• “Selfie” Named “Word of the Year” by Oxford Dictionaries

    “Selfie” Named “Word of the Year” by Oxford Dictionaries

    Love them or hate them, selfies have become incredibly popular over the past year. So much so, that Oxford Dictionaries has given it the title of “Word of the Year.”

    Shocked? Appalled? Excited? Oxford Dictionaries deemed “selfie” the word of the year after it increased in frequency by 17,000% in the past year. That’s right, 17,000% percent. That’s not a typo.

    Oxford says a selfie is defined as, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

    Can a selfie also be a good photo? We say yes, it is possible. There certainly are a few good selfies out there, and we’re going to give you a few tips on how to maximize your chances of getting a good one of yourself.

    1) Think about composition.

    Photo courtesy of Christopher Schoenbohm

    Make it interesting. Yes, a selfie is about taking a photo of YOURSELF, but it has a much better chance of being a good photo if you pay attention to composition. Think about where you are placed in the shot, what else you are sharing the frame with, and your lighting.

    2) Play with shadows and reflections.

    Photo courtesy of Vivian Maier

    Vivian lived and passed on before the era of the selfie, back when it was simply referred to as a “self portrait,” but she sure hit the nail on the head with some of her creative shots using her own reflection and shadow.  Try capturing yourself in a shadow or reflection to make for a much more interesting selfie.

    3) Don’t take that typical holding-your-arm-out-with-the-camera photo. 

    Photo courtesy of Herr Olsen

    Self timers, propping your camera up, or using a tripod is a great way to avoid this type of shot. Even iPhones have self timer apps that you can download. Prop your camera up on something or get a little tripod and set the timer in order to avoid that typical arm lining the side of your shot.

    4) Background is key! 

    Photo courtesy of Becky Hayes

    We, at Foto Ruta, often talk about how important your background is. It can make or break your photo. For example, selfie-fails are well known for having been taken in a filthy bathroom, or being inappropriately sexy with a small child in the backdrop, or with some other embarrassing element in the background upstaging the subject. Try choosing an interesting background or scene for your selfie, or at the very least, make sure the background isn’t horribly embarrassing.

    Follow these tips and there might be hope for the future of the selfie… especially now that it has earned its spot in the Oxford Dictionaries.

    Photo courtesy of シ-クボント (Sieg.Bond)

    Photo courtesy of tonicito

    Photo courtesy of mollybob

     

    Photo courtesy of Peti Morgan

     

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