Ah, selfies. You either love them or hate them. You either think people are very bane and self-centered for taking them, or you appreciate that someone is document themselves being somewhere. Whatever your side on this, and if you enjoy photography, you know that there are good selfies and there are bad selfies.
The typical selfie is one where the subjects face occupies the whole frame, there’s poor lighting, and you have no clue what’s in the background. It’s kind of like this:
My fat face takes up most of the frame, the windows are blown out by light, and you really can’t tell where I am. I mean, I’m home, but you don’t know where in my home I am.
Now, look at this one:
In this second picture, my face takes up maybe a quarter of the frame, and you can see where I am. (You can also replace my living room with any other random place in the world.) I do this a lot with selfies…
That’s the purpose of selfies, after all… If you’re trying to tell a story of where you are.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to tell a story of who you’re with, the rules change a little bit. Take for example this selfie:
You still want to have both subjects well within the frame AND still give us some sense of where you are. When it comes to groups, though, it gets kind of crowded.
Of course, if your arms are not long enough, you might not be able to get more of the scene behind you. However, for the love of all that is holy to you, do not use a selfie stick. Selfie sticks are tacky, and you stand out like a sore thumb as a tourist if you’re away from home… Or, really, if you’re anywhere. You almost immediately brand yourself as a target to get pick-pocketed or taken advantage of.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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