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A few weeks ago I posted about How to Master the Art of the Selfie. To my surprise and delight, it garnered quite a bit of attention! Including the attention of photographer Peter Ogilvie, who had a lot to say about my first round of selfie attempts, namely “We are overwhelmed by the mediocre.”

And yes, I have to admit that my last Selfie attempts were pretty mediocre. The selfies weren’t taken with any consideration for lighting or composition. I was merely trying to master how to hold the phone, how to get rid of the blur, and make sure everyone was in the frame! Important first steps.

As luck had it, I met Peter shortly after his comment at an event. I cornered him and asked him to explain…  The result was that he taught me how to take a GOOD Selfie! Peter explained the importance of lighting, and said I had to focus on the right lighting in my pictures:

Lesson 1: Avoid Black or White Backgrounds

To illustrate his point, we took a “bad” Selfie first. We found a bright place in the gallery we were in with a white wall behind us. What made this image less than perfect in Peter’s eyes was that the faces became greyed out too much in an effort to make up for the light levels in the background.

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Lesson 2: Find a Background with Medium Tones.

Nothing that is too extremely on the dark side of the spectrum or too light. Next we took a test Selfie against a mottled background featuring mid-tones. You can see it’s much better already!


Lesson 3: Natural Light is Best

Lastly, we went outside to get even light and to find a background that was more evenly toned. This was definitely our most successful result.

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Peter’s final advice was this: “If you really want to go pro you get a Selfie stick with a light!”

I have no intentions of going that far for now… but good to know.

I challenge you to try and to find better light and backgrounds for your Selfies. I mean, if you’re going to the effort to take a Selfie, why not have your beautiful face glow in perfect lighting?

Let me know how it goes in the comments.