October 15, 2015

5 Ways on How to take better selfies (without the stick)

Tired of blurry, badly framed, poorly lit
selfies? Follow these tips to improve the
quality of your personal portraits.

Five ways to take better selfies
(without the stick)

It's fun to make fun of selfies, and even more
fun to make fun of the people taking them
(especially if they're holding a selfie stick). But, let's face it, front-facing photos are here to
stay, so you might as well make them look as
good as possible.

That can be a challenge. For one thing, your
arm is only so long (hence the popularity of
the sticks). Then there's the awkwardness of
trying to press or tap buttons while holding
your arm steady and not blocking the lens. Oh,
and lighting? Unless you're standing outside during daytime, selfies often turn out dark or

Granted, newer phones are making these snapshots easier thanks to features like wider-angle lenses and screens that pull flash
duty (an iPhone 6S amenity). But there are several ways to improve the quality of your
front-facing photos regardless of which
phone you have. I'll share my five favorites;
you hit the comments and add your
recommendations for selfie salvation.

42-75356364.jpgLaugh all you want, but Kim knows the proper angle for successful selfies.

1. Angle up

Your arm, that is. When you hold your camera
at eye-level or below, you increase the risk of
chins. And chins are selfie enemy number one.
So when you stretch out your arm, make sure
it's above your head, angled down toward your
face(s). That way you'll have to tilt your head (s) up slightly, which easily and effectively
solves this "chin-justice."

2. Use the self-timer

It's hard enough to hold your arm steady when
it's outstretched. When you add the pressing
of a button or tapping of the screen to fire
the shutter, a little camera-shake is all but
inevitable. Result: blurred selfies.

Thankfully, most camera apps include a self-
timer option, and while that may kill a little of
the spontaneity, it'll help reduce the shake.
That's because you can focus on holding the
phone steady without the acrobatics of
pressing the shutter-release. Added bonus: The extra few seconds gives everyone time to
remember to look at the actual camera lens
instead of staring at the screen or (you know
who you are) Home button.

3. Add a flash

selfie-flash-16-leds.jpgIf you don't have an iPhone 6S or one of the
handful of phones that has front-facing LEDs,
you need a way to illuminate your face.
Especially for those indoor/nighttime/
clubbing/haunted-house shots. More light
equals better pictures, period. (I know there are exceptions, but you catch my drift.)

Android users can try an app-based solution like Selfie Light, which simply blasts light from the screen. And all users can spring for a
rechargeable, self-powered LED fill light that
plugs into your phone's headphone jack.

Just hit up Amazon and eBay and search for
"selfie flash." There are a number of identical-
looking products that have 16 LEDs and
rechargeable batteries, though some have the
added benefit of three brightness settings
instead of just "on" and "off." These range from $3-9 depending on whether they're
shipped from China or the US. (You can find
them for around £2 in the UK or AU$3 in

Either way, it's an awfully cheap fix for low-
light photos. And, of course, you can spin the
LEDs around to add light to your rear photos
as well.

4. Make your phone easier to grip

Just flip your hand over for a more secure, comfortable selfie grip.

One reason selfie sticks are so popular is they
relieve you of the uncomfortable claw-like grip
that's typically required to hold your phone at
arm's length. But there are other options for
easier hand-holds, namely Lazy-Hands and Ninja Loop.

Lazy-Hands adds a set of finger loops to the
back of your phone. This not only helps you
grip it more securely (and operate it one-
handed more easily), but also gives you a more
comfortable way to hold the phone during
selfies. Instead of gripping it at the edges, you can slide your fingers through the loops.
Prices start at $9.99 (around £6.50 or AU

If you want something a little less bulky and
obtrusive, Ninja Loop affords a similar finger-
powered phone grip. And that wasn't even a
factor when I suggested it might be the best six bucks you could spend on your smartphone.

5. Hang your phone on a wall or window


Look, ma, no hands! NanoHold suctions your phone to any non-porous surface. Selfie-time!

Forget the selfie stick; how about a self-
sticking phone instead? That's the idea behind NanoHold, which started out on Kickstarter but is now a shipping product.

For $6 (about £4 or AU$8) you get a specially
designed sticky-pad that adheres to the back
of your phone or flat case. Then you can just
magically adhere it to just about any flat,
nonporous surface (such as a window or
whiteboard). Presto! Now you can use the aforementioned self-timer (or an app like CamMe) for hands-free, zero-shake selfies.

The NanoHold isn't designed to stick your
phone to a wall for hours, but it can certainly
hold it there long enough to snap some

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