I am very proud to announce that the LA daily interviewed me about my photography. I am super proud of this undeniable career highlight.Check it out here or below.
Kate Branch, photographer and author of “How to Look Good in Photos: His and Hers Tips and Tricks,” said her wish is for everyone to have at least one good picture of himself. Here is her professional advice for selfies:
• Practice: It may not make things perfect, but it does make selfies better. Branch advises people to practice taking selfies and photos with friends in different poses. Professional models know their best sides.
• Lighting: Don’t worry so much about the backdrop and instead concentrate on the light source in order to eliminate shadows.
• Angles: The location of the camera matters. Selfies often can be taken at the wrong angle and capture double chins and nostrils. Face the camera at an angle so the chin looks its leanest.
• Capture the true you: If you love hats, then wear them in the photos. The more relaxed you are in your selfie, the better.
Selfies have put capturing snapshots more than within arm’s reach.
The social media self-portrait phenomenon has become a go-to tool for those who want to broadcast to the world where they are, whether that be in the car, at school, work, Disneyland or even in front of the Eiffel Tower.
When the Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “selfie” as the word of the year in 2013, it solidified the trend, which everyone from President Obama to Pope Francis has gotten in on. A year later, there’s no sign of the practice disappearing as businesses, retailers and authors aim to capitalize on the selfie.
The latest to join in is Bruvion Travel & Concierge, a Los Angeles affiliate of Cassis Travel Services. For travelers who want to enjoy their adventures but still capture the moments, the company offers the Selfie-less Travel Package. It provides a social media assistant whose job is to find the right location, pose and angle the client and then snap the shot. The assistant also edits the photos and posts them online. It’s not a cheap service, costing $500 a day plus expenses for full-time attention or $250 to meet locally and spend the day working with a client.
But it also poses the question: If someone else takes the photo, is it still a selfie?
“Well, I guess it really isn’t a selfie, but it shows how selfies and social media have become so big in our lives,” said Bruvion partner-owner Jason Couvillion. “My business is a luxury travel company with clients who want to enjoy themselves.
“I know some photographers are hired to document some people’s vacations, so why not do this? Our assistant would act as a tour guide and help take some of the stress out so everyone can concentrate on the fun.”
Hotels in Greece and Australia as well as areas closer to home like Oregon and Virginia offer packages revolving around the social media sensation. The Mandarin Oriental Paris, for instance, has a package with a private tour of the French capital’s best locations for Instagram-worthy self-portraits. The Mandarin Oriental’s “Selfie in Paris” deal boasts a stay in a deluxe room with breakfast and three hours with a private car and driver through Jan. 31. Rates start at 995 Euro, or more than $1,240.
For those do-it-yourselfers looking for a more affordable way to improve selfies, there’s LuMee, an impact-resistant smartphone case that improves picture quality through the use of lights. The case costs $39.95 and may be purchased online at LuMeeCase.com. It was created by a professional photographer who wanted to improve Skype sessions he enjoyed with his daughter, LuMee. The cases provide a steady light source, which can make for better photos without draining the phone battery.
Expect more innovations and uses, said Scott Silverman, a UC Riverside professor who studied the interaction of Facebook and other social media among college students for his doctorate from USC.
“Social media trends come and go, but I think the selfie is here to stay. In fact, its popularity and use is growing,” Silverman said. “We love instant gratification and although most of the photos aren’t exactly an Ansel Adams, what they do is immortalize times with friends. Selfies and everything to do with smartphones and apps are now social entertainment. I expect to see a lot of ‘elfies’ with Christmas coming. Really, the sky’s the limit.”
Capturing memories with photos is far from new, but now the focus is no longer a photo of a person at a place, but simply the person, Silverman said.
“What we used to maybe call Kodak moments now are selfie moments,” he said.
Some critics argue selfies have become symbols of self-obsession, while others are concerned they may strain self-confidence levels as selfies invite not only praise, but harsh criticism.
“Selfies have positives and some negatives. They make us more aware of ourselves, but they can damage self-esteem if others criticize,” said Cheryl Pomer, a neurological systems analyst and CEO/creator of Leadership Physiology.
If used correctly, however, Pomer believes selfies can be a positive self-help tool.
“They also have one powerful aspect to them: The person has control. We have been bombarded with societal and media standards of attractiveness. Maybe these can help set new standards focusing on more of a reality and the inclusion of everyone,” she said.
There’s something about the selfie that is quick, easy, fun and nonthreatening, especially because one can always delete and retake them at will, said Kate Branch, a professional portrait photographer in Australia who just released her book, “How to Look Good in Photos: His and Hers Tips and Tricks,” on Amazon.com.
“I really believe in the power of an image, any image,” Branch said. “If you capture a positive image of yourself, it becomes your own personal cheerleader and positive reinforcement. You will be unstoppable.”