How to Take the Perfect Selfie (14 Ways)
Taking the perfect selfie is much harder than you think. After snapping a picture of yourself, you may expect the resulting image to be a glamorous and sultry portrait worthy of magazine covers when, to your disappointment, your selfie is more Shrek than Princess Diana, 1997.
The perfect selfie takes strategy, practice, and patience. If you want to take your selfie skills to the next level, heed the following tips, from popping a knee for a curvy mirror selfie to using LITTIL Selfie Mini for better illuminated photos.
Use a Selfie Light
When posing in a dimly lit restaurant or on the streets of LA at night, use a portable selfie light, such as LITTIL Selfie Mini, an LED ring light that clips to your smartphone. But LITTIL isn’t only limited for use in dimly lit places. You can use it to highlight your face while recording a live video, a Story for Instagram, or a vlog for your YouTube account.
Use a Good Quality Smartphone
Make sure you use a smartphone that wasn’t created five years ago. An older smartphone comes with an outdated quality camera that won’t effectively capture your beauty. Make sure your smartphone has 4k camera to ensure that the image does your features justice.
Use your hair to hide or highlight your features. If you’re proud of your long neck and high cheekbones, opt for an updo to showcase your favorite parts. If you prefer your left side over your right side, tuck your hair behind your left ear while letting your hair curtain over your right cheek. If you’ve never been a big fan of your ears, let your hair fan over them.
Laugh a Little
To achieve a natural and glowing smile, let out a small breathy laugh. This not only allows your lips to curve and open naturally, but it also allows your smile to reach your eyes. It helps to think of a particular person, thing, or moment that delights you.
Looking up is a neat little trick to make your eyes look bigger. Raise your camera slightly above your head, pull your chin down, and look up. It helps to peer slightly above the camera lens rather than directly at it. If you want to achieve an even bigger effect, slightly raise your eyebrows.
If you want the perfect pouty-lipped selfie, relax your lips, parting them slightly, and exhale. Do this, and you will give Kylie Jenner a run for her money.
Smile, Don’t Bite
Most people don’t like a picture taken while they eat. Snapping a picture while taking a big bite of, say, a burger, can lead to some really awkward selfies. Puffed cheeks, sauce in the corner of your mouth, a toothy grin, doesn’t make for an Instagram-worthy pic. If taking food selfies, don’t take a bite. Rather, hold your food in front of you (without covering your face, of course,) and smile.
Use a Pillow
Taking a just-woke-up-in-bed pic is perhaps one of the hardest selfies to perfect. You’re at risk of exposing too much of your double chin and nostrils, which no one wants to see. For a flattering in-bed look, lay your head against a pillow with your hair splayed over. (You don’t want people to be privy to your technique.) The small elevation will prevent the dreaded double chin and flared nostrils. While you’re down there, try the looking-up technique mentioned earlier.
Wear More Makeup
Phone cameras can never fully capture the beauty of its subject. The images they capture appear a little more washed out than what people see in real life. For this reason, it’s better to wear more makeup than usual for photographs to really bring out your features. Don’t shy away from your highlighter, dabbing a portion down the bridge of your nose, on your upper cheekbones, and above your cupid’s bow for a glowing look.
Edit, but Don’t Overdo It
An otherwise perfect selfie could be ruined by an unexpected zit, an errant shadow, or unwanted eyebags. There’s no shame in editing your selfies to perfection. However, as great as editing apps can be (they work like magic!), don’t be overzealous with the changes you make. A selfie that has been overworked with the Smooth Brush will appear blurry and obvious to followers that you touched up with an editing app. Just because many apps offer resizing tools that allow you to enlarge your eyes doesn’t mean you have to turn them into alien-like saucers. Subtlety is key.
Pop a Knee
What to do with your hands when taking a mirror selfie? What about your feet? Better yet, your whole body? Taking a mirror selfie can be an awkward mess, especially if you don’t know what to do with yourself by the time the camera flashes. A mirror selfie is the best opportunity to showcase your curves, which you can do by popping one knee. You can place your hand on your hip or let them fall casually by your side, not pressed against it—you want people to see your curves, after all.
Choose a Neutral or Cute Background
Although your beautiful face is the star of the show, the canvas on which you place it matters. You may look stunning and flawless in your selfie, but your messy array of clothes in the background can distract the eyes. To ensure people’s attention are trained on you, take a picture before a neutral background, such as a beige wall. If you want to add a but of artistry into your picture, stand in front of a complementary background, such as a mural or a wall of bougainvilleas.
Know Your Angles
Angles are everything, and everyone has a good side and a bad side—know yours. The angle that you take can either enhance your best features or highlight your worst insecurities. If you have high cheekbones and a sharp jaw, opt for a side angle. If you’re particularly proud of your eyes, tilt your head down and peek from underneath your lashes. If you have luscious lips, pout while facing straight at the camera. Never snap a photo from below, unless you like to showcase your double chin, nostrils, and eyebags.
Take Lots of Pictures
The perfect selfie doesn’t come to you after first snap. In fact, it won’t come after the second, third, or fourth time you take the picture. Take multiple selfies until you find the one you like. As you snap pictures of yourself, try different angles, smiles, and poses, so you can have a variety to choose from.
Because camera lenses widen at the edges, taking a selfie with your face inching towards the edge of the screen rather than the center can make your face look wider. (They do say the camera adds ten pounds.) To prevent this from happening, keep your face centered.
Taking the perfect selfie isn’t easy, but with the right tips, you can turn your Instagram Stories from drab to glam.
By Anne Felicitas