 360 degree view of yourself, you will never be half as enchanted as a camera will be. You have no idea how the light spills over your hair or even how one piece of hair might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It will always be cooler to be photographed by someone else – No selfie stick in the world will give you the fun look of interacting with someone else behind a lens. It will always be more fun, and likewise, more effective to work with someone who can coach you into your best camera-ready position.  Likewise, someone else can get far enough away from you to get a great view of all of your best features, while being close enough to engage without “Selfie Fisheye.”

It gives off a totally different vibe – It does. It is hard to even write this because I do take a lot of photos with my telephone, simply because it is more accessible and easier to carry than my full-on DSLR camera, but there is a huge quality difference and feel. The crisp look and accurate capture of a DSLR photo feels different. Although, when I post photos shot with a great camera, I do not typically get any feedback that specifically points to the sourcing nuances, I DO get a ton more likes and comments – every single time.

Let’s hear it for the girls – You and I are being honest, right? Girls can get away with more selfies. Period. If you are a man and you are taking selfies on the regular, we need some strategy chatter. Even my 15-year-old son has given me indicators that selfies are just not cool. If he gets a new haircut, he asks for a short shoot. If we are out and he really wants to update his social media, yup, you guessed it: short shoot. Men need great photos too. We all want to see you – we are just not sure we want the visual of you taking selfies in the car. I hate that there is a double standard, but pay attention to your gut next time you flip past that selfie of your high school buddy. This is me having your back!

Granted, not everyone has mommy-with-a-camera accessibility. I get that. But, here are a few things you can do right now to clean up your visual output:

  • If you can, ask someone to take some photos. Better if they are professional (we know how to find the right spot, and the right light, and a plethora of other things that will help yield beautiful images), but if they aren’t, even cell phone photos are better taken by someone else.
  • Go get a short shoot. Find someone like me that specializes in marketing and social media photography. A thirty minute session in one location yields a handful of really great photos that you can change out for variety. Short sessions are also fairly inexpensive, so while they do cost more than a selfie sesh (selfie session), you will reap the beautiful (and artful) rewards!
  • Learn how to post-process photographs. Get some photo apps and learn (well) how to use them. The model photo is well-lit, and give you a feeling of reality with a dash of “in the ideal world.” So stay in the moment and be aware of your beautiful God-made surroundings. This is KEY! You need to learn how to fake it with filters and light adjustment.
  • When all else fails, go outside. Really!! Taking photos outside instantly gives you a crisper photograph. The output will also be better lit and more colorful (not to mention, interesting). All of those factors just make for a better photo.

Looking for more? Want to treat yourself to a photo session to celebrate you?  Want to spoil yourself with some makeup and hair glamtime? I am right here. Let’s talk about representing your very best self!!

Love and Lipstick,
That Basic Chic