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THE SECRET OF PERFECT PORTRAITS.. BUT, PLEASE, KEEP IT TO YOUR SELFIE; HOW TO GET SNAP HAPPY.. EVEN YOU, MRS PRESIDENT.

Byline: Jenny Morrison

They are the smartphone self–portraits that even Barack Obama and David Cameron can't resist.

Holding your phone at arm's length and snapping a quick "selfie" before sharing it on social media has become so common that the Oxford English Dictionary bosses have chosen it as their word of the year.

Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus regularly tease their fans by posting semi–naked shots.

Other stars upload photos of themselves doing everything from waking up and getting their hair cut to showing off a new tattoo or partying with friends.

On Tuesday, David Cameron was criticised for a lack of respect after Thorning–Schmidt for a group selfie at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, while First Lady Michelle Obama looked on stone–faced. But it is not just famous people who post their self–portraits online. Reports suggest that almost a third of all pictures taken by those aged 18 to 25 are selfies.

Technology on phones allows you to easily crop the shots to remove any unwanted backgrounds, while flattering filters can be applied at a touch of a button that will remove any blemishes and improve skin tone.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian – who regularly posts her own selfies – recently shared her top tips for taking the perfect shot.

Stylist and Sunday Mail columnist Lindsay Campbell admits that she loves to post her own selfies.

She said: "I think people like taking selfies for whole number of reasons.

"For celebrities, it is often about promoting themselves and their brand. But for everyone else, they are often just a nice, easy way of saying you feel good.

"I've heard of a lot of crazes for inappropriate selfies being taken, such as people taking photos on the way to a funeral or crossing a busy road. But, for most people, they are a fun, positive thing.

"I might take a selfie when I've just had my hair or make–up done or if I'm wearing something from the vintage clothes shop I run. Or if I'm off to do the styling at a shoot or big event and I want to tell people where I'm going and promote the event."

The fashion expert joked: "I also like to take them because I'm a poser."

Here, Lindsay casts her top styling eye over some celebrity selfies.

LAURA MILLER

Taken on September 4. "Selfie" Lindsay "This shot of footballer Kenny Miller's wife has been taken in a car, which is a very common place for selfies to be shot.

"There is a whole craze of having a selfie taken in a car and wearing your seatbelt I've even take a shot like that too.

"She is pouting in this shot, which shows off her cheek bones.

"The angle also shows of f her lovely big eyes."

JUDY MURRAY

Taken on October 21. "Night out with Gabby Logan, Warren Gatland and Darren Gough. What to wear? Will this do?"

Lindsay "Judy should have cropped this photo – as we can actually see inside her wardrobe.

"She has obviously taken the shot in her mirror and her hand seems to be making some kind of Star Trek–like greeting.

"But Judy took this shot to show off her outfit and she does look great."

LORRAINE KELLY

Taken on October 30 at the TV studios with former Westlife heart–throb Brian McFadden. "Here's one!! RT @BrianMcFadden: #thinkitscalledaselfie"

Lindsay "A lot of famous people take selfies that say, 'Look how many other famous people I know.' This photo could be one of those.

"But I've worked with Lorraine and she is a lot of fun and bubbly. To me, this photo is just saying, 'Look how much fun we were having.'

"Lorraine's expression is not the most flattering but she probably took at least a couple of selfies and chose this one to post because of the great expression on Brian's face."

KATIE HOLMES

Taken on October 26. "Loving South Africa. Me with a zebra."

Lindsay "I think this is a lovely selfie. A lot of celebs post selfies that say, 'Don't I look fab?' But this shot of Katie is showing where she is and what she is experiencing. "It's the sort of selfie anyone might post if they were on a safari holiday.

"She isn't all made up and posing but still looks great. I love that she posted it in black and white."

MICHELLE McMANUS

Taken on 2October 27.

"Well that's my Halloween costume sorted! Roll on next weekend cause I ain't afraid of no ghost!'

Lindsay "Michelle looks like she is off to do something fun and is even poking a little fun at herself by posting it."

ALL THE GADGETS FOR CAPTURING A BEAUTIFUL YOU

SELFIE STICKS A hi–tech stick designed to help you take better pics may make the ideal Christmas gift for a selfie–loving fan. The light–weight poles, made by a number of different companies, allow you to attach your smartphone to a rod that you can then hold much further away from your body.

This lets you take selfie shots of larger groups of friends and to see a bigger background in your shot.

You just need to press a button at the end of the stick when you are ready to take your shot.

FILTERING You can apply a filter to brighten up, remove any blemishes from and improve your skin tone on your selfie. These filters can be found via your photo apps.

SELFIE REFERENCE

GROUPIE More than one person in your selfie shot.

BRAGGIE Selfie pictures designed to brag about something, for example, how amazing the view from your holiday hotel was.

SQUINCHING A selfie pose where you tighten your lower eyelid and close your top eyelid slightly for a sultry look.

PRUNING Keeping an almost serious face when you look directly at the camera for your selfie shot.

SMIZING A selfie pose where you smile with your eyes more than your lips.

TEEGING Another sultry selfie pose where you open your lips slightly and show your tongue pressing gently against your top teeth.

LOLING When you giggle at the camera, then hold the giggle on your face while you take your selfie.

TOP TIPS TO TAKING THE PERFECT SELFIE

Professional photographer Helen Barrington, who is based in the Borders, said: "Whether you are taking a selfie or any other type of picture, getting the lighting right is always very important.

"Make sure you take your picture in a well–lit place.

"Try to take the picture from slightly above – if you take it from below, you might end up looking like you have a double chin. A lot of selfies are taken on nights out – but remember that, if you have had too much to drink, your eyes may have that glazed look, which is never good in photographs.

"Make sure your hair looks good and even apply a bit of lip gloss before taking the shot.

"Feel confident about having your photo taken. If you feel good, you will look good."

BEYONCE

Taken on August 8.

Lindsay "It's not a technically 'selfie' but this is a great picture of Beyonce that shows off her new pixie haircut.

"The lighting in the picture is great and, to me, it looks like filter a flattering has been put on the shot too. Great result.

KIM KARDASHIAN

Taken on June 5. "Side parting it today."

Lindsay "Total poser. She has a full face on, the pout to get the cheekbones and it is taken from above to make her seem smaller and get the best light."

EDITH BOWMAN

Taken on October 30 for the Screen Awards. "Thanks to @mywardrobe for the @AliceTemperley dress for tonight's @ScreenAwards"

Lindsay "Edith has taken this selfie to highlight her dress. She has chosen to take the shot in a mirror, which is a popular way of taking a selfie.

"The lighting is so harsh from above that it makes her look like she has black eyes. But I don't think Edith will care – she wouldn't have posted it if she didn't like it."

AMY MACDONALD

Taken on October 23. "Best. Jammies. Ever."

Lindsay "Amy's selfie images are always cute and fun. She doesn't come across as too much of a poser and doesn't really do celeb–style selfies."

CAPTION(S):

FASHION ACE Lindsay

CHEESE Danish PM Thorning–Schmidt takes a selfie with Cameron and Obama but the US First Lady isn't impressed
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 15, 2013
Words:1432
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