How to Take a Good Selfie
One of the biggest advantages of technology is how it makes us self-reliant. This is why the concept of a selfie – a self-taken photograph — is such a massive milestone in this regard. Sure, even in the past you could have set up a timer to take a photo of yourself but with a selfie:
- No setup is required
- A display is showing you what the result will look like
Still, no matter how impressive the technical achievement this is, modern selfies are more of a sociological phenomenon. They’re used as proof of attendance, an informal greeting form, and even have a crucial role in the modern seduction game.
Naturally, seeing as how a single selfie can mean a lot of different things, you want to learn how to take the best selfie possible. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s the best way to take a selfie, alongside a couple of tricks to enhance the overall process.
Table of Contents
Pick the Right Angle
The first and the most obvious trick you have to master is finding the best possible angle. Most people (even some who are considered very conventionally attractive) have asymmetrical facial features. This means that everyone has a “good” (or at least favorite) side of their face. In this scenario, choosing an angle makes a massive difference in the outcome (at least in your own eyes).
Then again, if it’s a full-body selfie that we’re talking about, finding the right angle can help you hide some imperfections or stress out parts of your body that you’re especially proud of. Regardless if you’re trying to hide a double chin or ensure that your six-pack is in the picture, the angle makes all the difference.
There are also a lot of obscure selfie tips that can help you out. For instance, selfies from above can make you appear slimmer, while selfies from below make you look taller. In other words, the right angle depends both on your body type and your objectives for this session.
The Use of Natural Lighting
Regardless if you have a flash on your front camera, you should always use natural light, when available. This is also why you need to consider the time of the day when taking a selfie. A selfie taken during midday can have a completely different mood than one taken in the evening hours.
It’s also completely free and effortless to move a couple of steps closer to a window. This way, you’ll get this external shine to enhance the photo better than any filter. If you’re outdoors, one of the best selfie tips is to have the light coming from the front. So, just rotate a bit until you get it right. Naturally, the same doesn’t apply if you’re aiming for a silhouette-style selfie.
Before you proceed, it might also be a good idea to learn a thing or two about flat lighting. The simplest explanation is that this is the type of photo that hardly has any shadows. This, however, might not be what you’re looking for, seeing as how it makes the photo look less three-dimensional. In other words, flat light is great for portraits but not the best when you aim to capture the landscape behind you, as well.
Buy a Selfie Stick
The simplest explanation for the concept of a selfie stick is that it’s an extension of your phone, allowing you to position it further away. This way, you can extend the reach of a phone beyond the normal range of the arm, which is handy when taking a photo of a larger group or a broader landscape.
Other than this, as we’ve already mentioned, a photo from above makes you look slimmer, well, this takes you further up. Also, the grip on a selfie stick is more natural and easier to control. This is why it’s preferred by people engaging in extreme sports like paragliding or parkour.
Now, choosing a selfie stick is harder than you think but it doesn’t have much to do with the model of the phone. Sure, older models used to connect to a phone via cable but, for a while now, they are connected via Bluetooth. When looking at how to take a selfie on iPhone, you’re not necessarily looking for iPhone-exclusive selfie sticks. It is, however, a lot safer to buy a selfie stick in person, so that you can check the width of your smartphone and compare it to the size supported by the stand.
Don’t Overstage It
There’s nothing wrong with taking an extra step or two to ensure that a photo comes out nice but the truth is that you don’t want to overstage. A natural smile is the best thing that your selfie can have. Just think about it, we live in an era where people are trying too hard to make their life seem perfect on social media.
Well, people can tell if you’re having fun or not. They can also tell if the photo is spontaneous or staged. The trick that they’re usually using to determine this is checking out to see if you’re trying too much. Sure, figuring out how to take a good selfie is not that difficult but not a lot of people can make a seemingly spontaneous masterpiece. In other words, 9 out of 10 times, people will know if you’re trying too hard.
As we’ve already said, there’s nothing wrong with looking up how to take a good selfie and sticking to a couple of these principles. However, a selfie is supposed to be less formal than an official photo shoot, and trying to stage everything perfectly will automatically defeat the purpose of the selfie – its spontaneity.
Adjust Camera Settings
One of the most important things that you’re not tampering with is the settings of your camera. Sure, you can just take the phone out and snap a photo. This is how selfies are supposed to work, right? Well, not good (or perfect) ones.
You see, there are so many amazing options in camera settings that you can use. One of the most painfully obvious examples is the portrait mode on iPhone. This is where you push that one extra button, the focus on your face is sharpened and the background gets a bit blurrier. Yes, it only takes a single touch or a slight scroll for your portrait selfie to turn out vastly superior.
To make the long story short, you need to get familiar with your device and the camera app that you’re using (regardless if it’s a default one). To learn how to take a selfie on iPhone, you need to learn how to set up your iPhone for a perfect selfie. It’s that simple.
Other than just dealing with the camera, you can switch to the manual mode (or professional mode) and choose the white balance, the shutter speed, the file format, etc. The format is especially important if you also download a smartphone editing app that you’ll use for your photos, as well.
Do Your Research
This doesn’t imply that you should do active research but only be on the lookout for some brilliant selfie ideas. Just think about it, every individual and celebrity that you follow is posting selfies regularly. What’s wrong with saving an idea or two for a rainy day? You see, an idea for a selfie isn’t trademarked, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to recreate it on your own.
Backgrounds make all the difference in the world and when it comes to background ideas, you can just look them up on platforms like Pinterest. Keep in mind that just because a selfie is supposed to be a quick and spontaneous photo opportunity, this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, this is not the best way to take a selfie and you should go with something that’s a bit more staged.
Lastly, you can use your social media research to find landscapes with great potential. You don’t even have to see it in that context. Just pay attention to the structures and foliage in the background and try to figure out what they would look like in a selfie. Another thing you can do is find a location, and select the tag on your social media platform of choice. Chances are that there are so many selfies taken there that you can check out.
At the end of the day, taking a good selfie is an art form and the best way to master it is to read a couple of tips and start making some selfies. They say that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to master it. So, learning how to take a good selfie may be a question of time/experience, as much as it is a matter of knowledge.
Selfies are free and take only a couple of seconds of your time. Moreover, they require a device that you already own and probably currently have within arm’s reach. Once you’re done, you can delete all those that you don’t need and start making a new batch. In other words, there’s not a single thing stopping you from applying some of the selfie tips from this list in the next several minutes.