Pick the best lighting
You don’t need professional lighting to take your best photos or videos.
For indoor daytime photos or videos, face a bright, natural light source like an open window. Avoid bright lights or windows directly behind you, as they may cast you into shadow.
For cloudier days, at night or in darker rooms, place one or two bright, warm lights directly in front of you. Avoid harsh overhead lights as they tend to add unflattering shadows.
For bright outside shots, turn away from the sun so you’re not squinting and angle your phone or camera so your head blocks the sun.
Overcast days are great for photos outside because the light is more diffused. You won’t have to worry about squinting or shadows!
Experiment with different angles and distances
Changing the angle of photos or videos can dramatically improve your results.
Try taking selfies at different angles. Photos taken above eye level and to the side tend to be more flattering than photos taken from below.
Straighten your spine. Lift your chin. Stretch your neck out slightly. Then bring the camera in so your head and shoulders fill the frame. Look directly at the lens (not your image) when you take the photo.
For videos, try propping your laptop or webcam on books or a stand so the camera lens is just above your eye line. Then slide the camera forward or back until you more or less fill the frame.
Choose the right background
When preparing for a photo or even video your background matters. Too much clutter can be distracting. Take a critical look at what is visible behind you and remove any extra items that may be distracting.
For selfies, a blank section wall in a hallway or bathroom can be great, as long as the lighting is not behind you – or shining down on you.
Take lots of photos
Professional photographers take hundreds of photos in a session but only publish a few of those shots. Don’t be afraid to hit the shutter button 10 or 15 times to get one or two photos you’re happy with.
Try out different poses, angles, lighting, and expressions. Many mobile cameras also include filters that allow you to play with lighting or color.
Have fun with it and experiment to get great results.
When you’re taking a photo or video, try to relax. Don’t try to pose your face or body too much. Just be yourself. Focus on the person behind the camera or think about someone or something that makes you smile.
Taking good photos and videos may require a bit of practice, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
* Don't forget to have your bag of Java Planet Organic Coffee when you take your selfie!