Selfies with a Creative Twist
Last year I wrote an article about pushing beyond the selfie. I wrote about trying to make self-portraits that spoke more deeply about who you are as a person; that we should all try to make a portrait that portrays more than just a smiling face. I still believe strongly in that premise. I’m not the type to shoot endless selfies and post them on Instagram. I want to show off the amazing energy and rich personalities of the people I photograph.
But the problem is I have friends who love taking selfies. Everywhere we go they want to make sure we capture the moment. You know the quick shots that commemorate a place and time and how much fun you’re having there. The creative in me wants to do more than just put a hand on my hip and smile. I want to do more. So as a tribute to my friends and salute to those of who you crave creative options I’ve compiled a list of Selfie and Photo Apps that can help you to take great images but also allow you some creative opportunities.
Sweet Camera – I love this app. If I’m taking a selfie (mostly for my gaming avatar) I use this app. It’s quick and easy to use, and I’ll admit it’s fun. There are a ton of free filters to download and if you want you can add endless combos of ears, sparkly fake earrings, etc. The app works nicely on Android and links quickly through the share option to all my social media accounts. My friends love this one for all the fun little options they can use. One of their favorites is the ability to change their hair color.
Pip Camera – Photo Editor Pro – this one is really about the different filters you can use. Pip camera allows you to take your photos and insert them into fun frames. Take a full length shot then insert yourself into a glass bottle. The effect is a lot of fun. There are also options to use polaroid frames. You can even take your photo and edit it, so it looks like the front page of a magazine. This app is about easily using options to make creative images. It’s more than just a selfie app that hides skin blemishes.
Retrica – Yes, Instagram has many filters you can use for your selfies, but Retrica is probably one of the most comprehensive apps. Its got hundreds of different filters you can play around with and use for free. The editing power for managing blemishes and smoothing skin isn’t as powerful as other apps, but there’s a lot you can do with Retrica.
Photo Overlays – this has lots of backgrounds that you can use to create interesting overlays. For those of you who use Photoshop, it’s really about blending layers. For those of you who know nothing about Photoshop, it’s plain fun to insert you and your friend’s face into the moon. Give it a try. Just be prepared to deal with advertisements. There are lots of opportunities for creativity with this app.
VSCO– VSCO is more of a photo editor than a selfie app with lots of options for creativity. VSCO also works as a social media sharing platform in and of itself. It comes with lots of preset options as well as some pretty comprehensive editing tools. This app is more of an editing program for your mobile device than a quick and simple selfie app. However, it’s fun to use if you’re the type that wants to do more than add some fun stickers. VSCO lets you get creative with your mobile photos.
So basically, the sky is the limit for all of those out there who want to tweak their selfies. You don’t have to stick to the simple little stickers and filters you find in your Instagram toolbox. There are a lot more options out there. Give some of these a try and show us what you create. The world of mobile photography is always expanding. The really cool part about it is that it is accessible to all. Some may turn down their noses at the idea of using these apps and filters but for the average user its a lot of fun to experiment. For me, these apps can never replace Photoshop and Lightroom – I love the creative flexibility of those programs too much to give up on them. I’m still a huge advocate for creating more than the quick and simple selfie, however, if you’re less inclined to take time to shoot something a little more original perhaps these options can fulfill your creative needs.
So now it’s time to see your creative endeavors. I’ll leave you with a few more fun experiments, but I know the rest of you are a lot better at this than me. I’m not the selfie type. So it’s your turn show me what you can do in the comments below.