How To Take A Good Selfie
Selfie Poses: Use A Professional Photographer Approach
That is over now, because today I want to help you to become a real Selfie-Professional and inspire the community! Get on the phone, it’s selfie-time!
How To Take A Good Selfie If I Am Not Photogenic, What Can I Do?
The Selfie is probably the most popular photo on the net. Many aspire to the perfect Selfie. No matter if you are a star or a normal consumer: Everyone loves self-portraits and is busy taking pictures. Social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have become unimaginable without Selfies. The celebrities mostly look perfect and they get millions of Likes on the Internet for it. But what is the secret of the stars and how do I get the perfect Selfie? To make a good self-portrait, you only have to follow a few simple basic rules.
There is one thing that we have to clarify from the very beginning.
If a person is photogenic, it does not necessarily mean that he is beautiful. And the other way round. Turning out great in the pictures is, in fact, a skill. And you can totally learn how to look good in pictures if you are ready to spend a little of your time.
How do you take a good selfie if you are not photogenic?
In our era of social media, even the shiest tend to get their smartphone out to attempt to take a selfie from time to time. Some end up uploading the picture and others regret wasting the precious time of their lives, as none of the dozens and dozens of images turn out to be good enough.
In the end, you start assuming that you are simply not photogenic and that you will never be able to take that perfect selfie.
The great news is that there are plenty of tricks that you can use in order to look amazing in photos in general, not only in selfies. But when it comes to snapping a shot of yourself, the rules are even simpler. You need to find your best side; the angle of the phone camera has to be right; the light has to be gentle, but there should also be enough of it.
But first things first.
Why do you turn out bad in photos? This question might be bothering you, especially if you have had a look in the mirror a couple of minutes ago. And you thought that you looked stunning. But the hundreds of selfies have an opinion of their own. Let’s delve into this question a little more.
Why Do I Look Bad in Selfies? It Is The Camera, Not You
The ugly truth is that the phone camera…distorts your face!
In fact, when you see yourself in a selfie that is not what you look like in real life. Firstly, the parts of your face that are closer to the camera will appear much bigger in the photo than they really are (a lot of people get frustrated about their nose, for example). You see, if you had extremely long arms (around 1.5 meters), your facial features would have turned out on the photo somewhat right. But because of the fact that we have to place the phone camera close to our face, we get distorted features.
Secondly, we are not used to what we see in the selfies. We are much more used to checking ourselves in an ordinary mirror, right? And when we feel like we look good in that mirror, we want to take a selfie. But what we see is totally different from our reflection.No wonder.
This is because in the mirror we see ourselves in reverse and when you’re taking a picture your left and right sides do not switch.
As our faces are not symmetrical, we can distinctively see the difference between the way we look in the mirror and what we get in the picture. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have turned out bad on the photo. You are simply not used to seeing yourself this way round.
How to deal with the things mentioned above?
Well, the best advice would be – take a lot of selfies, not for the sake of uploading them, but to simply study how your face looks and what your best angles are. Taking great selfies is certainly a skill and you can totally master it with the help of practice and a few pieces of advice that we are going to share right now.
1. Shoot From The Right Angle
We all have a particular side or angle that we feel looks much better in selfies and is a lot more ‘photogenic’. If you haven’t yet found yours, try moving the phone around your face and snapping “hundreds of shots”. Then pick the ones that you like the most and remember the way you placed the phone and the way you turned your face. This might be your ‘good side’.
2. Illumination And Light Settings
Generally, in photography, light is everything. It can make your face look amazing or totally destroy every single proportion. They say that taking selfies using natural light is great. But the truth is that sometimes the rays can be too harsh on the face, so avoid snapping a shot during midday.
However, you can always find a light source inside. Make sure that it’s not located behind you. Whether you choose to look directly at the source or sit to the side of a lamp – it’s totally up to you.
Remember about the shadows. Especially, if you decide to place the light on one of your sides. Make sure that there is no shadow on your face that makes all the features look worse than they really are. And pay extra attention to whether or not the light/shadows accentuate the bags under your eyes.
Related: Low Light Tips: How To Get Good Lighting For Indoor Photos
3. Place the Camera Slightly Higher or to the Side
This trick will make your face and body look slimmer and your eyes bigger.
