Monday, July 07, 2014

Secrets from a Publicist: How to take a Selfie

Selfie-taking isn't my usual territory, to be honest, and it definitely isn't for the faint of heart, but what I'm doing here is what I consider a public service. Sisters need to KNOW this stuff... Love, Miss W xo

This post is dedicated to taking a good selfie. And when I say "good selfie" I mean a picture of yourself that tells little, tiny lies about the way you look, that enhances your natural beauty, without the help of "work" being "done."  If you're hovering around the half century point and would rather hide your face or turn away every time you see a camera, I think I can change your mind. Sometimes, vanity is imperative -- we can give those dewy-faced teens a run for their money. This is how.

To start with: I am NOT a beauty. I have wrinkles, a large nose, a dodgy neck, weird frizzy hair, one eye sits half an inch higher than the other. But the beauty of age is that you learn to work with what you have.  I get "Oh wow, you look amazing!" on the selfies I post on Facebook (and look I say this without irony, without shame - I am a SELFIE-FANATIC!) but each of these pictures takes about 25-30 takes to get it right. You have to be discerning.

Here are the rules:

1) ONLY take pictures at magic hour, which is the thirty minutes at the end of the day just before the sun sets.

2) Find the sun and face it. Flat front light. All actresses know this secret. It flattens out skin tone, wrinkles, tiny imperfections. It's as if you've been kissed by the Gods. (*clears throat*)

3) Place your camera in the air ABOVE your face (it's a well-know fact that all women look better shot from above, lying down, and that Julia Roberts has her make-up applied in this way before walking on to set.)

4) Relax your face. Also smile. At our age, anything without a smile looks like a grimace, because of the wrinkles -- a famous photographer once told me to "smile with your eyes." Practise in the mirror to get it right. Sometimes you have to use yoga breathing techniques to relax all those little face muscles. (I kid you not.)

5) Look into the lens as if you are looking into the eyes of a lover, ie someone who adores you unconditionally (let's say SOME lovers, not ALL).

6) The regular iPhone is fine, but I prefer Hipstamatic, particularly Lotus/DC. I think the effect is sharper but more forgiving.

7) Click away. Check. Make sure you don't have the shadow of the phone in your face. Take plenty. And then, be discerning. The flat front light takes away all your lines and gives you a beatific glow. I promise you it takes twenty years off your face (WITHOUT Botox!).

Many years ago, I witnessed my then mother-in-law, the inimitable Michelle, rip up photos of herself she didn't like. Initially I saw it as the ultimate vain act. Now I get it. Why allow images of yourself in the world where you don't look your best. That's why actresses have publicists, after all...

Good luck. Let me know how you fare. :-)

The importance of smiling and not having the shadow of your iPhone in your face.

Voila! Smiling. Relaxed. Wrinkles smoothed out. Ten years younger.


Unknown said...

Brilliant, brilliant advice ( had to say it twice, this is so good). I find if taking a selfie with The Englishman, standing level with him, not in front, helps, as does him (with longer arms) actually pressing the button. Sadly, his lack patience doesn't always allow for such adjustments, let alone several takes!

little brown bird said...

What a fabulous blog post! I too am a selfie addict and, having finally mastered it, I have some flattering photos that I'm really happy with.

I think I've got it down to 4 or 5 takes.


LPC said...

You are just so much fun.

Anonymous said...

This post is hilarious, just what I need after a very long work day.

Reading your posts from last week, I highly recommend running as therapy for a broken heart. It lightens the sadness and makes forgiving and forgetting possible.

Thanks for your lovely blog.

Janelle said...

Right you are ... Shall try this step by step guide tomorrow at sun set! Brilliant! X janelle

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