TikTok has proven to be invaluable when it comes to life hacks, and now we can combine these two tricks for taking better selfies on the list.
Gone are the days when you needed an expensive DSLR to take quality photos and videos. Whether you’re Team iPhone or Team Android, between the camera quality and editing apps, selfies have become a stunning work of art.
Despite all this, sometimes it seems that our selfies never do us justice. When you look in the mirror you see one thing, but it is never quite repeated in the selfie you take.
As it turns out, there is a reason for this. As Tikoker Liberty Edwards, better known as ‘The Selfie Coach’, explains, “When you look in the mirror you see a reflection, a mirrored image. So you are always looking at yourself flipping.” Huh.”
When you take a selfie, you are looking directly at yourself instead of the mirror image that your brain is used to, which causes a type of cognitive dissonance in your brain.
This is simply because of something called exposure, a phenomenon coined by psychologist Robert Zajonc that suggests that people tend to like the things they see more.
When applied to selfies, exposure alone shows that you prefer the image of yourself you see in the mirror as opposed to the flipped version of yourself.
Luckily, according to Edwards, there’s a way to fix it and finally start liking your selfies.
how to take better selfies
Edwards shares two handy tips that will take your selfies to the next level.
1. Turn on Mirror Image.
As Edwards points out, photos taken on your phone don’t automatically create the flipped image you see in the mirror. However, there is a way to change this.
If you have an iPhone with iOS 14 or later, you can turn on mirror image in your phone’s settings. From there, find and click Camera Settings. Scroll down to the Composition area of the camera settings and toggle the ‘Mirror front camera’ setting to ‘On’ (you’ll know it’s on when the slider is green).
Android phones are set to automatically show you the mirrored image (which is why you already love your Android selfies). But if that setting is turned off, you can turn mirrored selfies back on by opening your front-facing camera and clicking the settings gear. Then make sure the ‘Save Selfie as Preview’ option is turned on.
2. Adjust your aperture.
In photography, aperture is the width of the lens opening. Adjusting the aperture changes the sharpness of the front and back of the subject of the picture.
On both iPhone and Android, Portrait Mode automatically adjusts the aperture defined by an f-stop, to a larger aperture (lower f-stop) to blur the background and make the subject more defined.
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But you don’t have to stick to the aperture that your camera automatically chooses for you! Edwards explains that you can adjust the aperture in portrait mode to get a custom look.
On the iPhone, when you’re in portrait mode, you’ll see an “f” next to a number at the top of your screen by the lens. Click on it and an f-stop dial will appear under your photo. Adjust the aperture to achieve your desired blurring effect.
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Edwards suggests changing the f-stop for an extra cool effect when you have lights in the background of the photo.
Android users can also change the aperture in portrait mode by clicking on the small circle at the bottom of the screen. Although it doesn’t show up as an f-stop, you can adjust the strength of the background blur.
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Mickey Spole is an editor, writer and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her journey on her website.