Her GadgetMatch

How to take the perfect selfie

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In the renaissance era, there were self portraits; in the age of social media, seflies!

One too many times I’ve seen people post subpar selfies, and although this may seem like no big deal, it is.

Not only are these photographs physical expressions of your likeness, they are a representation of you and your aesthetic sensibilities.

In short, no matter how silly or useless you think selfies are, they still say a lot about you. That being said, here are some foolproof tips on how you can achieve that perfect photograph.

1. Find the light

When taking photographs, natural light works best. Well-lit open areas are the most ideal spots. Make sure the light isn’t too harsh, as this may wash out your features.

Pro tip: “Golden hour” is the perfect time to take selfies outdoors. This is the time of day when the sun is just about to set — it’s perfect natural lighting.

Literally “find your light” and make sure you don’t go against any light source when taking photos, because you may end up with dark, blurry shots.

But as with all things, there are exceptions. Sometimes, going against the light may work to your advantage. Depending on what camera you use and what your photography settings are, being against the light can also add to the photo’s drama.

2. Be the focus

In life and in selfies, you should always strive to be the center of attention. This is easily doable by taking selfies against any simple backdrop that isn’t too cluttered or busy.

Pro tip: Dual-camera phones usually have a bokeh feature which blurs out the background and automatically makes you the photograph’s focal point.

Normal vs. Bokeh mode

This works wonders for when the background is too busy, but you just really need to take a selfie.

3. Don’t go overboard with editing

It pays to have instant beautification mode on your selfie camera because it automatically makes you look fresh on days when you’re not feeling 100 percent super. But, too much of something is never a good thing, and this applies to photo buffing, as well.

The goal here is to blur out slight imperfections and not your face. It’s a selfie after all, so it should showcase your face, and not turn you into Voldemort!

4. Invest in a decent camera

Gone are the days of VGA phone cameras! These days, most smartphones carry power-packed shooters.

Traditionally, rear phone cameras were considered the main shooters and usually had better photo capabilities than front-facing cameras. This isn’t necessarily the case anymore. With the selfie revolution at hand, brands have recognized the need for optimizing front-facing snappers.

The Vivo V5 Plus has a 20-megapixel selfie camera!

Take note: no matter how cute you are in it, a crappy photo will always be a crappy photo. Quality selfies are key!

5. Relax, be genuine

The best version of yourself, whether in photographs or in real life, is the genuine version. If you are uncomfortable, it will show in photographs!

Pro tip: Just be yourself and smile — think happy thoughts!

Remember to never settle for less than perfect when it’s your face you’re portraying!

Taking photos with these basic rules may take some getting used to, but today’s technology just makes it easier for us. You’ll be a selfie expert in no time!

Ready, set, selfie!

SEE ALSO: Vivo V5 Plus Hands-On Review

 


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Vivo.

Accessories

Travelon: Stylish anti-theft bags that look good with your outfits

Keep your gadgets and gizmos safe on every trip

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We’ve all heard the pitch: Travel bags that will protect your valuables, must-haves for any trip that’ll keep your gadgets and documents safe, ultimate strength bags that can’t ever be slashed, and so on…

As a traveler, I care a lot about my stuff’s security. However, I never really bought into the whole travel-safe bag hype for one reason: Most bags I’ve seen which advertised said safety travel features weren’t really good-looking in my eyes. I wanted travel-friendly packs that weren’t only functional, they needed to look good with my travel #OOTDs.

In an almost cosmic coincidence (I say this because I have a bunch of trips lined up), I discovered Travelon.

This brand carries a number of travel bags and lo and behold: I actually liked a lot of the bags on display in their store. This travel bag they sent me home with is one I’m particularly fond of.

Just me enjoying my new cute backpack that no one can ever steal from

The bag comes from Travelon’s tailored collection and comes in five different colors: onyx, sapphire, plumrose, aquamarine, and sable (which we have here). I love how muted this hue is, perfect for more dressed-up looks.

As good as it looks, this bag is also one tough cookie with slash-resistant panels built into it. Just how strong is it? Well, we tried it out and let’s just say shenanigans won’t cut it (literally).

Even its detailed straps are slash-proof so you can be sure they stay on your shoulders.

Unique to Travelon is their locking hardware. Zippers are fitted with clasps that act as an extra precaution. Your bags won’t be opened as easily because of this. You can lock it on either side of the zipper…

… or lock the two handles together.

Inside, your stuff is always organized. You won’t believe the number of pockets this bag has.

There are card compartments, a slot for your passport, even a pen holder, plus another zippered pocket. These compartments also block RFID meaning the information on your passport and credit cards are safe from scammers who will attempt to get your info through a random scan.

More space to carry the handful of review devices I travel with

There’s even a key holder because there’s nothing more infuriating than having to rummage through your bag for your keys.

