Most Social Media and many blogs include a lot of selfies. Do you have to have selfies?
No. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I have extremely few selfies on my Social Media and I don’t remember any photos of me at all on all but one of my blogs.
But there are good reasons to have some photos of you on your site. Photos with faces boost engagement up to 40%. And if you are going to include your photos, you want to look good.
Photos are important. Very important.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, using images online will get you up to 2.3 times more attention on Facebook and 1.5 times more on Twitter. And, as Hubspot reports, posts with visuals can help readers retain 55% more information than text-only ones.
I had a job for a while watching people use variations of a website to see what worked best. The pages people hesitated on longest had a photo of a person looking directly at the camera at the top of the page. This was a while ago, but I doubt it has changed. Having a face at the top of the page makes people make eye contact and spend at least a little more time looking at the page.
And using your own face is probably the best way to get a unique photo without paying for it.
Social Media is social. Selfies really do get engagement on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms. People want to feel a connection to other people. Selfies are a way to do that. It is possible to grow a blog without participating in Social Media, but people are more likely to follow you, be interested in you and promote you if they feel a connection to you. Selfies help.
Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs researchers looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram and found that pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos with no faces. They’re also 32 percent more likely to attract comments.
Most important, SMILE. When we were testing this, we found that people smile back when they scroll past a photo of a person looking out of the screen smiling at them. The smile had more impact than any other thing about the photo.*
A lot has already been written about how to take a good selfie so I’m not going to repeat that here. You can easily find products and instructions.
A couple of hints; it’s probably best not to use obvious filters or over edit. The only really important filter is lighting correction. Brighter photos get more engagement.
Not all photos of people are selfies
Try including yourself in some of your photos.
You don’t have to have someone to help you. Check your phone. You might have a photo timer.
On some iPhone models, click the little up arrow at the top center of the camera screen to open additional camera options.
Click the little photo of a clock. Then select the number of seconds.
A professional photographer once told me that the trick to good photos is to take a lot of photos and throw the bad ones away. Have you ever seen a professional photo shoot? Even before digital photography, you heard click click click click click click click. Hundreds of not-so-good and so-so photos go into getting the good ones.
Remember to crop them to make them even better.
Don’t be afraid to pose
On her daytime talk show, Tyra Banks demonstrated some poses that Victoria’s Secret models use. If you stand with your feet pointed toward each other, the muscles in your thighs flex. Toes pointed forward, thighs touch. Toes pointed inward, thighs don’t touch. You would never want to stand that way in real life. You’d look pretty silly. But stand that way for a photo. As long as you don’t show from your knees down by strategic foreground items or by cropping… Wow! Your legs look amazing! Try it! Stand in front of a mirror and see what a difference it makes.
Recently I was trying to send someone a link to an article about how to pose to look better in photos and I couldn’t find anything nearly as good as I read in What you wear can change your life by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine.
Do you remember What Not To Wear? It started out on British TV with Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine. They also coauthored some books.
What you wear can change your life has a whole section on How To Look Good in Holiday Photographs. From page 228 to page 235 they demonstrate how to “go for the pose that flatters your body to its best advantage… Soon you will always look your best, and what bliss to have the advantage over those who are younger, thinner and prettier than you simply by being stunningly photogenic and a gift to all amateur snappers.”
The right posture for your shape makes all the difference. And although these photos are posed, they look natural.
The book was published back in 2004, but bodies haven’t changed. Take some time to figure out how you look best in a photo and you won’t be as self-conscious.
It might seem awkward at first to pose, but in no time at all you won’t even think about it. And it really does make better photos.
What you wear can change your life by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine is not expensive. It’s out of print, but a used copy goes for less than $4.00.
* If you are very self conscious about your teeth or anything else, have photos that are more distant or where whatever you are really worried about is covered. Spend some time in front of a mirror so that you know what works.