I hate selfies. Perhaps it stems from a history of awkward photo presence, or that I simply don’t photograph well, and I am very, very conscious of it. I’m generally horrible at selfies, and unless I’m holding something to hide part of my face, or there’s someone I can take a photo with (#jelfie), a decent selfie is usually out of reach.
So when I was told to try B612, I was justifiably skeptical. I didn’t expect myself to actually like the app. But after a few tries, it was pretty inevitable.
A bit of background: B612 is a selfie app made by Korean social messaging app LINE. And yes, the name is strange for a selfie app. The justification given by LINE was that it is named after a planet from popular novella “The Little Prince”. But as much as I love the Little Prince, it’s still a pretty crappy name.
Name aside, though, the app works wonders.
For one, it is so easy to use. Much like some Samsung phones, it allows you to take photos by tapping anywhere on the screen — which, according to LINE, helps in discreet photo taking. To me, it just makes taking selfies so much more effortless, which is a big plus. If I have to do some painful finger maneuvering at the risk of dropping my phone to do something that already feels awkward, I probably wouldn’t bother.
The flexibility that the app comes with also surprised me, and kept me occupied as I played around with the options. It comes with several formats to choose from, such as the usual 3:4 ratio or 1:1 ratio that every Instagrammer craves, to templates that allow you to take up to 9 photos at a time in the same frame.
It also allows you to take videos by holding your finger on the screen, and it even helps you take multiple videos in the in the multi-photo template, which would make for very cute selfie-videos. I may have spent a bit too much time trying to be Nick Pitera.
But the thing that truly converted me was the filters. Lots and lots and lots of filters. To the untrained eye, they might seem like the usual Instagram filters, but take a few photos and you’ll realise that these filters are magical.
It’s even able to detect your face and blur out the background behind you, making it look semi-professional. And is that a skin-smoothing filter too?
It was difficult to remember to be awkward when I was neckdeep in templates and filters, and after a while, I’ll admit I actually started enjoying myself.
So if you’re still struggling with your phone camera to take that perfect selfie for Chinese New Year (of what’s left of it), perhaps you should give B612 a try. It’s taught me a valuable lesson: it doesn’t have to be so hard to take selfies you can be proud of.