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How to improve your smartphone self-portraits

Friday - 6/29/2012, 10:12am  ET

Sari Lerner (Courtesy of Sari Lerner)
WTOP listener Sari Lerner of Burke, Va. sent in her selfie. (Courtesy of Sari Lerner)
  • Gallery: (9 images)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It's the hardest photograph to take with your smartphone -- the picture of yourself.

Somehow, powerful smartphone cameras, photo-enhancing applications and social media have combined to make it acceptable to primp, pose and snap countless pictures of yourself, hoping to find some good enough to share with strangers online.

There's even a name for these phone self-portraits -- selfies.

The Wall Street Journal has posted tips for improving the quality of your selfies.

Popular blogger Tina Craigsuggests for a headshot, stand in front of a window to use natural light if possible. Let your face and hair fill the screen, angle the camera slightly and smile. Yes, at yourself.

For a full-length shot, your arm isn't long enough to capture you're entire body, so you'll want to use a full-length mirror.

Craig suggests finding a clutter-free background.

To look slender, cock your hip. Your free arm dangles, unless you're wearing a sleeveless shirt -- in that case, put your hand on your hip.

After analyzing interviews and photographs of supermodels, Craig's to-do list for a photo-shoot includes positioning yourself in ways that are camera-friendly.

Chest leans forward, legs cross at the ankle. And, ladies, wear heels.

Photo apps, including Instagram and Camera+, will let you tweak and correct your photos, to improve lighting and crop.

Tweet your self-portraits to WTOP, and they'll be included in the gallery. Use #WTOP. If you'd rather email, send your selfie to webmail@wtop.com. Subject line should say SELFIE. Include your your name and the city where you live.

Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.