All these features packed into an unassuming good-looking bag.

This particular bag is priced at US$ 80 which isn’t bad, most anti-theft bags are priced similarly.

And, if you’re going to spend, might as well spend on something that looks good, right?

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Accessories

This is a notebook that will charge your phone because why not

One good-looking and useful planner!

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The good old notebook is being given an update.

If you’re still sentimental about stationery, or if you’re the pen and paper type of gal and you still can’t shake your organizer habits, this folio might be right up your alley.

The Tesmo notebook is a good-looking journal. The outside is bound by a durable leather material, there are slots for your pen, cards, and notes, plus you can easily refill the pages with standard A5-sized paper. What’s so different about this organizer then?

Place your phone on the notebook and you’ll find out. This organizer doubles as a wireless charger. Basically, it will charge any Qi charging-capable device — that means your iPhone X and most Android flagships — without even plugging in the phone.

With an 8000mAh battery capacity stored away in its cover, this notebook also allows simultaneous charging of up to three devices. It’s equipped with all the ports you’ll ever need: micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning adapter.

It’s the journal that every career woman needs — well, okay, not exactly need. It would be cool, though. And, it’s honestly one profesh-looking planner. It comes in gray, black, and brown (pictured).

Check out their Kickstarter page here.

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Apps

What I learned about myself using Android Pie’s Digital Wellbeing Dashboard

Am I on my phone too much?

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When Android Pie was unveiled and released last week, I pretty much craved pie because everyone was talking about the delectable dessert. But, I was also very excited about one particular feature: The Digital Wellbeing Dashboard.

Image of me actually eating pie the day after the Android Pie unveiling

Announced earlier, this dashboard was supposed to be a ticket to a healthier lifestyle — well, at least in theory. In an effort to curb unhealthy phone user habits, a dashboard that tracks app usage is built in to Android’s newest operating system. Although not available to everyone as of writing, Pixel users (like yours truly) are able to try out the beta version of the dash. Since I’m a sucker for self-actualization and information that may potentially heal (and hurt) me, I tried it out for the last week or so and here’s what I learned.

I’m on my phone — a lot

No sh*t, Sherlock.

I know I’m always looking at these tiny screens but I didn’t realize I was literally living my life in front of it. A record day saw me looking at the screen for — get this — 11 hours and 55 minutes. That’s half a day! Legitimately, that’s the whole time I’m not sleeping. And take note, I review phones so this isn’t the only screen I look at in a day.

Given these numbers, I’m honestly unsure how I get anything else done in my life.

I get a ton of notifications

I mean sure, technology connects people, but I didn’t realize just how connected we are.

According to my data, I get around a minimum of 250 notifications per day and this number varies. At some point, there was a whopping 620 notifications. Let’s think about that for a minute; that means around 51 messages per hour in a 12-hour day. There are only 60 minutes per hour so that means almost a message for each freaking minute.

On average, Facebook Messenger tops the list for these notifications followed by Gmail and Telegram.

I check Instagram more than I should

Now, this is funny because as you just saw, Instagram isn’t on that list of top app notifiers. But, this might also be because I turned off IG notifications because they were distracting me (yay for being self-aware?). This health dashboard tells me that I unlocked my Instagram app most, with as many as 153 times in one day. This was, on average, followed by Facebook and Twitter.

The top three apps I spent time on are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which just tells me that I’m ‘gram crazy and I’m on social media too much (which isn’t really news to anyone).

Grayscale is annoying and I hate it

Part of the dashboard is a feature aimed at curbing being on your phone before bed (which I do a lot 🙄). Wind Down allows you to set such times and then gives you an option to turn on Do Not Disturb and a Grayscale that makes browsing less desirable for people who should be sleeping and not looking at their phones.

The mess of an app IG becomes on grayscale

Reading tweets on grayscale is weird and browsing through Instagram is just plain wrong. I guess, in that way, this function is effective in getting me to stop being on my phone — until I turned it off the next day and never turned it on again.

I refuse to turn on the app timer as I justify social media use as work

Say what you want because it’s true. 😅

See, there’s a timer option on the dash that allows you to limit app usage time. Thing is, I’ve never turned it on. Why? Because I work on the internet and turning it on may amount to catastrophic consequences.

I will keep using this to justify my action of disallowing app time limits, so what’s your excuse?

It must be noted that, as mentioned earlier, I use more than one phone on a daily basis and am on social media on my laptop a lot, too. That being said, it’s worth pointing out that this still isn’t a complete picture of my daily phone and internet habits. Even though this data only shows a fraction of the grand picture, it already says a lot.

As with everything in life, the choice is in your hands (er, on your phone). Though I am ultimately left to decide what to do about my phone habits, knowing is always the first step.

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