How to take a Babywearing Selfie

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I love a babywearing selfie, so much so that I would take one everyday and almost do.  So, that I feel like I can offer up some pointers (with the insight of my BWI brethren)…

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In fact…

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and if you don’t find my personal insight as helpful (that’s cool), I got some professional help!

I’d like to introduce Jamie Anderson of JME Portraits.  She is an award-winning, internet famous professional photographer specializing in maternity and babies… and has been known to take a baby wearing selfie in her day.  Take a look at some of her work:

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I know… it’s awesome!  AND she’s willing to give us some selfie tips! (Hooray!)

Rule 1 — It’s all about the angles.

Basic (Cynthia):  I try to take all my selfies from up high.  I feel like they are more flattering like that.  It also avoids the dreaded double chin, but also I think it makes my eyes look better and if my whole arm is in the shot, it doesn’t look as awkward.  Also for baby wearing, I feel that it gives the best view of the baby on your back.

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Pro Tip (Jamie): Every face is different. So you’ll need to practice, sometimes even in the mirror finding your angles. Even top models are charged with the challenge of finding their angle. A pretty face can photograph not as flattering if taken from a bad angle. So speaking of angles…when taking a selfie, please don’t lift your head up so high (to avoid double chins, I know why you’re doing it!) that we can see straight into your brain through your nostrils. Again, go back to that mirror. There is definitely a sweet spot for your face that allows you to lift that chin up high enough to flatter your face without photographing your nostrils.

Rule 2 — Lighting Matters

Basic (Cynthia): I avoid flash at all costs.  Really, even bathroom lighting is better.  I like to stand by a window at dusk or dawn.  I’m not huge on outdoor selfies because I squint too much.

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Pro Tip (Jamie): The most flattering lighting will come from above. Lighting from below accentuates the bags under your eyes and every lump and bump on your face. Another flattering lighting technique is to have the lighting come from the side of you. Either from a 90 degree angle (you standing with the entire side of your body facing the light) or a 45 degree angle (you standing with your chest half way towards the light. Be sure to turn so that baby’s face is towards the light).

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You never want to use the flash if you can help it. Flashes create harsh lighting, especially on cell phones and point and shoots, which is how most selfies are taken. The best light is filtered light. Think about a cloudy day. Have you ever noticed how beautiful and even the light seems? It lights up everything in your view, but there aren’t any harsh shadows or harsh bright spots. Either take your selfie next to a window (window should have a sheer curtain over it to filter that light, think about that cloudy day…) or find a bathroom (hence all the bathroom shots) that has nice lighting.

Rule 3 — Note the background.

Basic (Cynthia): I give you, Exhibit A:

Yeah… everyone likes a good wrap-job selfie, but the bathroom mirror almost always requires pants and that’s not something I’m always wearing.  Thankfully a friend put this lovely banner in this pic and covered my bum… literally!

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Learn from my mistakes, watch your selfie backgrounds.  Now, I mostly take shots by a blank wall or some kind of nature.  Here is a great idea, use an overgrown shrub as a background.

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Pro Tip (Jamie): If you have to shot in the bathroom, close the door and shoot up against the blank wall behind the door. There’s nothing weirder than a sweet selfie with you and baby and the toilet behind you photo bombing your photo!

Got the rules down?  Here are some tips:

Beware the selfie shadow.  It can be totally avoided by using Jamie’s tip of having the light come across you and baby.

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Utilize a use a mirror… appropriately (not like I did, above).  I LOVE the use of the round mirror in this one.

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Be on the look out for some cooperation from great weather.  In both of these shots below, you see how the natural elements REALLY make the shot.  They’re awesome.

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Sometimes, JUST the baby makes the best selfie.  For these, it’s important that they have a great expression or are peacefully asleep.  These are also great on “dirty hair” days when the cutest part of your outfit… is your worn baby.

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I also like the “top of the head” shot occasionally.

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DON’T take your selfie too seriously. Have fun with costumes or silly faces.

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DO have a peek-a-boo baby!  Sometimes to help get this look, I let my baby look at herself in the phone as I’m taking the selfie.

Selfie 42 Selfie 41Having a happy baby, makes any selfie better.  Listen to baby.  Sometimes, they are NOT in the mood to be photographed.

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I like how this little one’s mom gave her some glasses so she’d be happy.

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Nursing selfies take your selfie game up a notch.  Need some tips on nursing in a carrier… there’s a post for that.

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Don’t be Selfish with Selfies… you could take Family-ies

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Don’t be afraid to play with photo effects after the Selfie

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Closing thoughts,  Self-timer will CHANGE YOUR SELFIE WORLD. Yep, these two are selfies.  The Mama told me she took one of a counter and another off her car bumper!  Genius.

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I hope you enjoyed our Selfie Tute today.  I am so thankful to Jamie for her expert advice and time (she has four kids under 5 including a new born!).  We’d LOVE to hear some of your selfie tips!

8 Comments for : How to take a Babywearing Selfie
    • Deanna s
    • March 5, 2014
    Reply

    I take so many babywearing selfies that when I ask my husband to take the pic I get him to use the same focal distance. Please, no squishy belly in the pic… just our lovely faces.

      • Cynthia
      • March 5, 2014
      Reply

      That is a well-trained husband… and some insightful thoughts about how a selfie is framed. Genius, really! Congrats on both!

  1. Reply

    Hey, see the cute little girl who’s mom gave her the glasses so she’d be happy? Those aren’t glasses, it’s the swing chain, teehee 🙂 but anyway, thanks so much for the tips! I’ll definitely use them!

      • Cynthia
      • March 5, 2014
      Reply

      My pleasure! Some one in our discussion group pointed that out, too. Y’all have better eyes than I do, I guess. I’m glad you enjoyed the tips and thank you for your comment!

  2. Reply

    This is so awesome!!!

  3. Pingback: Toddlerwearing | Babywearing International of Greater Austin

  4. Reply

    Love this article! Would you mind if I link to it on my website (launching this week). I’m having a fitness challenge where I encourage babywearing selfies : )

      • Cynthia
      • April 7, 2015
      Reply

      We love having our blog shared… anywhere! Good luck with your website.

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