Feelin' Myself: Must-Haves for the Selfie Taker

"Does this lighting make my duckbill look fat?"

“Does this lighting make my duckbill look fat?”

Selfies have become such an ingrained part of contemporary culture that, besides forcing the addition of a new word to the dictionary and completely commandeering our social media accounts, when news of a rumored mental disorder called “selfitis” hit the Internet it was easy to believe. Narcissistic, maybe, but crazy? Probably not – at least not in the clinical, let’s-get-you-committed sense. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little visual self-love, but Intstagram accounts that have thousands of selfies all taken in the same pose (you know, the one taken from above where the arm is outstretched and the wrist basically looks amputated) smell a little bit like overkill to us. Like everything in life, moderation is key. If you are a healthy selfie taker, read on for some selfie tools that will either be helpful in your artistic endeavors or make you sick on the whole trend and have you running the opposite direction.

Selfie Stick
The “selfie stick” is not actually a new tool, but it has been gaining popularity due to the intense selfie madness infecting our current social climate. No one does it better than this lady, though. In case you couldn’t fully comprehend the nature of the selfie stick from that photo, it’s essentially an extendable stick with an attachment designed for a camera or phone, like a tripod that comes out of your arm with a shutter button by the handle. This is popular with tourists because you can of course fit more good stuff in the shot next to your pretty face when you aren’t limited by the scope of your own short arm.

There aren’t many convenient situations to be carrying around photo tools like this one in your purse , however (unless your name is Mary Poppins), and they look a bit ridiculous unless you get your money’s worth out of it and use it as a walking stick or a pimp cane. This one is probably best left for those brave and determined travelers who just NEED to have documentation that they were in a certain place or those who wouldn’t dare ask a stranger for their assistance in photo-taking. Or, unless you’re trying to get a group shot at a house party or something because then this stops sounding kind of ridiculous and then starts sounding sort of reasonable.

Camera Remote
If you can’t get enough distance from your phone using an extendable shutter release or the headphones on your iPhone (bet you didn’t know that trick, huh?!), you can always use a Bluetooth camera shutter remote like this one from HISY that has the ability to capture photos from up to 90 feet away. And it’s not even (that) expensive! Keep your credit card out, though, because the gods of capitalism require an offering a bit bigger than that. Unless you can be sure your flimsy little smartphone isn’t going to topple over mid-click, you’ll probably need to buy a stand to go with it, and those can be a bit pricier (and inconvenient!). However, it seems likely that this is the route fashion bloggers go when they are snapping cool pics of themselves alone on those road trips through the wilderness they always seem to be taking. Unless they’re all a bunch of scheming liars and they actually bring a full behind-the-scenes crew with them. Judging by their usually-flawless hair and makeup, we don’t think we’re tooooo off the mark here. Here’s your chance to keep up!

Editing Apps
Once you have the selfie taken, you might feel the urge to do some major editing work on it to stay up on your game. Whether we’re lovers of the selfie or think it’s the worst thing to happen to mankind since the deep-fried Twinkie, we can all agree that the editing apps are getting a little out of control. Sure, Photoshop has been around for decades so technically the option to engage in some visual sleight-of-hand has always been there, but with the overload of photo editing we’re losing sight of what people are supposed to look like, or actually do look like. One such app, SkinneePix, offers the option of melting 15 pounds off your body with just the press of a button. The concept is to balance out the poundage that the camera supposedly adds, but in the selfie world this is usually handled with different camera angles. Nonetheless, this is a thing. A potential to be a pretty creepy thing.

Other apps like Facetune give you the ability to full-on alter your pic with features to whiten your teeth or even remove the shine from your face. Some apps can literally fluff your hair and stretch your eyes to make them look bigger. If you use these kinds of apps, use in moderation and don’t go overboard. We’re 100% percent sure that people want to see the real you, not something that vaguely resembles you (or a real human being in general). Rather, have fun with your selfies by using apps like MomentCam which transforms your image into a surprisingly well-drawn cartoon character, or Glitché, which provides you with a bunch of wacky filters to turn your images into true works of art a là Jackson Pollock or Pablo Picasso.

And because it bears saying:  no duckface. No excuses. Just, no. You don’t want to be any of these people.

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