The idea of taking mature selfies may clash with what you see on Instagram, Facebook, etc. – young men and women carefully orchestrating the background to their photo, the angle, and filter so the photo looks nothing short of perfect. Less often do you see senior men and women posting selfies to social media. It’s a young person’s game after all… or is it?
Seniors are learning the advantages of remaining connected with friends and families through sites such as Facebook and Instagram. The further apart the family lives, the more valuable social media becomes.
With children and grandchildren that seniors rarely see, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become a valued means of keeping in touch with loved ones. It can also help seniors keep up with the latest trends and interests followed by their beloved grandchildren. The younger generation may be shocked to learn that Grandma knows about the latest “in” bands.
More and more mature adults are sharing their lives and experiences through social media. This includes posting selfies. What was once the realm of attention-seeking twenty-year-olds is being embraced by seniors everywhere.
Are these beauty shots? Maybe. Maybe not. But these selfies of seniors are representative of who they are and what they do. So, if you’re a mature adult and want to learn how to take the best selfie – we’ve got you covered!
There are excellent reasons seniors are posting selfies on social media platforms. Many are doing it for the fun of it. You do not have to be twenty to enjoy a picture of yourself. And the social media “likes” and “comments” can be entertaining. How else can you get fifty people to comment on you preparing breakfast? Or get everyone excited about your special chocolate cake? Social media plus selfies equals new friends around the world. For seniors, it’s a side of themselves that the world rarely sees. Not a perfect side, but a true and genuine side.
Reasons Seniors Post Selfies
The reasons seniors take selfies are the same as anyone else, largely because they want to connect with others, show where they’re at, what they’re doing, etc.
Many seniors live alone, with their families spread into the wind. They consider themselves fortunate if they see their grandchildren once or twice a year. Posting selfies of themselves keeps them alive and relevant in their grandchildren’s minds. Many seniors aren’t as mobile as they once were and spend a lot of time alone and isolated. Selfies are a terrific way to stay connected.
Self-expression isn’t just for the twenty-one-year-old girl modeling bikinis. Sometimes, selfies can be silly, informative, and just a way of sharing one’s day. A senior can have a great deal of fun posting a selfie of a new hairdo and asking, “How do I look?” It can be delightful to share a bit of one’s life with others and of having them share with us.
Most seniors, especially women, don’t feel comfortable having their picture taken. We change as we age. The lines and wrinkles on our faces are a testament to surviving sixty-or-so years of living and coming out ahead.
First, seniors need to feel comfortable with their looks, owning those wrinkles. They aren’t sixteen years old, so why would they want to look it? Every age in life is unique. Sixty is as distinctive as sixteen. Senior women need to accept that with pride. They are irreplaceable just the way they are. Why switch with someone else?
Which selfie would the family rather receive – one with Grandma posing stiffly with makeup or one with Grandpa frolicking in the grass with the dog? Selfies aren’t about looks; they are about spontaneity.
How to Take the Best Mature Selfies
While we have established that selfies aren’t a beauty contest, there are actions you can take to create the best, most flattering, and most fun selfie to share with friends and family.
- Practice your pose. Does anyone think those flattering pictures of twenty-year-old just happen naturally? They do not. Those figure-flattering photos are practiced endlessly in front of a mirror, then scrutinized for any technical flaw. The best pose and look is the result of hours of practice. While you want natural, un-posed pictures, you can also have some fun by practicing a nice pose.
- Take more than one and choose the best. Selfies are rarely spur of the moment. They involve creating the shadows and lights to achieve just the right effect. There is no reason for seniors to spend too much time on selfies for their families. But they can feel comfortable knowing that with just a bit of effort, they can get over their “selfie-fear” and snap the picture they want.
- Pick the right makeup. Picture experts know that the right makeup can make a lot of difference to a selfie. With selfies so popular (to a younger generation, they have become a necessity), beauty companies have been eager to join the Instagram trend and provide products specifically designed to flatter pictures. Young people take advantage of them, and there is no reason seniors shouldn’t, as well. These are not your going-out-to-dinner makeup. These are specifically designed photo/selfies makeup.
- Choose the right photo angle. The best angle is the one you feel most comfortable with, but there are some general guidelines. Most advise pointing your chin down slightly and looking up at the camera. You can also tilt your head slightly to one side so it is not a direct-on photo. Also try holding the camera up and looking up at it. Go back to #2 – take plenty of photos from different angles and see what works best with your background.
- Choose the right background. A good selfie includes a good background. This allows you to tell more with the photo. It’s then not just about you but where you are, what you are doing. A good background adds depth to your selfie.
- Use the right lighting. Natural light is best with the magical hours just after sunrise and just before sunset being the absolute best. If your photo is inside, practice with lighting. Face the light rather than have it behind you. Keep the light – ideally – at eye level. A camera flash will rarely be in your favor.
Does is sound contradictory to state that selfies shouldn’t be about beauty while at the same time using products that enhance your looks? Not at all. Every selfie is different.
Each purpose is different. The picture of your sweating while exercising makeup-less with your hair taking on a life of its own is just as valuable as the picture with you preparing your face. They serve two different purposes but will be enjoyed equally.
What Makes a Good Selfie?
If you are serious about getting into the “selfie” business and sharing a part of your life with your friends and family, it will take a bit of work.
A good selfie involves lighting, the proper angle, and your expression. You are on display, so you will want to tone down your worst features and play up your best ones. Moving your face can change the angle and the effect of the light. You are creating a picture … a mood … a moment. Check out any actor or model, and you will notice the neck held as long as possible. That means shoulders down and head up. This is where the practice comes in. Keep practicing shots in every possible position. Try out as many expressions as possible.
As we have already mentioned, producing outstanding selfies does take time and effort. If want to get into the millennial game of selfies, it will involve more than just posing and snapping. The idea is to have fun. Take those practice photos and analyze them. Why are some better than others? Really study them until you arrive at an answer.
To Smile or Not to Smile
Should you smile in your selfie? That’s an excellent question. Have you noticed that models never smile? Smiling distorts the angles of your face, Your eyes squint, your cheeks stick out, and those wrinkles are being advertised to the world. But you want your family to see you as you are. So, smile when the occasion calls for it.
Otherwise, consider what supermodel Tyra Banks calls “smizing.” It’s what she calls smiling with the eyes. That’s when you think, “smile,” but you don’t actually smile. Your face responds to your thoughts without you smiling.
Filter or no Filter
Most Millennials swear by selfie filters and airbrushing. While there isn’t anything wrong with playing with your picture, in too many ways, it defeats the original idea and purpose of a selfie. Selfies are for sharing your life, especially with family. There are plenty of reasons to skip the filters.
If you filter and airbrush to extremes, you aren’t sharing the real you. Your beloved grandchildren aren’t getting a picture of their grandma and grandpa. By all means, strive to look your best, but if you’ve changed nature to the point, it doesn’t even resemble you, it might time to be to stop. Such pictures are obvious, and they flicker “I’m Insecure” in bright lights. They shout that you don’t think you’re enough. Instead of worrying about filters, flash a confident look at the camera. Confidence is true beauty.
Besides, if you keep posting doctored up selfies, people will get bored. Those that view them sense that’s not really Grandma, so why bother getting excited? For the best selfie, be your best, but be you.
Selfies are the perfect way for seniors to stay in touch with their loved ones. You can snap any picture of yourself. However, if you want to look your best, just follow some of the tricks above. But remember, selfies are not just about looks. They are all about staying connected.