I cracked the selfie code -- how to do a great one

LOS ANGELES — I finally cracked the Selfie code.

After years of stumbling through awkward, badly framed shots — mostly because I couldn't hold the phone far enough away and still reach the shutter button — I finally got it. Good selfie, easy. And Apple agrees with me on this.

You don't need a Selfie Stick to produce the stellar shot you’ve dreamed about.

My selfie tip is very simple, and comes down to a camera phone feature we all have, but rarely use — the timer.

Just flip to the front-facing camera, turn on the timer in your camera (on the iPhone it’s next to the filter and flash settings), set it for three seconds or 10, and press the shutter button. You now have the time to pose accordingly without having to worry about getting your finger to the shutter button, which is always the most awkward time for a selfie shot.

You can hold out the phone, and even remove your arm from the shot, to make it less selfie-like, with plenty of time to get the shot right before the shutter snaps away. Or, you could be even more photographer like, find a steady spot to place the phone, like a bookshelf or desk, and pose away.

Apple just published a great looking video demonstrating.

Want a great selfie? I have other tips as well:

Lighting. You will look your best if you’re in the shade or in front of a window, where soft, even natural light is people pleasing. Harsh light like mid-day sun won’t do you any favors. If you are in that type of light, put your back to the sun and you won’t have the mid-day raccoon eyes of sun beaming down on you.

Position: Classic selfie position has you hold out your arm as far as you can extend it. Don’t shoot from an angle, and make sure your shirt lens camera is clean, notes Anthony Quintano, a travel photographer from Hawaii. He also recommends holding the phone horizontally, which gives you more image space.

Can't pull these off? Use words.

Favor: Ask someone else to take your picture.Thus, no worries about angles, but you hope the friendly passerby can frame the shot as well as you.

Dronie. Have a drone in the house? Start it up, hover just above you and you can get a killer group shot.

Selfie stick. Museums and concerts hate them, but selfie sticks haven’t gone away for a good reason. They work.

The basic concept is you put in your phone, extend the arm, and courtesy of the Bluetooth remote, you now have more room to hold the phone further away from your face, bringing in more people to the group shot, and making you all look better. I like this $17.99 Fonesco selfie stick, which also extends into a tabletop tripod. That means you could put it on a table, and have it hold the phone steady as you all pose, without having to worry about your arms.

We still like our technique best.

Try it yourself, and see if you don’t agree. Tell me how you fared on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham, and don’t forget to subscribe to the #TalkingTech podcast on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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