It’s National Selfie Day! We did some research on the selfie to give you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how it started, selfie facts, and how to take the perfect one!
National Selfie Day 2018
Who Invented the Selfie?
It seems like the selfie has been around forever, but believe it or not, there is actually a documented origin of the term “selfie”.
According to ThoughtCo., “Australia has laid claim to inventing the modern-day selfie. In September 2001, a group of Australians created a website and uploaded the first digital self-portraits onto the internet. On 13 September 2002, the first recorded published use of the term “selfie” to describe a self-portrait photograph occurred on the Australian internet forum (ABC Online).”
ThoughtCo. also goes on to say that Lester Wisbroad claimed to be the first to take celebrity selfies – a self-taken photo of himself and a celebrity – since 1981 and if you want to reach a little more, American photographer Robert Cornelius took a self-portrait of himself in 1839, which is considered the earliest photographs of a person. Is this considered the very first selfie? We’ll let you be the judge of that!
Selfie Fun Facts
- First Space Selfie – According to Time, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin took a picture of himself during his record five-and-a-half-hour spacewalk during the Gemini 12 mission in 1966. He later pointed out that it was the first selfie in space.
- Most Retweeted – Who remembers the infamous Ellen Degeneres selfie she took at the Academy Awards in 2014? Time says that this selfie set a record for the most retweeted tweet of all time.
How to Take the Perfect Selfie
Now that you have more background information about the selfie, step up your game and learn how to master taking your own selfie with these tips from The Verge.
Arguably the most crucial part of the selfie is the angle of both your face and the camera. You remember those cringe-worthy MySpace selfies, right? The camera was always held high above a person’s head so it looked down on them. Yeah, don’t do that. Don’t do the opposite thing, either, by angling your phone so that it’s looking up at you. This is bad for your chin game. Trust me. You ideally want your phone held out in front of you but angling down slightly. Photos will look best if the phone is looking mildly down at you. Again, avoid extremes here. Subtle is key.
Natural light is the way. If possible, position yourself near a window or at least within reach of sunlight. This brightens your face and minimizes shadows. Speaking of which, please don’t selfie under fluorescent lighting. Just don’t do it. I promise the photo won’t look good and you’ll be disappointed. What about when it’s dark outside or you’re in a dingy bar? These are tough situations for selfies, admittedly, but it’s best if you can find soft lighting. A candle on the table could work. Snapchat’s flash, which lights the screen up as opposed to activating the phone’s actual flash, is also a good option. Try to avoid your phone’s harsh light.
What should you do with your actual face? This is totally up to you, but you’re probably going to want to experiment with what position looks best. I know the right side of my face is my better side, for instance. I have no idea what makes it better, I just know that it is. Tilting my head to the side and down a little also always looks good. A straight-on face shot isn’t great for me and my profile is a no-go. Experiment with your “looks” to find what works best. Tilting your head down a bit works for most people.
I’m of the belief that natural is better. I try not to edit my selfies much at all, and if you have the proper lighting, you really shouldn’t have to do much work. Still, if you can’t resist the temptation of a beauty filter, just try not to overdo it. Keep in mind that most people can usually tell when a lot of beautification has happened and also you’re good looking as you are! Selfies are about you and owning yourself.
Now go out there and use today as an excuse to take as many selfies as you want!