Keep the camera up (the lower part of the phone has to be on the same level with your eyes or forehead); put your chin down a little; make sure to keep your eyes widely open and slightly lift up your eyebrows.
Taking a side selfie can also be beneficial for your facial features. If the angle is right, you might end up with a beautiful jawline. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to be looking straight into the camera. Usually, you will manage to get the most flattering pictures, if you look to the side (not too much though).
4. Push Your Face Forward to Get a Longer-Looking Neck
A double chin is never pretty. But you can easily end up with one, whenever you are trying to capture a 3D world in a 2D format. You see, you might not have a double chin problem in real life, but in the picture when your neck can literally become one body part with your chin…the results won’t be flattering.
So, try to push your face forward. Yes, the posture might seem weird in real life, but your neck is going to look amazing in pictures.
5. Attempt a Genuine Smile
The chances are high that you would want to appear friendly and happy in your selfie. Instead of trying to fake a smile or saying «cheese», think about something that really does make you smile. Pull out a wonderful memory out of your treasure chest, relive it and we promise that you’re going to have a beautiful facial expression in your selfie.
6. Slightly Open Your Mouth and Exhale
Your mouth and lips should not be stiff – it’s generally considered to be unattractive. But attempting a model face with an open mouth can also seem weird. So, simply slightly open your mouth as if you’re exhaling through it.
7. Master Photo Editing, but Don’t Overdo It!
It is incredibly difficult to get an amazing ‘raw’ photo on your phone camera. 99% of the beautiful faces that you see online go through at least half a dozen of different editing programs.
Of course, changing your entire face in one of the apps is a bit too much. Just like applying too many filters. However, one or two pretty effects and some slight manipulations with exposure can do wonders.
Related: Outsourcing Photo Editing Services For Photographers Debunked
8. Think About the Background
In case you want to take a selfie in front of an attraction, for example, you can’t really pick the background. But if you want to solemnly show your face, then look for a light background that will make your face brighter.
Related: Better Pictures With Blurred Background Photography
9. Find Your Signature Face
We want every photo to be unique and to evoke new emotions in the viewer. But that’s not quite what selfies are for. So, don’t be afraid to always have one single facial expression in the photos. After all, if you have found the exact thing that works for you and you look stunning in the photos, why not pull out your signature face again and again?
That’s exactly what Kim Kardashian does, by the way.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Flash and to Crop
There are times when you simply can’t take a photo without the help of a flash. For example, in a club. Such a selfie may turn out looking extremely cool if you’ve got your angle and side right. Your face will be lit up and the background will stay dark. Of course, the photo will not be of the best quality. But that’s not the main thing here, right? Simply make sure to find an app that can deal with the red-eyes effect.
Another thing that you shouldn’t be afraid of is cropping. A square cut, for example, may simply suit your face better. Or in case you want to get rid of an annoying background or the part of your body that you don’t really like in the picture… Just crop it.
How do you take a good selfie if you are not photogenic?
Well, the truth is that you can’t be 100% not photogenic, you simply have to learn how to take selfies the right way. And the tricks mentioned above will certainly help you with that.
Also, check out our article to learn basic tips for taking good photographs.
Step 1 to the perfect Selfie: Filter
Everyone knows it: Sometimes you have rings around your eyes, you look tired and your skin isn’t flawless, but you still want to take a picture and that should be as perfect as possible. No problem: Simply set a filter, for example for Instagram or via another app and the perfect selfie, nothing stands in the way. A black and white or sepia filter conceals and hides dark circles and a soft focus ensures flawless skin. By the way, the most popular Instagram filters are “Rise”, “Valencia” and “Sierra”.
Step 2 to the Perfect Selfie: Facial Expression
A nice smile is usually the best variation for a selfie. Find your nice side and get in the limelight. With the right make-up and contouring, you can emphasize your benefits even more.
Step 3 to the perfect selfie: light
On the way to the perfect selfie, the right light also plays an important role. One also speaks of the perfect Selfie light. Natural daylight is best. So move into the right light and you are already one step further to the perfect Selfie.
