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Celebration of the selfie today

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Taylor Burgess takes a selfie on ECU's campus on June 20, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Maya Jarrell
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A day to celebrate the art of selfies will have people all over taking pictures of themselves today and posting them to social media.

National Selfie Day is one of the latest crazes brought to modern culture with the advent of the smart phone — for many people more fun than Throwback Thursdays and Pokemon Go.

According to mobile phone service provider U.S. Cellular, among many businesses promoting the “holiday,” it was started by a Texas radio DJ. Rick McNeely in 2014, a year after selfies had worked their way so deeply into the vernacular that editors added the term to the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language. 

“Taking a selfie is a form of self-expression,” Jeremy Taylor, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina, said. “Snapping a selfie and posting it on social media captures a moment in time, helping people to connect with one another. We encourage those partaking in the holiday to have fun and use features on their smartphones to help get the best shot.”

Advise on how to take the best selfie was easy to find Wednesday at East Carolina University. Campus is full of students and young people who have grown up in the tide of the selfie, and ECU freshman orientation leader Taylor Burgess was no exception.

“The lighting needs to be good and the angle doesn’t need to be high,” Burgess said. “My mom thinks it needs to be way above your head, but I think that the angle needs to be more out front, and you’ve got to get your good side.”

Avid selfie-taker and 18-year-old ECU student, Mohammad Sarsour, said he agrees that the best selfies are taken when the phone is at eye-level.

“I’d probably have to say I take selfies every day because, you know, Snapchat streaks are the No. 1 priority,” Sarsour said about the ongoing Snaps he has with his friends. “I just stand normally and try not to do any weird angles. I’m not one of those people who uses weird high angles when they take a selfie, I just show my face, take a picture and send it to people.”

Although most people agree that straight on selfies fare for better photos, some people opt to show only half of their face when trying for the perfect shot.

“My brother’s generation — he’s going to be a senior in high school — they only use half of their face for everything nowadays, but I don’t do that,” Burgess said.

Although Burgess usually avoids this trend, Sarsour keeps the half-face trick in his selfie-taking arsenal.

“I smile, but I usually only do half of my face,” Sarsour said. “I guess it’s just because I’m so used to taking selfies of half of my face, so people only see one side of my face, but I do want to start taking selfies with my whole face.”

Whether you use your whole face or only half, people on campus said National Selfie Day is a day to appreciate your appearance and commemorate it with a selfie.

To take part in National Selfie Day, just snap a photo and post to social media with the hashtag #NationalSelfieDay.

Contact Maya Jarrell at mjarrell@reflector.com and 329-9590.

SELFIE-TAKING TIPS

U.S. Cellular offered the following advise for National Selfie Day:

■ Use a quality camera. Mobile device manufacturers continue to enhance their cameras. The front-facing camera on the iPhone X, which is used primarily for FaceID to unlock the phone, has an infrared camera, sensors and light projectors capable of seeing depth. This camera is also used to take a selfie, yielding a terrific result for Portrait mode pictures. The Samsung Galaxy S9 features a dual aperture lens, allowing the camera to automatically switch between various lighting conditions.

■ Keep it steady. Consider using a selfie stick or using your camera’s self-timer to help take a steadier, less blurry selfie. Add a PopSocket or a Spigen Style Ring to enhance the grip on a smartphone as well.

■ Opt for natural light. Always opt for natural, indirect light and be sure to keep the sun or light source in front of you, slightly above eye level, for the most flattering shot. The best outside lighting is the golden hour before sunset for a natural glow. If inside, take a selfie standing by a window facing the light for the most pleasing results.

■ Work your angles. Holding a smartphone on a diagonal angle can inject a little fun into your selfie. Hold the smartphone so the bottom of it is level with your eyes or a little higher to prevent double chins and make everyone look svelte. Try to avoid a shot straight on, as the end result might look more like your driver’s license photo.

■ Consider the backdrop. With U.S. Cellular’s high-quality nationwide network, capturing and sharing selfies from anywhere is simple. A good selfie highlights more than just a face; it can include an interesting background as well. Observe the background and position yourself so you’re capturing the best view.

■ Look natural. The best selfie poses tend to be more natural, so don’t overthink it. For a natural look, it helps to take a slight inhale as you push to take the photo. This will leave your lips slightly parted and your face relaxed. Also consider experimenting with different moods and emotions.

■ Utilize your camera’s features. Using a flash can create forehead glare, distort your appearance or give your selfie a redeye. Taking time to edit a selfie to adjust the brightness and contrast will help your photo to appear sharper.

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