How to Take the Perfect Selfie

Follow these 7 simple steps to help you master the art of the 'Selfie'.

From skin preparation and facial expression, to the technical yet simple side of taking a great photograph, here are some top insider tips from world-renowned fashion photographer Nicholas Samaris - and thanks to Clearasil.

7 STEPS TO GETTING PICTURE PERFECT:

FACIAL PREP

  • Start with the basics – clear, healthy skin and hair is what helps people exude confidence
  • A light tan will promote a natural ‘glow’ so I would recommend a tinted moisturiser
  • “One of the questions that I have asked many actors while shooting them is: what is the most important thing about acting? The response most answered is ‘preparation’, so I guess that applies to all things.”

STYLING: 

1) Make-Up

  • 3 essential products to creating a minimalist make-up look include:
  • A smear of lip gloss mixed with a little of bit of lipstick colour
  • A very good mascara
  • An eyeliner to suit your mood and personality

2) Facial expression

  • Wear a warm smile. It may sound counter intuitive, but smile through the eyes, more than the mouth. How? Recall a favourite memory.
  • It is essential that there is no pouting, a.k.a ‘trout pout’. It looks forced and unnatural and is overused.

3) Clothing

  • Some say the best colour to wear is black as it’s simple and flattering. However, be aware of your background. A black outfit would work best with a busy background and likewise a simple background would complement a colourful outfit that is striped or patterned.

4) Hair Style

“I have taken hundreds of celebrity portraits for Vogue. The trick isn’t only the hair and make-up team, it’s getting the subject into a zone where they have an extra gleam in their eye. You know that feeling - like stepping out of a salon, or seeing a loved one after a long time, or the arrival of your latest online purchase
• In my experience, one’s face changes with a great attitude and an inner feeling of empowerment, so if a trip to your favourite salon gives you an extra spring in your step, then make sure you snap some pictures right after a salon visit

THE TECHNICALITIES

5) The Background

  • A crisp, clear background will always make a better image, especially if you are wearing strong graphics. Alternatively chose a wall with an interesting texture and wear plain clothing.
  • Experiment and take as many pictures as you can to see what suits you best and then delete the ones you do not want. Be a little critical, be a bit ruthless, however make sure in the end you are kind
  • Deciding whether to have a little zoom with flash, or a wider angle and back lit is hard to determine as everyone is different and so are their facial features. A good photograph, ‘a keeper’ is a combination of a few key factors and you will need to play around with what works and enhances your best features

6) Flash or no flash?

  • If you are using hard flash, a little more dramatic make-up is needed, such as evening eye makeup
  • Don’t forget to matt your T-Zone, forehead, nose and chin - the flash will hit the tip of your nose first and hardest, so matt down that spot the most
  • Another secret that the masters know is that the closer you are with light, the softer it is, so push that camera flash to you as close as you can and you will marvel at the results
  • Holding the camera too low will enhance your chin and holding the camera too high will make you look like a lollipop and top heavy
  • When it comes to the best camera and arm angle I believe holding the camera 90 to 100 degrees away from you is the optimum angle

7) Lighting

• You may not have elaborate studio lighting set ups so please remember timing is everything

• Avoid the midday sun. The best time to take a portrait is in the morning or afternoon light, so aim for an hour or two after sunrise or an hour or two before sunset. Sunlight is all forgiving if your time is right

*These tips apply to the use of both a smartphone and a simple digital camera.

Bought to you by Clearasil Vitamins & Extracts and Nicholas Samartis

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