The dangers of taking a Selfie

The (hopefully ending soon) Era of Selfies

By Jens-Oliver Photography, Santa Barbara, CA

A big trick in taking selfies is to have your back towards natural light. Yes, it’s that simple. Fluorescent light makes you look older and magnifies every blemish, wrinkle and dark spot. On the other hand, natural light is like having a mini face lift and makes your skin glow, while reducing dark circles under your eyes. When you’re in selfie mode, stand with your back to a window and snap away. You’ll love the way you look and this will build your confidence, before heading to group celebrations. Remember to face straight onto the camera or smart phone so you avoid double chins and don’t hold the camera too high or low or you’ll end up taking a nostril selfie! Now this of course isn’t the only way to shoot a selfie, and often counter intuitive to the non-experienced photographer, but by allowing the sun to wrap around the side of your cheeks, you are able to create that perfect illusion of looking like a marketable subject. Yes, i would love to see the day where it becomes mandatory to use your DMV photo as your Facebook profile, revealing the raw frustrations of having waited several hours for what should have been done in a matter of minutes, but for now we can continue to enjoy the half arm, oddly angled, check/neck rolls featuring photos that have come to make the Selfie the image of choice for Social Media profiles around the world.

I’m sorry, but unless i see you with a tripod / self timer activated, no matter which device you may be using, preferably taken from and angle that does not shrink you down by a foot and usually miss something that you actually wanted in the photo, ill stick to my DSLr, or for those of you who may not be professionals or even hobbyists, a point and shoot with a 20 dollar travel tripod will get you results that you previously only thought of as imaginable.

If you would like some tips and tricks on how to take a great Self-Portrait with whichever device you may be using to take the shot, feel free to email me at and i ‘ll betcha we will having you shooting like a self-indulgent model who just drank a case of red bull, unable to get enough of your newly found freedom to take an actually, great looking photo 😛 And i mean it… shoot your question and me and it will trigger an answer, exposing the techniques used for getting that killer shot!

The Selfie Stick (Rant Pending)

Over the last year, as you may have noticed whether from afar, or if like myself a too close for comfort encounter, Selfie Sticks have become a fad that i can only hope for the sake of our vision and other easily “skewered” body’s, will go out of style as quickly as they flooded swap meets and street vendors inventories around the world. These metallic contraptions consisting of a Metal Rod with a clamp at the end as well as an extension for triggering the shutter are either loved (by those who use them) or hated (by those narrowly avoiding tourist from hitting them in the face with it). Luckily, most of these devices are cheaply made, therefor frustrating the users with the need for a replacement within only a short time of the original ripoff they endured to satisfy the need for getting the (not so) perfect angle and thereby avoiding the every daunting task of human interaction, such as the simple question, “Could you take a photo of us”. In this automated, privacy invasive and fear driven 21st century lifestyle i can only hope that through realizing that the benefits of having another person take the photo of you, will outweigh those of purchasing a metal pole to replace said interaction. but there are now only few bargain bins without one.

Group Photo and Self Portrait Tips:

“Make The Most of Settings:

If you’re taking a group trip at a ski resort, hitting the beach or at an attraction, make the most of the scenery and use these as fun props. Say you’re at a snowy setting, have everyone in the photo hug the snowman. Or if you’re on the beach, make sand angels and have the person clicking the smartphone, hover over you. These semi-action shots can be taken in sequence so when you post the photos on Facebook, friends will see the flow of the experience. You’ll look like a star and this will help increase your confidence.

Hug It Out:

In group photo settings, snuggle up close to your friends. A two inch gap between pals will look larger on the final photo. Think about it this way, when celebrities are suspected of splitting up, their publicist always tells them to stand close, giving the appearance of relationship security. So using the same rule of thumb, drape your arm over a friend’s shoulder and have another pal grab your waist. As long as you’re all close by and using your hands as props, this will capture an in-the-moment, emotional photo. ”

(excerpt from

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