How to take a perfect selfie – the professional’s guide

Single and your Tinder photos aren’t getting right-swipes? I know, in this day and age we’re constantly told it’s what you are, not how you look, that counts. But it’s very hard to do that on a dating app when it’s all about getting the selfie right.

As I get older, I realise the joy of capturing special moments forever and having photos of good times to look back on always makes me feel happy (and jogs my menopausal brain when the hormones are playing up!)

But if you’re snap happy like me, you’ll also know that for every selfie you save, there are a dozen you discard – especially when you’re looking for Mr/Ms Right (or even Mr/Mrs Right For Now).

So I asked my my cousin-in-law (or my second cousin-in-law, or is she my cousin-once-removed-in-law? So confusing) Jennifer Grimwood for help.

Jennifer is something I would love to be – a photographer. Working in newspapers, I know that female snappers are a rare beast. They’re also amazing, making their own mark in a very male world. She set up GingerSnap Photography 17 years ago, specialising in weddings and portraitures, and her photos are beautiful, so who better to ask for advice about how to take the perfect Tinder selfie?

Here’s the professional guide to making sure you get the right-swipe.

Get a good camera

Phone cameras have come a long way. I own a Google Pixel 2, which is touted as one of the best cameras on the market. It detects when you are taking a selfie and defaults to a Portrait setting that adds a smooth finish to the skin. There is an option to turn it off – but I don’t mind a little smooth on my skin!

Make sure you’re well-lit

The first thing to think about when setting up a selfie is light. Window light inside or open shade outside it the most flattering. Direct sunlight will cause deep shadows under the eyes and nose and probably make you squint. Indoor lighting will cause a yellow cast.

Get to know your angles

Next is find your angle. I personally like holding the phone just below jawline as it accentuates your bone structure. If you have a little chin wiggle from a double chin or loose skin, as can happen when you get older, tilt your head up and shoot and look up into the lens. Generally a slight head tilt or having one shoulder closer to the camera is good.

Set up a timer

Most new generation phones have a self-timer which comes in handy for a partial or full body shot. I set mine up on a chair with a few books behind it. 

Don’t go overboard on filters

There are some great editing apps around but if you delve beyond colour filters into the world of retouching, the adage “Less is More” applies. And then even less than that…

Happy snapping! If you’d like to see more of Jenn’s photos, follower her on Instagram at GingerSnap Photography.

Why not send in your selfies – I’d love to see them. Email them to [email protected] and I’ll put the best ones up. And don’t forget to leave your selfie tip below!

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4 thoughts on “How to take a perfect selfie – the professional’s guide”

  1. My selfies all look like I got run over by a rhinoceros or something. I am amazed at the younger generation that can snap selfies left and right and they all look awesome. These are great tips, I’ll have to try them and see if it helps….maybe I’ll just look like I got run over by a baby rhino when I’m done!

    1. I refuse to believe there is any rhino-like in your pics, Dawn! I think the younger gen just practice more and have less hesitation about taking photos and playing on with them. Don’t forget to send me your selfies!! x

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