Are you ready to learn how to take a selfie like an influencer?
With the invention of photography in the late 1800s, what historically was the providence of the rich has become accessible to all. We’re talking about self-portraits, or what we now call “the selfie.”
Whether you’re on social media or reject its usage entirely, the selfie has become so ubiquitous it’s inescapable. Hated by some, loved by many, the selfie is the easiest way to show off your new hairstyle or the fact that your skincare has been working magic. It’s definitely here to stay.
Whether you’re in group shots or sending a quick pic of your face on Snapchat, taking a good selfie is a skill some find challenging. If you’ve ever asked yourself how to take good selfies, we have a comprehensive list of tips to make your lackluster selfies totally drool-worthy.
Tip #1: Try natural light
Lighting is key to taking a great selfie. If your location is too dark, the camera quality decreases, rendering your selfie unusable for Instagram.
In other words, if you’ve wondered how to take good selfies for Instagram, the first thing to do is consider your lighting. The best light for taking photos is natural light, especially if the sky is slightly overcast. This creates even lighting so you don’t have to worry about casting shadows. If you’re indoors, all you need to do is stand by a window!
Tip #2: Get a selfie light
What if you want to take a selfie at night? Sad to say, but the hottest clubs and best restaurants usually have atrocious lighting for taking photos.
So If your lighting conditions are sub-optimal, don’t worry, the ring light is here to save the day. Ring lights became popular because they create the kind of even lighting that you can’t achieve relying on your surroundings alone.
Most ring lights are quite tall with adjustable stands, so many people prefer a selfie ring light for their phones. If you’re looking for a ring light that’s easy to take with you to parties, go with the Almost Famous Spotlight Selfie Light. This is a selfie ring light that clips directly to your phone with three different light settings, so you can color correct the lighting based on your environment. It’s unobtrusive and made specifically for taking the perfect selfie.
Tip #3: Camera angles
Your camera angle will determine if you look bad, good, or absolutely incredible in your photo.
If you hold the camera too low, your chin will look large and disproportionate to the rest of your head. It can create the illusion of a double chin even if you don’t have one. But, if the camera is too high… Well, the early 2000s are calling and they’re telling you it’s time to find a new angle.
The best camera angle for selfies is at eye level, with the camera facing you straight on. You can move from side to side to play with those angles, but the camera itself should stay directly in front of you.
Tip #4: Take full-body selfies with an extender or tripod
If you want to figure out how to take full-body selfies, you will likely need a selfie-extender (aka, a selfie stick) or a phone tripod. It’s not possible to take a selfie that shows your body from a straight angle, otherwise. On the other hand, a picture taken from above will distort your body shape.
With an extender, you can achieve the perfect angle without having to get a friend to hold the phone! Choosing a tripod will give you an endless amount of freedom with posing (and will guarantee that your picture doesn’t look like an obvious selfie).
Tip #5: Know where to look
If you’re wondering where to look when taking a selfie, the answer is simple: You should almost always look at the camera. Make sure you know where the camera is on your phone so you don’t end up looking at the wrong corner.
The main exception is if you have great eye makeup you want to show off. In that case, look slightly down at the bottom right or left corner of your phone.
Tip #6: Try taking a selfie lying down
Looking for new selfie ideas? Standing up, your options are limited, so play with your selfie poses by lying down!
Consider lying down and playing with the angles from your stomach or your back. If you’re on your stomach, stuff a pillow under your hips to create a sexy back arch. If your feet are visible, cross your ankles and point your toes. Try lying on your side to make your hips look extra curvy. If you’re lying down on your back, press your spine flat into the bed and elevate your knees for a sexy boudoir vibe that looks effortless.
Tip #7: Have a seat, instead
Another intersting way to change up your selfie poses is by sitting. Grab a cute kitchen chair and drape your elbow over the back with your hand relaxed. Swing the chair around and lean slightly forward onto the back.
Practice makes perfect! There’s nothing wrong with practicing your selfie poses so you know exactly what to do when the time comes.
Tip #8: Mirror Selfies
You’ll need to stretch a few different muscles when figuring uot how to take a selfie in the mirror since it’s slightly different from taking a regular selfie.
First, make sure your phone isn’t blocking the part of your body or outfit you’re trying to take a photo of. Make sure you angle the camera correctly - look at your phone, not the mirror, to ensure you like the pose and camera angle.
The rules for where to look when taking a selfie differ here. Take a few pictures - some with you looking at yourself in the mirror, some with you looking at the camera in the mirror.
If you’re taking a full body mirror selfie, make sure to put your weight on one hip and work on dynamic angles instead of being square to the mirror.
Tip #9: Taking great group selfies
For group selfies, make sure you’re standing close enough to touch each other. Wrap an arm around your friend's waist, or drape it over their shoulders. Instead of looking at the camera, you can also look at your friends if you want.
Don’t stand square to the camera. Instead, angle yourself at 45 degrees for a more dynamic pose. If you have one friend that’s way taller than the rest of you, have them sit in a chair while you stand or lean beside them.
Tip #10: Makeup for selfies
When taking a photo, you’re taking a 3-dimensional object (your face), and flattening it into two dimensions. This is why our face often seems to look so different in pictures.
Some people choose to lightly contour their cheekbones and jawline, to ensure the planes of their face feel accurate to what they look like in reality. You can focus on carving out the hollows of your face with contour, or also add highlight to bring forward certain features. When choosing contour and highlighter, going shimmer-free will give a more natural look.
Tip #11: Backgrounds for selfies
For best results, organize the cutest area of your living space, so it can be your go-to selfie spot. Keep it tidy, and add a tasteful amount of decorations that won’t overwhelm your photo.
That said, there are also small changes you can make if you’re taking a casual selfie. Shut the toilet seat if you’re in the bathroom. Get the laundry off your bed, and make sure it’s not visible on your floor. Removing distracting messes from the background keeps the focus on you, which is the whole point of taking a selfie.
While some people see selfies as a sign of our generation’s collective narcissism and moral decay, the reality is that they’ve been around since before we had cameras.
In a time where we are inundated with messages about how we are not enough, taking a selfie can be a radical act of self-love. The phrase “take a photo, it’ll last longer” can be positive, because when you feel good, taking a photo can help you remember that feeling in the future. When you’re old, you’ll love looking back at yourself!
Use these tips to take great selfies that reflect not just how good you look, but how good you feel, too.