For a few of us, the practice of the selfie has become intuitive, and pumping out album after album of flawlessly lit and well balanced photos is an form of art in which we are supremely capable….but everyone can make some improvements, even the selfie matriarchs! On our most recent family vacation this past November to Capetown, South Africa we captured some of the best candid, spontaneous and beautiful moments.
I’m going to list 5 of my favorite and effective ways to take an impromptu selfie or family picture so good it looks like it took a whole morning to stage.
Any modern Selfie Capture Device (usually a smartphone) has the automatic light adjustment settings, but poor lighting is poor lighting and no marvel of modern tech can completely mitigate excessive contrast. The #1 way to avoid taking 12 photos where your face is practically blacked out is simply being conscious of what the brightest source of light is in your frame. Don’t let the brightest thing be in the photo, but rather allow the light to shine onto you from behind or beside the camera.
Take a serious note of what in the field of the photo, especially the deep background. After all, what’s more flustering than going back over vacay photos and finding the sweetest one has some strangers errant buttcheek in it?
This is a bit more subtle, but it’s classic art class stuff. In every photo there is a point of focus, the place where the viewers eyes are initially attracted to, and relative to this focal point the rest of image is ideally supposed to be somewhat balanced. That is, if there is a bunch of dark stuff on one side, there should be contrast on the other side, OR and continual color palette. Having a busy background can work to your advantage in achieving this.
In my opinion the best moments of vacations with the family are the unplanned laughs and fun slips, spills and the like. They’re unexpected moments of genuine enjoyment, and quite often the urge for a compulsive selfie reaches boiling during these times. The key to capturing the spirit of any moment is not to force it, let the moment flow and allow yourself and the picture to just be themselves, maybe avoid the countdown or the synchronized “cheese” and just let the mood be what it is.
With any form of art, especially photography being able to exercise some care-free spontaneity is invaluable. Sometimes a photo op, especially with the family is a split second sort of thing, so if the urge to capture anything on camera even tickles your mind, whip it out and make it happen! More often than not finding that perfect selfie isn’t about making things perfect and meticulously planning every nuance and detail, but volume.
Take tons of photos, and don’t be shy about taking ones that aren’t quite up to your discerning standards, it’ll pay off!