Step 4 to the Perfect Selfie: Perspective
The right angle is another important factor to make a good selfie. Some perspectives just make you look very unfavorable. Pictures taken from below can give you a nasty double chin, for example. So always stay in the right angle! Selfies, which were easily absorbed from above, have a more pleasant effect.
Step 5 to the perfect selfie: post-processing
Once the selfie is done, you still have the possibility to edit the picture and spice it up a bit. With the help of popular image editing apps like “Facetune” or “Instagram” you can pimp up your selfie. Well, the technique makes it possible and let’s be honest: Almost everyone edits his pictures a little bit. Why else is there an extra hashtag #nofilterneeded, which emphasizes when an image has not been edited?
But beware: The post-processing should only be the final polish. So don’t overdo it with filters, smootheners and softeners for flawless skin, because it’s unnatural. We all cheat a bit, but most of the time less is more and that also applies to the perfect snapshots.
If you find your selfie too boring, you can use the “Snapchat” app, for example, to make it more colorful with a wide variety of effects.
Step 6 to the perfect Selfie: Background
You’re not the only ones who should look good in this photo. The background also plays a role in a perfect Selfie. Think about what you want to say with your picture and then choose a suitable scenery.
Step 7 to the perfect Selfie: Selfie-Stick
At the sight of a Selfie-Stick the opinions diverge. Many like it, others find it embarrassing and stupid. Fact is: A Selfie-Stick makes the way to the perfect Selfie much easier. Especially for Selfies with larger groups it is an indispensable tool. With the artificial arm extension even the last of your friends fits on the picture! But it can also be worthwhile to use the Selfie-Stick on your own. It creates distance to one’s own face and thus prevents unpleasant details such as pores or spots from being all too clearly visible in the photo.
Et voilà, the perfect Selfie is ready. So let’s go do selfies! From now on you can easily get a great picture thanks to our tips.
Selfies with cult status
There are some Selfies that are still being talked about and will be talked about for a long time. These pictures have reached cult status. One of the most famous Selfies is probably that of comedy star Ellen DeGeneres from the Oscar night 2019. No picture on Twitter was retweeted as often as this legendary Selfie. For many it may be the perfect selfie, as the entertainer managed to get some of the biggest Hollywood stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum or Brad Pitt together on one photo during the award ceremony. For the perfect Selfies you always need the perfect moment! Ellen DeGeneres has held hers forever.
Then there are the scandalous selffies, which sometimes trigger a wave of events that nobody would have expected. The best example of this is the famous New Year’s Eve self-drive by Sylvie Meis, Rafael van der Vaart and Sabia Boulahrouz. The stars often surprise us with their Selfie partners. After a long dispute between Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose, the ex-girlfriend of husband Kanye West, the Selfie Queen recently shared a joint photo on Instagram with the former enemy. Well – sometimes a picture says more than a thousand words.
Success through the perfect Selfie
A good selfie can not only be uploaded to social networks, it can also be used as a source of income. The perfect Selfie can even help you to a successful career start. Selfie queen Kim Kardashian has published an entire book with her self-portraits and Justin Bieber helped two girls, whose perfect Selfies he discovered and then shared on his Instagram account, to a modeling career. Numerous fashion bloggers also rely on daily selfies to present their “Outfit of the Day”. With a perfect selfie you can be sure of success and a good career boost.
Step 1: General location tips
In a selfie, the location and the background, are also protagonists of the self portrait. I will show you now how to integrate them inside the selfie.
Whether you want to make the perfect selfie on holiday, in the gym or at home is up to you. However, there are some things you should consider. Keep the background as steady as possible so that you are the center of attention. You photograph in public places? Then no strangers should be seen, so that they do not get into the social media without being asked.
Perhaps you would like to be inspired by current trends: the most popular locations are fitness studios, Selfies in elevators or the photo in the car. The mobile phone, however, prefers to remain in the pocket at no go locations, such as memorials.
Even small aids are allowed: the Selfiestick has always split the community – for some a smiled at gadget, for others a must-have. Group photos are definitely best displayed with this tool (if you like taking group photos, whether for a birthday or a wedding, for example, then read my article with great tips and tricks on “the perfect group photo”. Because hand on heart: group photos don’t have to be stiff and uncreative. I’ll show you how to do it).
