Kim Kardashian Gives Tips on Taking a Better Selfie

Screenshot taken from the video

Screenshot taken from the video

Who better to tell you how to take a better selfie than the woman who makes everyone’s hearts skip a beat? At least that’s the idea behind T-Mobile’s new video where Kim Kardashian West teamed up with the network to give a tutorial on how to take a better selfie.

The gist of Kim’s tips have to do with getting the right pose for you and having what she calls “amazing lighting.” Specifically, she states that you should blow out the details and only really highlight the good stuff in the image. It’s not much of a tip to be honest, and nowhere as exciting of a video as the SoloSelfie was.

So what makes this video so special? The fact that Kim states that she takes around 300 photos before she gets the perfect selfie. In effect, that really means that she is really discerning but it also sets the selfie standard game up really high. Considering her likes on Instagram, it makes sense. What she doesn’t talk about though is just how guys can take better selfies.

What we’re really amazed at is that she doesn’t use the selfie stick or the belfie stick, considering her credentials.

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Why 100% Sharpness Will Never Outdo Capturing the Moment

Pro Tip: Despite the fact that we all love bokeh, don't ever let it get in the way of good composition and an even better vision for the end result.

Pro Tip: Despite the fact that we all love bokeh, don’t ever let it get in the way of good composition and an even better vision for the end result.

At the moment of publishing this piece, there is a little phenomenon going around the internet. Actually, it’s a pretty big phenomenon. It’s one that has, “Broke the internet.” You know what we’re talking about. The image of Kim Kardashian’s bare butt on a magazine cover is making its rounds. And this image is the absolute perfect example for what we’re about to talk about: moment vs 100% sharpness.

The other day I was in a cafe chatting with another photographer. He was rushing out edits to a magazine and I was editing photos for a review before trying to upload them to our site. We both occasionally peered over to one another’s monitors and started a conversation about gear, which then turned into a conversation about business, editing, and imagery in general.

We talked about how crappy images are crappy images because they don’t elicit an emotion or appeal to a sense of any sort. Imagery is sensual–it’s primarily visual but a good image should be more than that. A great image of sushi for example should entice you, make you hungry, make you want some of that sushi. It should get you excited or elicit some sort of emotion. If it doesn’t elicit any emotion, it should move you in some way that appeals to the human senses or psyche.

We got to a point where we talked about one of the images and color tweaking. Then we talked a bit about sharpness, and on one of his images he said something that we’ve been preaching on this site since day 1.

“Who cares if it isn’t 100% sharp, it’s going online and will probably be no larger than 1000 pixels anyway.”

And he’s absolutely, completely right.

Who the heck cares if your image of the amazing mac and cheese that you just made isn’t 100% sharp. Is it sharp enough so that when someone looks at the image as a whole that they can see the details? If that’s the answer, then you’re golden.

Who the heck cared a single bit about looking at the image of Kim Kardashian’s rear at 100%? Was anyone really wondering if there was chromatic aberration or purple fringing or if they could see the pores? Not a single person was–and instead they cared about the entire image.

And so when someone says that an image isn’t 100% sharp, if it’s sharp enough then that’s all that matters. If your focusing is a bit off but not so much that you can’t tell, then who cares? Focus on captivating people instead with a moment.


South Park Takes a Stab at the Photoshop Retouching Issue

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 9.24.33 AM

We often see videos and read articles that talk about the perils of the wanton use of Photoshop to create the ideal woman – flawless, skinny, and with tanned legs up to your neck. Earlier this week, actress Ashley Benson had spoken out against it, after seeing an overly-retouched promo photo of her and her Pretty Little Liars co-stars. Earlier this year, skin care company Dove released a Photoshop skin retouching action, seemingly in an effort to discourage its use as part of their Real Beauty campaign.

Image manipulation and retouching has come under fire again – this time, in the form of a South Park episode. In their most recent episode, “The Hobbit”, the writers of the famously brutally honest show tackles how the exploitative use of Photoshop is changing the world’s perception of how women should look like, which creates a lot of pressure on young girls to attain what is, in reality, unattainable.

In the episode, Butters turns down cheerleader Lisa Burger because she was “too fat” for him to date. When an outraged Wendy calls him out on it, he defends himself by saying that “Kim Kardashian is skinny and she just had a baby… I want a woman… who knows how to look good,” and showing her a photo of Kim that was looked like it torn from a fashion magazine. Wendy angrily fires back at his obvious ignorance, “Kim Kardashian is a short, overweight woman who manipulates her image!”

In a later scene, some cheerleaders join a Total Self Image “gym” where they are learn how to expertly manipulate their photos to make themselves look more like the celebrities they see in the media.

While the episode is poking fun at the issue, it has raised some very real points. People, especially young women, today are in a certain mindset that if a woman just a little overweight or has visible flaws on her body, she is not beautiful. And the fashion and movie industries have definitely played a major role in it, turning an ordinary (but powerful) graphics editing program into a notorious tool that could be used to prey on women’s self-image as they scrutinize and erase every little insignificant “flaw” they see on a model or a celebrity’s body so that even somebody as gorgeous as Jennifer Lawrence has to be “edited”.

The episode shows how effect of this trend on young girls can be overwhelmingly appalling. As Wendy pointed out, the images they send out unto the world “make girls feel horrible about themselves…”

See the full episode here.

OP-ED: From The Other Side of the Lens- A Response To the Anti-Paparazzi Lawsuit from a Former Paparazzo

This morning, I read a post on Petapixel on the photographer arrested under California’s Anti-Paparazzi law. And then the comments came in: ripping apart paparazzi and calling them scum. Now I totally understand where these commentors come from saying this, but I don’t feel that the other side of the story is ever heard in full. For those of you who have followed The Phoblographer for the approximately three years I’ve been running it, you all know my dark secret. However, we’ve gained a significantly large following over time and many of you don’t know who I really am.

I am a former paparazzo here in NYC. For a short period of time out of college, I hunted celebrities and I played the game until I decided it was too cut throat of an industry. Given the chance, I’d do it all over again. But with all of this said, no one ever hears or knows the other side of the story and how the industry works.

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