The world is split into 2 types of people now. Yes, it's the selfie takers versus the non selfie takers and the selfie people are over running Facebook with photos of themselves, leaving the rest of us with photos of our pets, meals and, in my case, shoes.
So, what's the difference? I'm not talking about people who post 37 photos of themselves a day, pouting and asking if they look ok, having found a filter that rearranges them to resemble, well, who knows, but not themselves.
No, I mean those people that, when out and about somewhere new, like to have a memento of the occasion. Nights out, meals with friends, holidays.
Versus the rest of us, who did take a selfie once, deleted it in horror, forgot all about it. Until the next time we took one, deleted it in horror, forgot all about it. And so on.
Why can't we, just for once, have a selfie worthy of sharing. Or keeping. You know, as a profile pic instead of our kids, dog or favourite meme.
Well, we can. We just have to take more than one photo...oh, the horror.
Now, I don't mean we take a photo from the same angle with the same expression, repeatedly, hoping this next one will magically turn out better and then being shocked when it doesn't.
No. You need to move. the. phone.
You also need to pay attention to how you're holding the phone, because whether it's straight, tilted forward at the top, or tilted forward at the bottom, will make a difference to how you look.
What the selfie people have already done is figured out their best angle, and then they tend to stick with it. It's not that they have a natural tendency to look better in photos, more that they put a bit of effort in at some point, so that they could have photos they were happy with, leaving the rest of us falling at the first hurdle.
I've looked at lots of angles, so you don't have to
If you want to see the difference how and where you hold the phone takes, here are 9 selfies I took earlier (which is more than I usually take in a month, I might add).
The top row are all with the camera in front of me, level with my head.
Top left - camera straight
Top middle - camera tilted forwards at the top
Top right - camera tilted forwards at the bottom (if you can see nostrils, get your phone higher and straighter)
The middle row, I have the phone in front of me, but raised up.
Middle left - phone is straight
Middle middle - phone tilted forwards at top
Middle right - phone tilted forwards at bottom
For the bottom row, I have the phone slightly to the side, and raised.
Bottom left - phone is straight
Bottom middle - phone is tilted forward at top
Bottom right - phone is tilted forward at bottom
The quick tips:
If you have no desire to faff with different angles, here's a shortcut:
1. Don't tilt the phone forward at the bottom, unless you want your face to look wider at the bottom. Define the shape of your face more by tilting it forward at the top.
2. Get some height and distance between the phone and you (but don't do this by moving your head backwards - that is the route to extra chins "What I'd really like in a photo is more chins" said no one, ever).
3. Have the phone slightly to one side, instead of straight in front of you, and turn to face it.
This gives me the bottom middle photo.
You may also notice the importance of looking at the lens, not at yourself on the screen, and remembering to smile. I totally did that for demonstration purposes and absolutely not because I am deeply uncomfortable taking my photo, and also a bit of a twit.