How To Take A Good Selfie – 20+ Tricks You Might Be Missing
Selfies are one of the most popular types of photos out there. With just about everyone having a little camera in their pockets, it’s never been easier to quickly snap a photo. Looking on social media, you see everyone from your friends to favorite celebrities posting great selfies. What are they doing that you aren’t? What’s the big secret to capturing the perfect selfie?
Well, as it turns out, there isn’t some kind of natural talent required to take a good selfie. Instead, you just need to apply a few easy tricks.
To take a good selfie, make sure you:
- Don’t Hold Your Camera Too Close To Your Face
- Keep Your Camera Slightly Above Eye Level
- Experiment With Taking Selfies From The Side
- Extend Your Neck Forward
- Check What’s In Your Background
- Exhale To Relax Your Mouth
- Try To Capture Yourself Laughing
- Try Using “Portrait Mode” When Shooting With Your Phone
- Try Taking A Full Body Selfie
- Find A New Place To Pose In
One of the biggest lies you can tell yourself is that you aren’t photogenic. Anyone can take great selfies, but there are some tricks behind the process. Let’s dive into each of these tricks and the difference they make in your selfies.
How To Take A Good Selfie – 10 Easy Tricks
To start things off, here are 10 of the most important (and easy) tricks you can use to take good selfies.
1. Don’t Hold Your Camera Too Close To Your Face
One of the most common problems you’ll find is holding your camera too close to your face. With any kind of camera lens, especially smartphones, there’s distortion. Lens distortion is how the camera skews and alters the shapes of things it sees.
For example, if you bring your camera too close, it might make your nose look a lot larger or your face longer. Now I’m not totally certain, but I’m willing to bet you don’t want your nose and chin to look bigger than they are. By keeping your camera further away, you can easily avoid this problem.
With your camera further away, you get a more natural-looking perspective of you. Your facial features won’t be as distorted and you’ll have an easier time capturing a good selfie. This is one of the best and most effective changes you can make!
2. Keep Your Camera Slightly Above Eye Level
Have you ever opened your camera while looking down at your phone? If you’re anything like me, all you see is double chins and giant nostrils. Luckily this doesn’t have to show in selfies.
When you’re looking down, your neck shortens, your jawline is less visible, and your eyes become more closed. Together, these don’t make for a very good selfie.
That’s why keeping your camera slightly above eye level is another easy trick to begin using. With a higher angle, everything changes. Your neck lengthens and your jawline becomes more predominant. Likewise, your eyes are fully open which helps to capture a more flattering and natural look to your selfies.
Before you get carried away with this, remember to keep your camera slightly above eye level. If you start taking photos from directly above, that just ends up creating its own set of problems. Raise your camera slightly and reap the benefits of a more flattering selfie angle!
3. Try Taking The Selfie From The Side
The typical selfie is from straight on. These types of photos don’t have much life to them because there’s no depth. Looking straight on, you end up looking like a 2D figure against a background. Not very interesting if you ask me.
By taking selfies from the side, you add more depth and make your photo feel more lifelike. You’re a 3D human being, make sure your selfies show that!
To do this, just move your arm to the right or left when taking a selfie. It doesn’t matter which side, just choose your good side! Now you’ll be able to see more along the side of your face and body. This helps to make your selfies look more flattering and interesting to look at.
4. Extend Your Neck Forward
As you’ve likely heard at some point in your life, models love to make their necks look longer. Even if you don’t consider yourself a model, you are in front of the camera when taking a selfie! So using the tips of a professional model can never hurt am I right?
To extend your neck, try relaxing your shoulders and bring your chin forward. This helps to give the illusion of a longer neck, giving you a thinner complexion.
5. Check What’s In Your Background
Don’t make yourself a part of the selfie fails with people who clearly didn’t check what was in the background. Whether you’re at home or out in the town, check your surroundings before you snap a photo.
Since a good selfie is all about you, you don’t want any distractions in the background. Otherwise, people’s eyes will be drawn to your background instead. Just do a quick check and tidy anything you might deem as “distracting”. Anything that looks dirty or doesn’t fit in with the scene you should consider getting rid of.
With a clean background, you’ll have a much better selfie that nobody can point out flaws in!
6. Exhale To Relax Your Mouth
Now, this tip more applies to females who want those luscious lips in their selfies. To make your lips and mouth look as beautiful as possible, it’s important to relax them. This will help to create the most fullness in your lips that looks amazing in selfies.
It’s easier said than done to just relax your mouth. That’s why exhaling while you take a selfie is an easy trick you can use to make the process feel more natural. When you exhale, it’s easier to relax the muscles in your face and get the perfect lip pose.
