Ever look at your own selfie snaps from years past and think “Wow, I can’t believe I’m wearing that!” Or worse, gawk at your selfies where your experimental selfie’ing may have gone a little too far, perhaps catching yourself with a less than optimal duckface? Although, we’re not suggesting a duckface is ever an optimal look.
At SelfieYo, we’ve been spending most of our time developing our baseline app and more recently building out some significant improvements for SelfieYo 2.0 (coming soon) – but we haven’t spent enough time thinking about some of the elements of a selfie that separate the good, the bad and the cupcakes. Based upon some rudimentary observations, we’re now beginning to assemble some thoughts regarding the elements of timeless selfie style, to wit: posture, choice of clothing, genre, facial expression and overall composition.
We’d like to draw your attention to a selfie discovered on Twitter, belonging to Karen Wang of somewhere between San Francisco and Boston. Karen’s selfie is what we think ought to fall into the timeless selfie look and there’s no doubt something we can all learn from this.
Let’s review the elements of Karen’s selfie that make this a great example for us all to strive for:
- Posture – Her posture is of admirable quality, upright and strong, but not appearing too stiff or unnatural. It’s clear that Karen has confidence in this selfie, yet is relaxed enough to not take the whole thing too seriously.
- Clothing – Karen had tweeted this photo out stating: “Mood color for today and everyday of my life: black” She’s onto something in terms of leveraging a natural, timeless color that will not cause her selfie to be any less relevant five years from now as it is today. It’s hard for us to categorically suggest that one must always wear black clothing when aiming for optimal selfies, but it probably wouldn’t hurt.
- Genre – This is a classic mirror selfie. The mirror selfie is among the most popular genres of selfies and it’s not going out of style anytime soon. Certainly, the selfie stick is giving the mirror selfie a run for its money, but all in all, the mirror selfie is a practical, smart choice for a lot of situations. It works here.
- Facial Expression – What we find interesting with Karen’s facial expression in this selfie is that the conversation is clearly between Karen and her selfie camera. Her eye contact is not in the mirror, it’s in the lens of the camera. There is an authenticity to this look that often escapes us when we’re trying to selfie for the crowd. Again, well done with the focus on the selfie itself.
- Composition – A selfie is the sum of its obvious parts as much as it is the little details. In this example, the geometry feels “right” to the human eye, the background is interesting and leaves us questioning a few things, but it is not cluttered, nor distracting from the selfie. Clean lines, subtle hints of what appears to be a water fountain and some doors in the background. All smart choices.
It’s quite clear that Karen knew what she was doing when she took this selfie. This is not the work of an amateur, but more likely, one who has honed her selfie craft through a combination of trial and error, plus natural skill. In life, we don’t always get to pick our own selfie IQ, but we can learn from others and work hard to get better. We suggest you keep a little cheat sheet handy and evaluate the elements of your next selfie carefully against this shining example of a timeless selfie.