Blog – Three Things I’ve Noticed People Mess Up With Their Selfies

When we first start out in business most of us have way more time than we have money.

Until you're making enough revenue to justify hiring your own personal brand photographer you can make due with your cell phone.

It's not ideal for the long term but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Before I continue let me clarify that it's perfectly okay to use a cell phone selfie once in a while.  Just don't do it ALL THE TIME. You've gotta mix things up.

In the mean time while your budget doesn't allow for a photographer as part of your team just be mindful of these three things:


The three things I've noticed people mess up with their selfies.

#1 Not using a timer

Confession:  I'm not Apple, I'm Android.  Actually it's gotten to the point where I feel like a rebel by NOT using Apple products.  And I like it.  I say that for this reason:  even my cell phone camera has a timer feature.

Why aren't people using their timer to take a selfie?  I don't know.  Maybe it's the photographer in me that sees this as a no-brainer because I come from the old-school days of film.

Yes film!  We didn't take "selfies"  we took "self portraits". 

It sounded much more refined.

And. It. Was.

Please for the love of all things beautiful, don't point your cell phone camera at a bathroom mirror, or a dressing room mirror, or ANY MIRROR to take a selfie.

And please stop holding your cell phone out at arms length.  I know you think it looks good when you "shoot from up high" but trust me the standard w-i-d-e angle lens of your  cell phone camera does not flatter your forehead or your shoulder.  The slightest wrong tilt of that lens exagerates and creates very unflattering angles.

What to do

Just use the timer feature on your cell phone camera.  Find it. Then find some where to set your cell phone.  Use a window ledge or a stack of books if you need to.  Set the timer to give you a few seconds, mine will give me 10, to get in front of the camera.

I promise your selfies will be 10 times more Instagrammable. Instalicious.  Instarrific.

Somebody stop me!

Annabel Valencia personal brand photographer

#2  Not paying attention to the background

This one is a classic mistake that even I make sometimes but when you're using a standard cell phone camera sometimes it's hard to blur the background and you've got to be real careful what's back there.

What to do

Check to see if your cell phone camera has a "portrait" setting.   That should blur the background.  If not, you've got to make sure you're not taking photos of light poles or tree branches sticking out of your head.  Or horizon lines going through your neck or temples behind you.

Move around to find the best location and camera angle being mindful of what's behind you in your selfie.

Personal Branding Photography behind the scenes

#3  Not wiping the lens clean

Your phone spends much of it's time in your hands being poked and prodded by your fingers or next to your cheek while you're talking on it.

Your camera lens is usually pretty grubby. 

Have you ever taken a photo that's all hazy and you couldn't figure out why?  It's because of residue covering your lens.

What to do

It's pretty easy actually.  Just wipe your lens (both sides) with the bottom of your shirt or skirt or the end of your sleeve.  Then you're good to go.

This is another one of those no-brainers for me but I do have one friend in particular who just doesn't notice this issue.  And again it could just be my photography training so you may not have ever thought to worry about it.

Valencia Photographer

I'm super curious.  Did you think these were super simple fixes?  Are you guilty of doing any of these or did you also think they are no-brainers and can't figure why any one wouldn't know them?  I'd really like to know so lemme know on Facebook or Instagram. (links at the footer)  It'll help me help you.

Start Up Special

I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that I do offer a Start Up Special for up and coming entrepreneurs.  Instead of working with me, you'd be working with one of my associate photographers and there's a one year limit.  Are you interested?