Finding ways to take a great selfie is a serious business if you want your social media presence to be glam and not gawky. Everyone’s at it, from Barack Obama and David Cameron (that was slightly cringeworthy and inappropriate) to Miley Cyrus (usually inappropriate). The word selfie is even in the dictionary now, which stands as a testimony to its apparent importance. Whether you are on a night out or sending something special to a significant other, finding ways to take a great selfie can make or break your photo. Here are a few tips for getting it right.
1. Avoid Overhead Lighting
Very few people can look fantastic when overhead lighting is glaring down on them. Rather than standing directly beneath the nearest bulb, try directing lighting at your best features. Clearly most of us don’t have photography studio grade facilities, so we need to improvise. Cue lamps. Try situating lamps closest to your best features. Alternatively, one of the easiest ways to take a great selfie is to use natural lighting only.
2. Try Not to Shoot up Your Nose
Bless the pope. Literally, bless him. His selfie was cute because (as far as I’m aware) he’s the first pope to engage in this modern ritual. However, not all of us are going to be received as cute if we take selfies up our noses. Try to avoid behaving like the woman from the Blair Witch Project and aim for ANY other angle.
3. Ditch the Duckface
Duckfaces never look cute. Ever. I don’t care if you are Kim Kardashian, just ditch the duckface. Selfies always look much cuter when you act natural. Achieving a natural look can take a couple of attempts, but it is worth it if you want to use your selfie for a social media profile.
4. Shoot from an Angle
Very few people can pull off taking a photo of their face head on and look good. A simple head tilt is a great way to make the most of your features. Again, this is something that takes practice. This usually means spending a while standing at ridiculous angles, but once you know what works for you, you can emulate it in future. A great way to achieve the right angle is to stand in front of a mirror while taking your selfie.
5. Choose a Great Background
I think the bathroom selfie has had its day. I come across so many good pics of my friends that have underwear or toilets in the background, and it makes me want to scream. Nothing kills the vibe more than a bad background. Similarly, if you are taking a ‘sexy’ selfie, make sure there are no kids around. Ultimately you will have a super interesting backdrop—like the Pyramids of Giza—but almost anything beyond a bathroom, kids, or mess will do.
6. Avoid Outstretched Arms
Outstretched arms are also vibe killers, especially when it comes to kissing selfies. Unless your name is Cara Delevingne, your arms WILL look huge. It’s sort of freaky how this happens, it’s almost as though you morph into a large armed alien thing. If you need a little distance between yourself and your camera, set a timer and rest it against something. This avoids large arm drama, and helps you take an amazing selfie.
7. Try It in Black and White
Almost anything can look artistic when it is in black and white. This is also a great way to make sure sexy selfies don’t look trashy. Black and white is also extremely flattering, which is a great confidence booster. If black and white doesn’t appeal to you, try sepia. In general, playing around with photo editing software is a great way to get more out of your snaps.
Very few people pull of taking a great selfie right away. This means you need to get used to practising yours before they are perfect. To get a great snap, take a few before you start looking at yours and deleting. Deleting as you go often makes you feel too hypercritical to find one that is great. If you have any selfie taking tips, please share them here!