The art of the selfie, redux

I love when you send me pictures of yourself. I wrote, here, a little bit on the subject. Recently, I read up what the pros have to say – I went to Cosmopolitan, Allure, Elle, Seventeen, and a couple of less well known sites. I collected their advice, and put it through my own filter (they all recommend the use of filters; my filter excludes the use of filters – there’s no need for that with me – too much fuckin’ work!), and distilled their advice down to the following tips:

  1. The picture should show me, primarily, what you want me to see. If you want me to see your face, your face should be well over half of what I see. Your ass? Same. Your thighs? Cunt? Breasts? Hands? Hair? This isn’t science, but if what you’re showing me doesn’t fill somewhere between 50-90% of the screen, you’re probably showing me too much. Or too little. Unless there’s some thoughtful reason informing your decision to show me more. Or less.
  2. Related: don’t fill the screen entirely. Let me see the outer edges of your thighs, or fingers, and just beyond. Let there be space at the edges. But not too much space.
  3. If it’s your face, look up. All the women’s magazines say this. And I do too. I’m not sure why they say it, but I say it because, when I look at your face in a selfie, I want to imagine you about to put my cock in your mouth, looking up at me.
  4. Timers help. They don’t need to be long. Five, ten seconds is enough to get out of the way of the phone or computer.
  5. Background, foreground, matter. I want to look at you. If there’s other stuff in the picture, it’s going to catch my eye. There’s rarely a reason there should be anything between the camera and you – except, perhaps, a camera. Or maybe a vibrator? If you can’t avoid stuff in your photos, you can’t. I understand the challenges of life not in a studio. And/but…
  6. No toilets (or toilet paper). Ever.
  7. The ladies’ mags all say that lighting, shadows, and angle matter. They all say to use filters. And apps. They all say to smile naturally. Sure. Why not. But all this stuff, for me, is a bit of overkill. I would much prefer you take ten photos that are imperfect and press send than that you take one and edit it.

What I want, mainly, is to see you. Not some artifice-y version of you. And not your surroundings, or your stuff. So for me, let everything you do when you take a picture be about showing me you.

All that said, if you’re a good photographer, and have a good sense of composition, lighting, and angles? That stuff all is transformative, and renders whatever preferences I may have expressed above effectively moot, because you are far better at any of this than I am.

And finally: I don’t particularly like the idea of the photos you send me being effortful. I recognize this may cut at cross purposes with the rest of what I write, here – at least one correspondent laughed at my saying filters are too much work, but the rest of what I write isn’t. But if I had my druthers (and God knows, I like having my druthers), you would read this post, twice, maybe, and internalize it. And then? It would just inform your work, naturally, intuitively, for me.

Just for fun, here are a few pictures from two subreddits I like (r/selfies and r/gonemild) that illustrate my taste (not necessarily in women, but in photos):

Wicked Wednesday

3 comments

  1. I like the tips here. I’m not one for taking selfies on my phone, but do indulge in self photography. Tips are always welcome, and some of these I will definitely apply with my next photoshoot 🙂
    ~ Marie

  2. I’m with you. What I want to see in a picture is something of the person sending it – not a tidied-up or sanitised version of them. I want the picture to feel like it came from their mind – flaws and all.

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