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Selfies: Getting it right … & look better without glasses

Whether you love them or hate them, the ‘selfie’ has become a staple of our social networking profiles. Anyone in any doubt of the popularity of this trend need only perform a quick search on photographic app site Instagram, where a whopping 23 million photos are already uploaded with the hashtag #selfie and a further 51 million labelled as #me.

The introduction of front facing cameras on smartphones are further evidence of the desire to take our own photos, and so wide spread is the trend that the term ‘selfie’ has been added to the Oxford Dictionary from August 2013. From pouting lipped, Bambi-eyed posed photos to spur of the moment group shots, the selfie comes in many forms and looks like it’s here to stay.

The importance of eyes

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and in the selfie the eyes are the first place our viewers will look to see how you are feeling. A well composed shot with stunning eyes will draw the viewer in and help make our photos look more appealing.

Here are some tips for making better selfies by focussing on the eyes:

  • Ensure the eyes are in focus. Set the focus point on your camera, and direct this to the eyes.
  • A great portrait will have the coloured part of the eye visible, but there shouldn’t be any white showing above or below.
  • Avoid the red eye effect by switching on any red-eye reduction built into your camera or by directing the flash away from your face.
  • Eyes wide open is appealing and attractive, but don’t overdo it otherwise you’ll end up looking like a rabbit in the headlights

Focusing on eyes in a selfie is tricky if you are a wearer of glasses. Even contacts tend to give eyes an unnatural hue, and the distinctive ‘ring’ that can be seen around the iris can make the eyes seem peculiar in a close up shot. For this reason, many people are opting to undergo laser eye surgery in a bid to take better selfies and look better in photos.

Improvements in technology and procedures mean laser eye surgery is quicker, cheaper and safer than ever before. Many surgeries are now investing in 60 kHz lasers, which mean a faster operation and speedier recovery time. Certain procedures like LASEK and LASIK mean patients can be healed within 24 hours of the operation, and with competitive pricing in the market laser eye surgery is becoming a real possibility for many individuals.

Other ways to flatter your photo

Getting the perfect selfie is something of an art, but with some basic considerations around the composition of the image, you can create a supermodel finish with ease. Here are some ideas:

  1. Think about thirds: Things that come in threes are pleasing to the eye, so think about composing your shot in thirds. Have the eyes a third of the way up the image and your head a third of the way into the photo.
  2. Make the most of your good side: Images taken from slightly above eye level makes for a flattering shot, and turning your body slightly to the side creates a more natural pose.
  3. Light up your face: Natural light is best for selfies, and the hours before and after sunrise and sunset are the times when sunlight is most flattering to your skin. In the absence of natural light, make sure there is plenty of artificial light in the room, and turn off the flash if you can to avoid being washed out.
  4. Get rid of the arm: Having your extended arm taking up some of the shot just looks silly, so consider a mini tripod for your phone and experiment with self timer apps.

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