How to take the perfect selfie, by a Leica pro
In 2015, 24 billion selfies were uploaded to the internet, according to Google. And chances are, that number has risen in 2017. You'd think for something we do that often, we'd all be snapping David Bailey-level portraits by now. And yet - be honest - how many bad selfies do you see each day? Or how many takes does it to get one that you deem Instagram-worthy? Technology is aiming to make photographers of us all, and the latest developments are putting SLR-level cameras right in our pockets. But what use are they if we don't know how to use them?
I chatted to Leica photographer Alex Lambrechts (who's snapped the best of the best and knows how to make the most of what your mama gave ya) to get his top five tips on nailing that selfie first time.
EMbrace the power of the Crop
If you're going full-face in your selfie, don't be scared to crop into your face. If you've invested in a decent camera phone (or camera, old school), then you've got the spare megapixels to play with, meaning you can crop without getting any pixellation. By cropping so that you're the star of the show (a selfie is no time to be demure), you can create a more interesting composition, and make the most of your features, which will often look better and more impactful up close or with the forehead cropped off.
Playing with full length or a shooting yourself from a bit further back? Adding some context to your shots can elevate them from bedroom boredom to full-blown photography. Try and avoid being dead in the centre if possible - especially if you want it to look like you're snapping yourself doing something interesting rather than simply sitting there gazing at your own beauty. But hey, that's okay too.
FLIP THAT PHONE
No, I don't mean Paris Hilton's pink Razr. Chances are, the camera on the back of your phone is better than the one on the front (those Silicon Valley types haven't yet realised the sheer importance of the selfie). Alex's tip is to compose your shot using the front camera and then flipping your phone over to take advantage of those extra megapixels on the back. Simple.
Much the same as the crop and avoiding being dead in the centre, playing with angles does a selfie a world of good. As well as stopping it from looking like all other 24 billion, tilting and finding an angle can also help your face look more symmetrical - something that supposedly increases your beauty. Who knew?
Find your light
But perhaps not in the way Tyra and ANTM have taught you. By putting natural light behind you (rather than in front of you a la lighting rig), you create a natural halo effect, softening your features and warming up the whole shot, without having to do, well anything at all!
Alex Lambrechts was the photographer tasked with teaching me to take great photos on my new Huawei P10, the brand's latest collaboration with Leica Cameras that's aiming to make every shot a cover shot. You can follow him on Instagram here. We also ate a fab dinner, and I took these shots on my new phone - can confirm the camera is excellent. I'm still working on the perfect selfie.
All black & white images via Alex Lambrechts