Creating a Senior Selfie Section: How to Get the Perfect Shot

Use selfies as a great way to add new interesting images to your yearbook!

Close your blinds. Lock your doors. There is nowhere to run to… nowhere to hide. It is here and taking over in full force. It is – the SELFIE.

Selfies are all about self-expression and can be a great way to personalize your yearbook!
Image source: Flickr CC user Leo Hidalgo

For those of you that have been living under a rock, a “selfie” is a photograph one takes of him or herself, without the help of a photographer. It is primarily taken with a hand-held digital camera or smartphone and shared on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

It seems anywhere you go on the Internet, you are overwhelmed by a barrage of images of self-confidence. Selfies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be full body poses, face-forward, upside-down, scandalous, serious. Selfies can be happy… selfies can be sad… selfies can be at the gym, on the beach, during dinner, in the bathroom – wherever the mood may strike you, wherever you stop and think, “Hey, this would be a great place for a self-portrait.”  The selfie is so popular that it is now even recognized in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Let’s face it – this generation has had it with the old-school posed photo. They want something fresh and lively that will accentuate their best features and show off their personality. Therefore, when it comes to creating your yearbook and embracing all that the 21st century and the Millennials have to offer, it’s time to make way for a Senior Selfie section.

When crafting this new section, you can’t just throw a digital camera or iPhone into the hands of every passing student and tell them to snap away. Instead, equip the masses with these tips for taking high-quality, memorable selfies. After all, these pictures will not only define them as they move into the future, but will define the school, as well.

Here is the ultimate step-by-step guide for getting great selfies for the yearbook:

#1 – Check yourself out: You can’t just dive face-first into a selfie – you have to give yourself a once over. Take pride in this picture like you would any other portrait.

#2 – Avoid the mirror: While it’s good to look yourself over, don’t use the mirror for taking the actual picture. Using a mirror reflection comes off awkward and amateur because viewers end up seeing the camera, and it focuses more on the surroundings, rather than the subject. People want to see YOU!

#3 – Be aware of your surroundings: Make sure your surroundings are a reflection of how you want to be represented. Don’t take a selfie in your bedroom where you have heaps of clothes on the floor and a mess of books on your desk… unless, of course, you got the “Messiest Desk” senior superlative! Are you outdoorsy, always hiking on the weekends? Snap a selfie in front of the beautiful view on your latest trek. While interesting or pretty backgrounds are obviously ideal, it’s most important to make sure the photo reflects you as who you are.

#4 – Come in for a close-up: If you want to stray from the background all together, go for a tight ercrop. We don’t want to see up your nostrils, but don’t be afraid to be the focus of the picture. It’s important that people know this is a self-portrait, so try to get close enough that the picture looks natural and not forced.

#5 – Be slightly off-kilter: Just because you are front and center, that doesn’t mean you literally have to be front and center in your picture. Think about your image as if it was divided into nine equal squares. Try coming into the picture from the side, and sit on a spot where two of the lines meet. Make your eye line one-third down from the top of the image, and slightly off to the side.

#6 – Use different angles: There are no rules in the world of selfies, so play around a bit. Instead of capturing your photo head-on, experiment with different angles. Many people think that they have a particular “side” they photograph better on, so try it out. Take a bird’s-eye-view, a right side angle, whatever you wish. Turning the camera even a few degrees will add dimension to your facial features.

#7 – Use the best light: Just as you should go in the picture from a different angle, so should the light. Try moving your light source (or yourself if you have to) to the left or right. If the light is shining on you from the side, it will create shadows on the other side, which will brighten up your facial features. Having light directly on your face can wash you out, and make the image look low quality. Backlighting can be harsh and make your face lurk in the shadows.

#8 – Be expressive: Don’t just take a stiff-lipped approach because you think it looks mysterious or cool. Let your expression show off your personality. If you are someone that is bubbly or spirited, try to think of something funny and let your natural smile show through in your selfie. At all costs, avoid the cliché images like “kissy” faces, flexed muscles, and pouty lips. You can’t go wrong with a natural smile!

#9 – Extend your neck: You know how in school photos the photographer has you sit at an angle, face forward, chin up, and neck extended? Well, while you may feel awkward and silly, they really are on to something. You should try to extend your neck in your selfie, and shoot from slightly above. This will help any hint of “double” chin disappear and accentuate your jawline.

#10 – Use your rear camera: If you are shooting the selfie from your cell phone, use the camera in the back, rather than the front. While many can’t resist using the front camera because they can fix their hair and perfect their expression, the phone’s rear camera actually shoots in a higher resolution. The rear camera also provides better, less harsh lighting, while the front camera casts a yellow hue on the image.

Remember to take these helpful hints with a grain of salt, because there is no “wrong” way to take a selfie. Just remember to take a route that is all about self-expression, rather than self-indulgence. This is a memento for your yearbook’s senior section and a great way to capture your personality and captivate your audience.