Perfect Your Image

Follow our tips to dazzle online


By Rachel Pratl


Selfies. Career-minded Triangle women use them for resumes on LinkedIn. Local singles put the photos to work on dating sites like eHarmony. Others just love to post pictures of their most recent hairstyle on Instagram.


Whether selfies are employed to land a job or meet a mate, it's good to know how to shoot them so you look fabulous.


Use the best lens

Most people take self-portraits with their smartphones. Since these phones are always nearby, they provide the most convenient way to snap a shot. Plus, they make posting to social media quick and easy.


Most smartphones have both a front- and back-facing lens. To get the best possible image, use the higher-resolution, back-facing camera.


If capturing yourself that way is too difficult, switch to the lens on the front of your phone. Make sure you look into the lens of the camera rather than your reflection on the screen.


Position yourself
Don't hold the camera too close to your face or you might experience lens distortion, which may widen your face and features.
Instead, hold the camera as far away from your face as possible. Just watch out for that outstretched arm so it doesn't appear in the photo.


Adjust the light
Illuminate your face from either the front or the side. If the light hits you at a different angle, it could be trouble. Your face could show up as a bright white blur, or it could fade completely into the dark.


If you're inside and in control of the lighting, direct it to draw attention to your favorite features.


Clear your space
Check your surroundings. Be careful of an odd backdrop that could result in funny or scary optical illusions. Also, look out for sneaky passersby called "photobombers" because they may try to ruin your photo.


To focus the snapshot solely on your beautiful face, stand or sit in front of an empty, neutral background.


If you want to include an interesting setting, such as the Raleigh skyline, use a tripod and timer to capture a bigger view of your surroundings (yes, it still counts as a selfie!).


Consider that you don't always have to be in the center. Experiment by situating yourself to the left or right of the scenery.


Angle downward
For a position that flatters most faces, tilt your head down and focus the camera lens slightly above it.


Practice with different expressions that display your personality and individuality. When in doubt, never hesitate to flash a smile and say cheese!



Beauty for Techies

Want to take your selfie to the next level? These apps can help:


Facetune - $3 for iOS devices (iPhones)
Don't you wish you could erase your lines, remove your blemishes, or whiten your teeth? We do! This user-friendly app helps you make small adjustments to your face.


Perfect365 - free for iOS and Andriod devices
After detecting your eyes, nose and mouth, the app applies cosmetic effects to your face. Changes include adding color to your lips and cheeks while lengthening your eyelashes.


Retricia - $2 for iOS and Android devices
Forget Instagram's tiny array of filters. This app boasts 80 different types as well as other cool effects, such as blurring the photo's background and adding fun borders.