Notes From The Selfie Handbook

There are not many photographs of me in existence. Whenever anyone asks if they can take a picture of me, I negotiate. They can take a picture of my feet or they can let me take a picture of them in their underwear.

Once they see my skills with a zoom lens, they back off.

I’ve been a photographer since the days of the Polaroid and with all that snapping, I’ve learned a thing or two about taking a good portrait. Here are some of the notes I’ve made about taking self-portraits:

Wait until the Botox has softened. We know you want to look good but you don’t want to appear dead. So wait until your face has absorbed a bit of that Botox before putting on your pouty face.

Practice “the look.” Position the camera at chest level and point up. This elongates the face and makes you resemble an anorexic. Stay up all night so your eyelids droop then suck on a lemon just before you click.

Feature at least one body part. Bend over and hold the camera between your legs. Check for toilet paper. Don’t cough, and hold your breath. Hope you get the shot before you lose consciousness and end up taking a picture of your ‘whoo-ha’ by mistake. If your boobs are bigger than your butt, consider a full frontal. But remember, if your boobs aren’t the inflatable kind, don’t take a selfie on your back. The shot will fall flat.

Take 99 per cent of your selfies in the bathroom. The glare in the shot from the bathroom mirror distracts the viewer from the cellulite that you thought was gone but never really is. Root through your jewelry box and hang as many gold necklaces around your neck as possible. Accidentally on purpose forget to tie a knot in your bikini top so you get that all-important side boob.

justin_bieber_selfiFocus, focus, focus. This can’t be stressed enough. The biggest secret to selfie success is making sure your eyes are focused correctly. Once you think you’ve got your face “on” make sure you’re eyes are fixed on the shutter button and not directly at the camera lens. If we can look into your eyes in the shot, you’ll come off as a professional. It also helps if you can manage to look perplexed.

Clothing is optional. When in doubt, remember…Fredericks of Hollywood exists for a reason.

More is more. A selfie is the perfect art form for the insecure, or those desperate for attention. It’s your responsibility to look after your own mental health. I suggest you take at least eight selfies a day and post them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Repeat. Learn how to retweet your own tweets. That’s not ego. Because if you don’t do it, who will?

You can never use too much tongue.  For when you’ve reached your quota of the “full makeup to achieve the ‘natural’ look” shots for the day.

The best shots happen when you’re drunk. Until you check the shot the next day on Instagram and the only one laughing is the bartender who served you drinks the night before.

Always selfie responsibly. Not everyone has the luxury of living off daddy’s trust fund. Lots of people have talent but not the luck of making it to the top and snorting up their net worth in nose candy. It’s up to you to show the rest of the world the benefits of unlimited cash and being on a first name basis with some of the world’s most expensive plastic surgeons. Remember: you are helping build the economy by paying for the services of personal trainers, clothing stylists, beauty consultants, cutting-edge hair designers, and hundreds of Korean nail salon workers. It’s your responsibility to show the rest of us what we’re missing by not being you.

It’s not always about you. Sometimes the best selfie happens to someone else. Suck it up and smile. There’s always a next time.


35 thoughts on “Notes From The Selfie Handbook”

  1. When I was a kid we still had cameras but the word “selfie” had a totally different meaning. (Hint: Something to do with Hell, blindness and hairy palms.) Back then, taking a picture was a major commitment. We used something known as film which was a finite resource. You might only have enough film for 12 to 24 pictures. Maybe 36, if you were lucky. There was no immediate feedback, either. You often had to wait days or even weeks to see how your pictures turned out. And getting them developed was expensive, so you weren’t cavalier with your shots. There weren’t a lot of selfies back then. At least not the photographic variety.

    Your guide is useful but I feel a bit lost. You didn’t explain what to do if your boobs and butt are exactly the same size. Oh well.

    1. Wow do you have a good memory!

      I have dim photographic recollections of frustration and disappointment, and with two younger brothers, never having the joy of being alone in a picture…to be the center of attention. I always had to share the spotlight and I think that is why now I prefer to be the taker and not the takee. Always having my image associated with two boys who took great pleasure in miming the flinging of boogers and various (unseen by my parents but faintly seen by the camera) obscene gestures.

      It put me quite off. Oh, and sorry about the boobs and butts. Maybe you’d like to do that bit of research for me. *grin*

  2. Thank you for putting together what is soon-to-be required reading for everybody with a smart phone (aka everyone.) The only selfies I have ever taken were with my 20-something daughters, and then only so I would have evidence that they do, indeed, still talk to me.

    I respectfully suggest that the long shot from around my knees will only highlight the plethora of jowly chins I seem to have acquired lately. I prefer the birds’ eye view.

    1. You’re lucky. My daughter takes flight when the camera comes out. I don’t think I have any photos of her older than 12. She’s now more than double that. I’m going to hire the NSA.

      I don’t selfie but if I did, I’d go for the satellite view. Something else to chat about with the NSA.

      I’ve referred to the NSA twice in this reply. My ears are now burning.

    1. Have you been drinking? I think so. *grin*

      Where the hell have you been? Are you still blogging? Haven’t had en email notification from you in forever. Hope you’re doing well. *smile*

      1. I’d wish. ;)

        Trying to start up again. Managed one long post. But time is just running away. Even though there is no commute left, I come home do a couple of things and it’s already time for bed again. Can’t seem to do half of what I intend. Am wondering how I did it before.
        Otherwise all good

        1. Sounds like you had a kickin’ 2013. Hope 2014 is more fun and less stressy.
          Read your latest…you are a cad magnet I think but hope for the best for you…in love and in life. *smile*

          1. Thank you. I guess. But ironically enough I am having a hard time seeing him that way. Even though I know I should. It’s just really really hard to stay mad at someone who comes up to you to talk work related things and blushes like you caught him naked and makes subtle peace offerings all the way.

            1. Then maybe you two need to have a good talk and put your concerns on the table. We humans can be so bad at communicating and relationships are so challenging at the best of times. Sending good thoughts your way. *smile*

  3. Bird’s eye view = Excessive head glare and increasingly Gorbachev-like massing of liver spots. Worm’s eye view = More chins than a Chinese phone book and upper face obscured by excessive nose hair (nasal-fro syndrome). There’s a reason my profile pic is as cropped as it is. If people a fraction of my age look idiotic doing something, it’s not likely going to be a good option for me. Like most readers, I was disappointed to find no pics of you in this amusing, informative post.

      1. Technically, I’ve actually put a few pics of myself in posts. Granted, one was a 45 year old snapshot but the other was shirtless on a beach with my trademark sunglasses and shiny shaved head. Luckily, the stalkers have moved on and life has gotten back to normal.

          1. Perhaps, but they’ll have to look in quite a few posts to find it. I’m shallow enough to trade blog hots for stalkers. Turquoise? France?! That sounds like email material or you’ll have stalkers of your own.

  4. I’m new to the WordPress thing. Is there a love button? There should be a love button. This had me giggling for quite a while. My profile picture might be the only good picture of me, and yes, it is a selfie. What can I say? I was at the beach, things got a little crazy. Anyway, in most pictures I look like a 300lb 7 year old who got into mommy’s special brownies, so I prefer to aim the camera’s critical gaze toward others. Love the post!

Your comment goes here. Remember to use only your good words.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s