Monday 15 July, 2013

Selfies – A New Kind of Self-Portrait

The selfie is the modern-day version of the self-portrait. But instead of being painted or sketched, they’re created by holding your smartphone or digital camera at arm’s length and trying your best to get a snapshot.

Why on earth would an internet marketer want to take a selfie? Because it gives you a very personal picture and there are lots of uses for these. Selfies are casual and fun. They’re especially useful for marketers in fashion, health, and beauty niches. Around 90% of selfies are taken by women and that’s a statistic that I’ve just made up. Maybe it’s not 90%, but it’s definitely the vast majority.

The selfie is a hot thing right now, especially with visual social media like Instagram and Pinterest, which are all about being fun and getting personal. And yes, they’re for hooking up online, but we won’t get into that.

This is not the sort of image you want to use for your LinkedIn profile or anything else that’s supposed to smack of professionalism.

 Selfie Haters

There are two reasons why people hate selfies. First of all, they’re narcissistic. While this is true, much of what goes on with social media is narcissistic, so it kind of fits right in.

The other is that if you need a picture taken, why not have someone else do it? Of course, if you’re taking a picture for your website or business profile, you need a well-taken picture that shows you in a good light. But selfies aren’t for that purpose.

But the benefit is that you can be creative with selfies. You can create visual content that draws attention to you, and if you make it humorous or unique, it will get shared. Selfies can be used to show your personality.

Tips on Taking Selfies

Assuming you need to take a selfie sometime in the future, here are some basics on how to take good ones (it’s harder than most people think).

First of all, smile. This is a personal snapshot, so relax and look personable. Whatever you do, don’t make duck lips. The idea is to look natural, and not cool or sexy.

Experiment with angles and perspectives. Never go with the first shot. Take several from different angles and compare, and you’ll see pretty quickly which angles work best.

Pay attention to lighting. The best lighting is natural light. Take your pictures outside if possible, or near an open window. If you take a shot facing the open window, you’ll make best use of light. But if you take a picture where you’re turned away slightly from the light, you’ll get soft shadows, which can be a nice effect.

A simple background is best. Move things out of the background if you need to. You don’t want background items to distract and you don’t want something embarrassing in the background (for example, your toilet).

If you use a self-timer app, you don’t have to be clicking the record button when the picture takes. You can be much more flexible about locations and poses.

Finally, take advantage of editing apps. If you’re using Instagram or a similar camera app, there are tons of editing features you can use to turn a mediocre shot into something really slick.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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