Are Selfies narcissistic?

I’d answer that, but I’m too busy thinking about how charming my shirt is. Seriously, though, I’m not a huge fan of the selfie as a form of self-expression, but photography is photography. Read on and check out some pictures that illustrate clearly why I should always be on the other side of the camera.


Get your Good Side™

There are few things that will make a selfie better than positioning. A few rules:




Position the camera at eye level or above, you never want to shoot yourself from below. It looks creepy.

push your chin out, don’t pull it back in. Whether you’ve got an extra chin or not, pulling your chin in will add one.

look at the angle of the shot before you take it; angled selfies can feel spontaneous, selfies with more straight lines can feel more serious.


SSB2.jpgHold still

Seriously, if you’re going to take a selfie, take a moment and let the camera do its work. If you’re moving around it’s hard for the camera to lock on and focus, making your shot muddy and blurry. Settle, alright?


If you’ve got an iPhone and an Apple Watch you can trigger your shots remotely with a touch of a button on your wrist, so think about propping your camera up, take a second to let the camera focus, and get your shot. You can also use the 3s timer of just about any camera to separate the process of hitting the shutter button from taking the image, letting you tap it and steady your hands again before the shot is taken.


SSB3.jpgAziz, LIGHT!

Find the light available if you’re in a dark space and you’ll be helping the camera do its job. Try not to orient yourself so that you’re looking directly into the light or so that you don’t have it directly behind you if it’s a bright day.


SSB4.jpgCheck out the background

What’s behind you? Do you have a messy room? A pole sticking out of your head in the background? Someone photobombing you? Take some time to survey the area behind you. Also: consider that the selfie isn’t just about you. You can make great memories that remind you of where you actually were by getting yourself in the shot, but making the background the focus. It’s a touch less narcissistic too!


Have fun with it

Sombre selfies aren’t fun. Sure, duck face is ridiculous, but you can pull one and have a bit of fun with it if you’re not taking yourself to seriously. Take a selfie with your cat, at a parade, and mug it up with friends to really capture the irreverence of some real moments.


Also: Get a selfie-stick. Just don’t take it to Disney, they won’t let you in.


Bonus tip: Sometimes it’s best not to selfie.

Give some thought to what’s going on when you’re about to selfie; there are situations that aren’t appropriate. Funerals. The big kiss at a wedding when you’re not at the head of the aisle getting hitched. When you’re in court. Just think about it, okay?


So there are five (plus one) tips for better selfies. Go get posting, social media is dying without you.




Graham Williams
Graham Williams is a Canadian tech expert, appearing on CBC and Global BC, as well as teaching a number of courses at UBC in Vancouver, British Columbia. An avid gamer, Graham can be found on Steam and PSN, as well as online as a host of MOMENTOUS.TV


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