7. Capture Yourself Laughing
You’re your most beautiful when you’re smiling, so try to capture yourself laughing! When you’re by yourself, this can feel awkward and forced, but there are ways to make it easy.
Try to think of a funny memory or even just try acting silly until you make yourself laugh naturally. After all, nobody is looking so who cares! As you start to laugh, capture a series of selfies so you never miss the perfect moment. Once you think you got it, go through all your photos and just select your favorite one!
8. Try Using “Portrait Mode” When Shooting With Your Phone
Since you want your selfies to be all about you, using a blurred background is the best way to do this. Since there’s nothing else in focus except you, there’s no better way to tell people exactly what to look at.
On most modern smartphones, you’ll find some kind of portrait or selfie mode that artificially blurs the background. The idea here is to replicate the effects of a shallow depth of field created with a real camera.
Although it’s not the exact same effect, the results look pretty darn realistic. Plus, it makes your selfies look as if they were shot on a professional camera!
9. Try Taking A Full Body Selfie
If you’re getting tired of the same old shoulders up type selfie, start experimenting with full-body selfies. When you’re photographing your whole body, it’s way easier to experiment with poses and get creative. Rather than just having your face as the point of interest, you have your whole body!
There are a few different ways to take good full-body selfies that we’ll go over in a later section of this post.
10. Find A New Place To Pose In
One thing that’s guaranteed to get you more likes on your selfie is to explore new places. Whether you’re on holiday, exploring locally, or just at home, find new areas to take your selfies. After all, it’s hard to take good selfies if you’ve taken every shot you can in your bathroom mirror.
By taking selfies in new locations, it’s more interesting and lets you spice it up with poses and outfits. Not to mention it’s a lot more enjoyable!
How To Pose For Selfies – 10 Actionable Tips
Now that you know what goes into taking a good selfie, let’s start talking about how to pose for selfies!
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Smile
I’ve seen way too many people who are afraid to smile in their selfies. As insecure you might feel about this one, smiling is always flattering. Don’t be afraid to smile in selfies you take from here on out.
Whether you prefer toothy smiles or a shy grin, it’s up to you. However, the trouble you might have is feeling that your smile looks “forced”. To help you avoid this, try to do something that will make you smile naturally. By trying to capture these candid moments you’ll be guaranteed to capture an authentic smile.
Over time, your perfect selfie smile will become muscle memory and you’ll be able to pose natural smiles with ease. Until you get to that point though, try making yourself smile naturally with a funny memory or wacky activity.
2. Act Silly With Burst Mode
To avoid your selfies from looking too posed, do something goofy and capture the whole moment. With burst mode on your camera, just hold down the capture button and shoot a series of photos all at once.
You can try anything from dancing around to your favorite song to just making funny faces at the camera. No matter what you end up doing, you’ll be surprised by the great candid photos you’ll capture of yourself. Even if the best photo wasn’t of you trying to do something funny, it could be of your reaction!
3. Choose Creative Angles You Don’t Typically See
You and I have both seen thousands of selfies all taken from the same angles. To make yours stand out, start getting creative with how you take them. Try setting up your camera in unique positions or incorporate other elements in your photos as foreground.
One way to help come up with more creative selfie angles is to learn about the rules of composition in photography. Your other option is to check out other people online to see what creative ideas they’ve come up with. There’s nothing wrong with emulating someone else’s selfie!
4. Photograph Yourself Doing Something You Love
If you want the most authentic version of you, capture yourself in the act of doing something you love. Whether that’s cooking, cycling, swimming, or hanging out with your kids, get your camera out and start selfie-ing!
Especially if you can capture a candid moment of yourself, you’re guaranteed to take a good selfie. In this case, try not to think about your pose and just do things normally as you would be.
5. Try A Feet Selfie
It’s totally possible to get tired of the same old “here’s my face” type selfie. To change things up, try your hand at the feet selfie. These kinds of shots usually show people’s feet in front of a nice view but could also be used to show off your new kicks.
This cool point of view style selfie is perfect to show off something exactly as you saw it. Well, at least how your feet saw it.
6. Take A Selfie With Two Hands
If you’re still stuck for pose ideas, try taking a selfie with two hands. The reason this helps for posing is that it frames your face and keeps your hands occupied.
The first advantage is another part of photo composition. Your arms extending in front of you create a natural line for your viewers to follow back to you. Additionally, if you’re shooting from a higher angle, your arms frame your face and hide any distractions in the background.
The second advantage helps anyone who suffers from awkward hand syndrome. When you don’t know what to do or think too hard about your hand placements, you can get some weird results. By giving your limbs a task to do (holding your phone) it’s easier to avoid this problem.
