Taking a selfie with the iPhone camera is pretty straightforward, but there several third-party iOS apps for capturing more creative self-portraits.
We recently reviewed several quickdraw iOS camera apps that are also useful for taking selfies, but there’s also a whole sub-category of apps that can take your selfie-obsession to the next level.
Here are some of the best ways to take a selfie, no selfie stick required.
Selfiest feeds the desire of those who want to share their selfies and possibly get their egos stroked. Like Instagram, Selfiest lets you curate your selfies and share them with other Selfiest members across the world, as well as to your other social networks.
Other members can like your images and follow you, photos you post to your account can be removed at any time.
The app provides a slew of editing and photo enhancement tools, including Instagram-style filters, and a text and drawing tools. Unfortunately, once a tool has been applied and saved to a photo, that photo can’t be edited.
For creative inspiration, Selfiest includes photo challenges, such Street Selfie, Smiling Selfie, Morning Selfie, and Selfie with Sunglasses. For more inspiration, you can check out selfies from other users nearby, in the same country, or across the world.
Camera X (free) [No longer available]
Unlike other camera apps, Camera X allows you to swipe and select a photo filter (and get a preview) before you take a photo. Likewise, you can pre-select from over a dozen different template collage frames, and snap selfies to fit your chosen layout. And like the default iOS camera, this selfie tool also includes a self-timer and optional photo composition guide.
Camera X is really for shooters who don’t want to do post editing of images. In fact, it doesn’t allow you to. By default the app doesn’t automatically save your images, but there is an option in the app’s setting to autosave your selfies. The goal of Camera X is to shoot and share to Facebook, another supporting iOS app, Messages, or directly to your Photos Library.
B612 Selfie (free)
B612 is similar to Camera X in that it too provides a preview of a selected filters before you snap the selfie. The advantage of this app is that it allows you to activate the shutter by tapping anywhere on the screen, or long press to shoot a short video. A collage template can also be selected to capture a series of selfie shots.
The big drawback to this and Camera X is that applied filters, as well as the vignette filter, cannot be adjusted before or after shooting the photo. You can however quickly delete unwanted images so they’re not all automatically saved to your photo library.
Selfie X (free)
Most selfies on the iPhone are taken with the front-facing camera, which has a lower resolution (1.2 megapixels) than the rear camera (8 megapixels on the iPhone 6). If you want the higher quality selfie you will need to get someone else to take the shot (which technically means it’s not a selfie?), or you might try using Selfie X.
This app uses face and voice recognition to snap a photo of you using the rear-facing camera. You won’t be able to view yourself, so the app tells you if you need to adjust the phone to capture your face. When properly framed, the app tells you to, “Say Cheese.”
I tried the app a few times, and it worked, but saying “cheese” doesn’t always deliver up the the kind of smile you want. And in my tests, the app never worked while holding the phone in landscape position. Selfie X is a free app, so you might want to download it and see what you can capture.
Ghost Lens+Selfie (free)
When it comes to taking great creative selfies, the Ghost Lens+Selfie app may be what you’re looking for. It can easily layer an image on top of another image (or video), like in Photoshop, for various types of effects. Images can be faded in and out, with one or more photo filters applied. And as with other camera apps, photos can be exported to social networks, and saved to the Photos Library.
For an easier, more direct photo effect, PhotoMirror creates an instant duplicate of a selfie shot, or an imported photo. It includes preset crops, 2D and 3D layer masks, creative picture frames, and other elements that might be useful for sprucing up selfies. Photos can also be saved or exported to other iOS camera apps or to social networks.
Apple Watch Remote
And lastly, the new Apple Watch provides a remote trigger for the camera app on your iPhone. You can actually see your camera’s viewfinder watch what the phone camera sees in its lens. This is convenient for both selfies and group shots. You can prop your phone up against something or use a tripod, open the remote app on your watch, and tap the shutter button or timer on your phone.
Naturally, remember to look at the lens on your camera phone rather than the watch when snapping a photo.
Taking selfies may turn out to be a generational fad, but if you’re like my daughter who snaps a selfie practically everyday to share with her Facebook friends, the variety of third-party apps on offer for this purpose is a big plus. And though it’s great to have other people takes photos of you, taking selfies allows you to take as many shots as you need until you get the one you like
Are you selfie-obsessed? Let us know what apps you use for taking selfies!