Updated: Jul 24, 2019
We all want awesome selfies. We usually don't want to make ourselves look wider or flatter - except during the holidays.
Aside from unflattering angle (see above picture), lighting is the biggest way you can improve or decrease your chances of being the envy of everyone on social media. In this blog post, I'll show you how to use a window to create beautiful selfie-light.
Depending on what you want to do with your face, you've got three options:
If you want to hide wrinkles, consider using the window to fully-illuminate your face. This can be done when you have a large window to fully-illuminate your face. Fully-illuminated means that light is coming from all angles. If it’s a small window, the light becomes ‘flat’ rather than fully-illuminated.
When you fully-illuminate your face, you’re not creating any shadows. This can be good and bad. It’s good because any wrinkles are enlightened and won't be as visible. It’s bad because shadows can be slimming. If your goal is to fill in shadows with light, try fully illuminating yourself by facing directly towards a large window. The downside to fully-illuminated light is that there are no slimming advantages. If your goal is to make your face look narrower, try short light.
Short light means that the window is on an angle to the side/in front of you. Because the light is coming from the side, highlights and shadows are created. This is generally a good thing because shadows are slimming. The highlights and shadows give your face depth and dimension. Who doesn't want that??
The downside is that those highlights and shadow show more wrinkles than if you were fully-illuminating your face.
If you’re wanting to try a light style that slims your face a bit but also fills in a lot of the wrinkles with light, try butterfly light.
Butterfly light is when the window is in front of you but above eye level. Having the light above you will create highlights and shadows. Since the light is coming from above, the shadows will be on the bottom-side of your facial features.
For example, there will be slight shadows just below your cheekbones and below your eyebrows. This enlarges your cheekbones and eyes - both are a good thing. Women spend a lot of time and money attempting to enlarge both with makeup. Why not do it with light!? It’s free and it works!
Another dominant shadow will be created just below the chin. This shadow has a slimming effect because it ‘separates’ the jawline from the neck. Most of us aren’t wanting to show off our necks - so the shadow helps. My neck is my second least favorite part of my body.
I hope you see how light can really affect how good you look in your selfies. I know selfies can be very important. Different styles of light can be created from a single window.
One last thing, if you’re over 40 and are wanting to improve your selfies, maybe it’s time to broaden your horizon about what you’re concerned about.