Love & Relationships

How to Take the Best Selfies as a Couple

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When people are in love, they usually want to share it with the world. Thanks to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s now possible to flaunt your relationship on a multitude of social media platforms. Taking a good selfie with your partner has now become an art, so knowing how to find those filters and the right angle is key.

Great Locations for Couple Selfies

While famous locations are selfie magnets, any location can work, as long as you follow some rules. You need a good pose, the right angle, and killer lighting. It’s possible to take a good selfie in your car with the right technique, but it’s also possible to get a terrible shot in front of a beautiful Venetian backdrop if you rush the photo.

That being said, you don’t want to be a cliche. Everyone takes photos at famous landmarks. Think of how many people have a photo of themselves pushing or holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The trick is to do something new, even if the location is stale.

Good Couple Selfie Poses

Traveling or not, good couple selfie poses are surprisingly easy to manufacture. The first major piece of advice, according travel bloggers Michael and Alex Gallagher, is to ditch the selfie stick. Instead, ask someone to take the photo for you, or set up the camera on a timer. It doesn’t matter what pose you are in if you are holding a selfie stick, or you are using the front-facing camera with lower megapixels; it will make the photo a lower quality than it would otherwise be.

Romantic Poses

As for what poses you should strike, your first good bet is to imitate Hollywood couples. They have to have their pose game on point, since they’re photographed nearly all of the time.

If you are looking for a cute pose, see what other people are doing. Check Pinterest or Instagram for those of us not battling the paparazzi. A pose like an arm around her neck, a hand on a cheek or chest, or a head leaning on a shoulder tells the viewer that the couple cares about each other.

That’s the key — simply be a couple that’s in love. Is there anything cuter than a couple kissing, but hiding the kiss behind a hat or giant flower?

Engagement and Wedding Selfies

The engagement ring selfie has become an enduring trend. We’ll cover how to make your engagement ring stand out later. For now, we’ll focus on everything else in the photo. Where you pose your hand in an engagement ring selfie is one of the most important parts. Are you standing with your newly betrothed, kissing, slightly out of focus, hand in front of the camera and in focus? Or is it just your hand, with your soon-to-be-spouse in the background? The key to a good engagement selfie is what is behind the hand. The Gallaghers have another piece of advice for selfies: Don’t take just one shot. Take variations. After all, your engagement selfie is important and should be perfect. Try a few different poses, angles and backgrounds. Take your time and get it right.

At the wedding, however, there are plenty of options. Selfies with the wedding parties can be serious or silly. Once the ceremony is over and it’s time to party, get an energetic party selfie of you, the newlyweds and the crowd in the background. Don’t forget the “just married” selfie, as well — the first photo after saying “I do!”

Trendy Poses

While trendy poses might be the hot in the moment, the problem is that they are, by definition, fads. They will likely fall out of favor. When was the last time you saw someone use a Myspace-era duckface selfie and not be immediately ridiculed? Try to avoid cliche selfies and instead take on a natural expression. People rely on poses because they feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. That’s not to say a trendy pose is terrible, but it can be a crutch that holds you back from a more organic or creative pose. Use it as a jumping off point, rather than something to perfectly mimic, and make it your own. Don’t overthink, just snap the photo, take a look and adjust.

Silly Poses

Remember not overthinking? That’s what silly poses are all about. Be silly and cute. It’s freeing.

“Forced pictures,” the Gallaghers noted, “will look exactly that…forced. Have fun with it! Be goof balls!”

Silly poses show off your fun, playful side. A photo of you two mid-pillow fight is the perfect way to show you aren’t an uptight couple who are super serious about everything. Keep the poses lighthearted and fun, and you’ll have great photo.

Should You Use a Filter?

Critics are divided on whether you should use filters. If you are going to use an Instagram filter, however, the most flattering, according to a study of 7.6 million photos, are Mayfair, Valencia, Hefe, Nashville and Aden. These filters increase warmth, exposure and contrast. Filtered photos also saw 21% higher view rates and were 45 percent more likely to receive a comment. The study does note that Hudson and Clarendon are best avoided.

Angles

How you angle a selfie can be important. If it’s an up-close selfie, you want to look up at the camera. Alternatively, you will want to keep the camera eye-level and tilt your chin and forehead toward the camera. Raising your eyebrows will also make your eyes look larger, while extending your neck away from your head makes your neck look longer and gives you a sharper jawline. It’s also better to hold the camera to the side, rather than facing it head-on.  

Composition also matters. Remember the rule of thirds, and you’ll have a properly framed selfie with an amazing background.

Time of Day/Lighting

The best time of day for outside lighting occurs twice each day, and these opportunities are known as the golden hours. While not actually an hour, it’s the time just after sunrise and just before sunset. The daylight is redder and softer, compared to the harsh lighting and shadows caused when the sun is high in the sky. Blue hour, on the other hand, is the time just before and after sunrise and sunset, which causes indirect, diffused lighting.

Natural lighting is the best, causing undereye circles and shadows to disappear. Even if you are inside, stand near a window to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Face the sun directly to eliminate shadows.  

If you have to take a photo indoors, find large, diffused lighting instead of a small, exposed bulb. It’s best to keep lights at eye level and facing you, as it’s most flattering for faces.

Best Ways to Highlight Rings, Jewelry and Bling

Finally, if you are showcasing your engagement ring or jewelry, make sure it’s cleaned first. If you are focusing on rings, get a manicure to put your best hand forward. You can wear other jewelry in an engagement ring selfie, if more than just your hand is shown, but try to avoid other rings. Take the photo outside during golden hour to maximize the sparkles from your ring. You can also angle your hand to the side to get maximum shine.

Remember that the “pose” of your hand — that is, the background and framing that your hand is with — also matter. The jewelry is the most important part, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the other parts of the photo.

In the end, remember that selfies are supposed to be fun. Take a photo of yourself to capture the memory, not just so you have something to show your Insta followers. Be creative, let your hair down and bathe in the natural light.

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