A SOCIAL LIFE

A Lightricks Blog by Team Facetune

The Absolute Worst (And Best) Time Of Day To Selfie

by Team Facetune / July 1, 2020

Selfies have come a long way since Paris and Kim ‘owned’ the idea of constantly taking photos of yourself. It’s strange to think there was a time when selfies were so stigmatized – all that judgement for one little moment of public narcissism! Thankfully for our IG feeds (or maybe because of them), selfies are pretty standard now. Taking photos of yourself in public is as ordinary as taking a photo of someone else. 

But if you want to get a perfect selfie, when is the best time to take it? Any expert photographer will tell you that lighting is everything. There’s more to consider, though. Read on for more.

The Best Time To Take A Selfie

They say that you look the most awake and refreshed at around 10am. It makes sense in my head: the first thing in the morning you, and your skin, are not super energized and your face is still all puffy from sleep. Not cute. By mid-morning, the coffee has kicked in, your blood’s been circulating for a while, and your mug should be ready to face the day, or take selfies. 

Your Selfies have never looked so good.
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You’ve probably heard of the Golden Hour by now, and some cloudy, long-lost thought in the back of your head is ringing: “Didn’t someone say that evening was the best time to take a selfie?” You’re not wrong. 

Early evening as the sun begins to set, we get this beautiful golden glow. That magic lighting is forgiving and cures everything (ok, not a massive pre-period pimple, but it can cover up the detriments of an all-nighter), so even if you aren’t looking as fresh as you did at 10am, you can still bask in the glow of fantastic lighting. Now, Golden Hour (also known as Magic Hour) also actually happens right after sunrise, since the sun is low in the sky then as well, but as I’m no morning person myself, there’s no way in hell I’m going to encourage you to get up with the sun. Let’s be realistic.

Pro Tip: If you want the best of both worlds, why not snap a selfie at 10am when you’re looking your best and then edit afterwards to get that evening glow? There’s a tool called glow which brightens and smooths out a dull complexion, and even a section of Golden Hour filters to help you get the glow all day long. 

Best time to take a selfie_woman applying golden hour filter
Fake it till you make it – it’s filter time!

The Worst Time To Take A Selfie

It goes without saying that bedhead, a puffy morning face and eye gunk means an early morning pic isn’t how you want to be remembered. Don’t be fooled by #IWokeUpLikeThis and other selfie hashtags. No, ya didn’t. You woke up, spent half an hour doing makeup, drinking coffee, fixing your hair, and then you got back in bed. And then, you facetuned and you added a filter. 

Best time to take a selfie_woman in bed selfie
No, I didn’t just wake up like this: all cute, dreamy and cuddly.

 

If we’re talking about outside selfies, the absolute worst time to take a selfie early is when the sun is high in the sky, and that starts a little before noon. The sun will be more directly overhead for the next few hours, meaning shadows will cover half your face and make it super difficult to find a cute angle. Your makeup may have faded, your coffee has probably worn off, and the stress of your crazy boss’ demanding mid-day emails life may be seeping through your face. Better to hold off and wait until that evening glow shows up around dinner time. 

If there are clouds in front of the midday sun, you’ve got a fighting chance, but it doesn’t mean you’re safe. While clouds may block the light, you may be in for flat, dull light that does nothing for you or your selfies. One giant cloud blocking the sun but bright blue skies all around? Score! You’ve just got yourself bright natural light that isn’t too harsh.

Best time to take a selfie_young woman in the sun
And that’s exactly what happened here. One savior cloud to the rescue.

 

A cloudy day is sure to help balance the power of the sun’s rays, so while you won’t get a golden-hour glow, you might be saved from harsh shadows and over-exposure. 

In other words, worth a shot.

Best time to take a selfie_facetune relight
The Relight effect is a Facetune2 tool to help balance lighting. It means you can move the light source in your photo to counteract that harsh midday sun from directly above.

Just ‘Cause Ya Can, Doesn’t Mean Ya Should

Just because you look super cute at 10am doesn’t mean you should take a selfie. Be mindful of where you are and who’s around you. In a serious meeting with the president of your company? Pass. Taking a serious exam? Pass. You’re probably not even allowed to have your phone out. A friend’s mother’s funeral? In the cancer ward of a hospital? Pass and pass. Sensitivity, people – it’s not all about you! 

Sometimes, Take a Selfie Anyway

Then there are some opportunities which you shouldn’t pass up, no matter the time of day. Sure, the midday sun might make  the bags under your eyes look like the devil’s work, but if it’s a once in a lifetime moment, you’ll look back at the picture and you’ll only see the memory — not the bags.

A classic example: the college graduation selfie. You’ve been standing around for hours while your hair flattens, your makeup melts, and sweat beads have appeared and reappeared on your forehead. Because it’s the end of June and the summer you’ve anxiously been waiting for has reared its 96-degree head in full force. You’re super dehydrated and look like you’ve been up studying until 3am, but the happiness and pride kind of cancels out the dull, sweaty skin. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is; it’s a moment to take a selfie.