7. Include Your Pets In Your Selfies
It’s safe to say that pets are the best thing you can include in your selfies. They’re adorable, fun, and an easy way to add something extra to your selfies.
Go up to your pet and try to capture their authentic reactions in your selfies. Sometimes the hilarious “why are you doing this to me” face is the perfect addition you’ve been looking for. Better yet, they’ll pose for the camera with you!
8. Angle Your Body
Going back to taking selfies from a side angle, try angling your body in poses. By angling your body slightly (around 45 degrees), your selfies will look more dynamic and have more depth. Best of all, it helps to prevent you from looking like a box, which often happens when shooting straight on.
Whether you’re taking an up-close selfie or a full-body one, this is an easy posing technique that makes a big difference!
9. Pose Your Eyes For More Interesting Selfies
When most people think about the perfect pose for a selfie, they aren’t thinking about their eyes. In reality, your eyes are often the first thing people notice about you. So why wouldn’t you want to make them look as interesting as possible?
Rather than looking straight into the camera for every selfie, start getting creative. Experiment with your eyes in different positions and play around with your eyebrow positions. You can even give yourself an emotion to portray in your eyes to really spice things up.
10. Shoot Into A Mirror
Lastly, trying shooting into a mirror to change things up with your selfie poses. It can get boring to shoot a regular selfie, but a mirror makes things more fun.
Since you’re more familiar with the perspective a mirror offers, you’ll find it easier to find the perfect poses. To start off, a smaller mirror will be easier since it won’t show as much of you. That way you don’t need to think about posing your whole body, but rather, just a portion of you.
As you feel more confident, work your way to a full-body mirror and see what you can capture!
How To Find The Best Lighting For Selfies
Once you have the perfect pose down, it’s all about lighting. Even with the perfect poses and selfie angles, the wrong lighting can totally ruin your selfies. To make sure you have the best lighting, try using the tips below!
– Use Window Light
One of the best and most readily available light sources comes from your window. By taking selfies near a window, it’s easy to get soft and flattering light in every photo.
Since sunlight is rarely shining straight into your window, the light coming through is often filtered. Rather than coming straight from the sun, the soft reflected light is all that’s usually visible. This light creates softer shadows on your face that are more flattering for selfies.
Besides the quality of light, windows are pretty darn big. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a light source any bigger than that! With so much available light, it’s easy to light up your whole face from one window. Even in a dark room, one window is more than enough light for a selfie. Just make sure you’re standing near it.
– Stay Out Of Harsh Sunlight And Opt For Shade
Since soft lighting is the name of the game when it comes to taking a good selfie, try to stay out of direct sunlight. Here you’ll find yourself dealing with really harsh shadows that can be unappealing. Worse yet, you can even suffer from the dreaded “raccoon eyes”. This happens when shadows form around your eyes from the sun being directly above you.
When you can, try to find a shady place to take pictures. Even if it’s on a sunny day, the shade will help to bring down the intensity of straight sunlight. The shade has a soft light that won’t cast unflattering shadows across your body. Best of all, this softer light will help to prevent your skin from looking oily which can happen in the mid-day sun.
– Try Moody Lighting From A Single Light Source
If you’re all about getting creative with your selfies, try using a single light source for lighting. Something like a lamp, streetlight, fire, or LED panel will do just the trick. By experimenting with a single light source, you can get creative with lighting effects.
For example, you could try lighting up half your face while the others in shadow. You could have one eye lit up while the other is dark. These little changes in lighting will totally transform your selfie and are a ton of fun to play with!
How To Hold Your Phone To Take A Selfie
Although there isn’t one perfect way to hold your phone for a selfie, there are a few things you can try. Since we all have different sizes of hands, some positions may be easier for you than others.
Whether you’re holding your phone with your right or left, make sure you have a secure hold on the outsides of your phone. That way you can’t drop it while trying to press the capture button. For most people, the thumb is the easiest finger to use to press capture. Since it will be in the most natural position to take a photo, it’s the obvious choice.
If you have tiny hands or are afraid of dropping your phone, try to use the volume button instead to take a photo. On most modern smartphones, the volume buttons double as a capture button. Rather than having to awkwardly tap on your screen, you might find these buttons easier to access.
Once you feel comfortable holding your phone, stretch out your arm, and face towards your camera. Strike a pose and start snapping away!
Should You Look At The Camera When Taking A Selfie?
It’s totally up to you whether you want to look at the camera. It mostly depends on the feel you’re going for in your selfie. Most selfies where you look directly into the camera feel more posed while looking away feels more third person. If you want the photo to feel like it was taken by someone else, try looking away from the camera.
