Professional photographer shares secrets for a good selfie


by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 7:20 PM

HOUSTON—Selfie, or taking a photo of yourself, is the 2013 Word of the Year, according to Oxford dictionary.

Professional photographer Mark Chen, with the Houston Center for Photography, said the selfie is the modern-day self-portrait.

When we asked for tips on taking a good selfie, Chen quoted famous war photographer Robert Capa: "If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough."

"Now selfies are guaranteed to be close, because you are holding the camera at an arms-length." Chen said.

Chen said lighting is the most important thing.

"If you have a window or a curtain open, use it as side lighting," said Chen, "When you are in a car, you have directional light that is softened when it comes through the window."

Chen added if you want to have a simple background, shoot with the phone angled up or angled down—it makes for better composition.

"In literature, you make sentences. In images, through composition, you make a statement," Chen said.

Chen teaches basic photography, composition, and architectural photography workshops at HCP.

HCP also offers a class to people wanting to improve their cell phone photo skills.