At the end of the day, there isn’t one best place to look for selfies. It depends on the type of photo you’re going for and your creative intent. Try doing a series of looks and see which one you like best. There’s no harm in having multiple options!
How To Take Full Body Selfies
Full body selfies look great and are fun to capture, but how are you supposed to do it? Here are a few easy ways you can try.
– Use A Tripod And Timer
The best way to take full body selfies is with a tripod and delayed shutter. That means that you can leave your camera set up while giving yourself 10 seconds to get into position.
If you don’t have a tripod, you can just prop up your phone against a wall or whatever else is around. There are a ton of workarounds but having a small mobile tripod (click to find on Amazon) is the easiest option.
Once everything is set up, give yourself an activity to do in the photo. Whether it’s walking, dancing, or your signature pose, pick something and put it to use. The beauty of a full-body selfie is that you can capture a third-person perspective. You can capture a selfie closer to how others see you. This is a unique advantage that you can use to get better quality selfies.
– Use A Full Body Mirror
If you have one already, a full-body mirror is likely the easiest way to take a full-body selfie. Instead of dealing with any setup or camera settings, just take a picture as normal and you’re good to go.
In the mirror, you can try to strike the same fun and wild poses you might do with a tripod and timer. The only difference is that you’re restricted to where you can go by the size of your mirror.
– Screenshot A Video
Your final option to take a full-body selfie is by taking a screenshot of a video. Set up your camera against something while recording a video. Make your way out into frame and start striking whatever poses feel right. Since it’s a video, you can go for a few minutes just vibing to whatever comes naturally.
Once you’re finished, go through the video and pause at any good moments. After you find the perfect frame, screenshot the video to save the frame as a still image. Now you can start sharing the screenshot just as you would a regular photo!
On most phones, you can screenshot by pressing the power and home button at the same time. On newer iPhones, just press the volume and power buttons together to screenshot. If neither of these options work, simply look up how to screenshot on your particular phone.
Best Mobile Apps For Editing Selfies
With the perfect selfie captured, it’s time to add a little extra flair to it. By editing your selfies, you can adjust the colors to perfectly fit your aesthetic. There are a lot of mobile editing apps out there making it hard to navigate which ones are best. To help get you started, here are a few top photo editors for selfies.
Airbrush is a simple app that’s easy to use even if you’ve never edited a photo in your life. With AI-technology it can automatically make adjustments to your selfies. Since it does all the heavy lifting for you, all you need to do is tell the app where to make changes. By swiping your finger or pinching the screen, you can remove blemishes, alter facial features, whiten your teeth and so much more!
Even if you aren’t into the heavily edited look, Airbrush lets you make subtle and realistic adjustments as well. Best of all, this app will save all your edits directly to the camera roll making them easy to find when you’re done. You can find this app on both Android and Apple devices.
As one of the most popular selfie editing apps, Facetune has an updated version called Facetune 2. This app automatically recognizes certain facial features and makes editing them easier than ever. With skin smoothing, blemish removal, and more, you can totally transform your selfies in less time. One of the cool additions to this app is that you can play around with artificial lighting effects that will take your selfies to the next level.
The downside to this app is that it charges an in-app subscription to unlock the majority of the adjustment tools. However, if you’re constantly posting selfies and know you’ll make good use of the app, this is a small price to pay. There’s a good reason why it’s so popular!
Unlike the other options on this list so far VSCO is less about physical alterations and more about visual aesthetic. VSCO lets you quickly change highlights, shadows, colors, and aspect ratios with just a few sliders. After you create your free account, you can start uploading and editing right away.
The beauty of VSCO is that you can stylize your photos with their easy to use presets. These act as a template to base your settings on to give your pictures a certain look. Even if you’re new to photo editing, these presets ensure you get amazing results. Once you find or create a look you really love, VSCO lets you save presets to use later. That way you can apply the same style to all your photos and get the perfect Instagram grid!
Last but not least, Snapseed is another versatile and fantastic photo editor that’s perfect for selfies. Although it doesn’t have the same face retouching abilities as other apps, it makes up for it with more exposure and color adjustment options.
What’s great about this app is that it has a similar look and feel to professional photo editing programs on desktop. If you’re already experienced with photo editing, the Snapseed layout will feel very intuitive. Once you’re done editing an image, you can export it straight to your camera roll for easy access.
There’s a lot that goes into taking a good selfie. From how you hold the camera, to how you position your body, the little nuances can make all the difference. By implementing the tips outlined here, you’re guaranteed to start taking better selfies in no time. With more time and practice, you’ll have the perfect selfie down to a science!
– Brendan 🙂