Step 2 for the perfect selfie: The light
Selfies succeed best with natural daylight. A light source from the front prevents unattractive shadows and additionally conjures up great reflections in the eyes. Particularly atmospheric: photography against the light.
The latest gadget in Selfies are Selfie Cases, mobile phone cases with integrated light – perfect for the delicately illuminated self-portrait! However, the flash function should remain switched off in any case (see my guide on how to take really good photos with your smartphone to find out why you should avoid the flash).
Small DIY tip for home: as the face is often too dark, you can brighten it up for the photo by placing a white sheet of paper or a mirror next to the camera, as the light is reflected and falls on your face.
Step 3 for the perfect selfieThe
Now for perfect positioning! Of course you can bring the Duckface, but you will catch only a few Like. The magic word is: naturalness! Be authentic and smile into the camera. Selfies for Snapchat are allowed to be funny, Instagramfotos are more stylish and staged – so pay attention to the message your picture should convey.
In general, you should hold your smartphone at a 45° angle above your head, because from there your eyes look bigger. To avoid distortion, keep the phone as far away from your face as possible (how about the Selfiestick?). Of course the full frontale works, but you can also take a picture of your chocolate side. Just try various head postures.
What do you especially like about yourself? Is it your eyes? Or the lips? Emphasize only one feature, in addition you can take an aesthetic hand pose as an aid. But also other tricks are allowed to give your Selfie additional dynamics: photograph yourself with other people (the so-called #ussie) or, especially heartwarming, with an animal.
Discover more: Strike a pose! You can find even more examples of posing for natural shots in the guide “Posing for a photo – 4 tips for a beautiful portrait”.
Step 4 for the perfect SelfieNew
trends to pick up
A normal Selfie is too boring for you? Then try out detail shots. Whether the feet in the white beach sand or the follow me to pose – such recordings spice up your instagra profile and are real like guarantors!
You are now ready for the perfect selfie – another tip for triggering the front camera: you can trigger the camera more easily using the volume button on your mobile phone or the voice control and save yourself wild contortions with your free hand.
Step 5 for the perfect Selfie machining
Hardly any photo nowadays gets into the social media without a filter. In the post-processing you can still get some out of your picture.
Instagram offers numerous filters that give your shot the typical Selfie look. Make sure your photos always have similar colors and brightness so your profile looks structured. Cooler tones and low-contrast, brightly lit photos work particularly well.
Snapchat has a variety of changing masks that you can use perfectly for your production. Your humor is in demand here. Attraction guaranteed!
But there are also various selfie apps, all of which promise the perfect portrait! In the self-test, however, I had to learn that these are not very convincing… a pity! Instead, I can recommend the VSCO filters.
Which photo tools I can recommend to you, so that you can prepare your perfect Selfie a little bit, you can find in my TOP list about the “5 best photo apps”.
Et voila! You got your perfect selfie on the smartphone, and now? The community needs to see your photo! Share your Selfie on all social networks, for example Instagram and Snapchat. Known hashtags help you to be found as often as possible. I’ve listed the most common hashtags for you once:
#nofilter #nofilterneeded #nomakeup #handface #followmeto #selfies #instadaily #selfiesunday #instaselfie
Soft Focus Effect: Getting in the Right Light
The right lighting puts your advantages in the right light. Warm light sources make your contours softer and leave your face, silhouette and skin looking even. Natural light, especially at dawn or dusk, also flatters your trains.
As you position yourself, watch the sun fall into the room and turn around on its own axis to make it fit. There are two ways in which you can best put yourself in the limelight.
If you want to cheat away a few years or kilos optically, it’s best to position yourself in such a way that the light shines in your back. However, those who want to emphasize their face prefer to position themselves frontally to a light source or directly in front of it.
Tip: Avoid too bright (artificial) light (e.g. in the lift or office). This makes the skin look pale and you look older. You should also use the flash function sparingly in your mobile phone. The bad consequences are red rabbit eyes or shine à la bacon rind in the face.
Change of perspective: How to put yourself in the limelight in a Selfie-compatible way
Better from below, above or frontally? You’d better refrain from the former. Because Selfies, where you photograph yourself from bottom to top, rarely look good. If you prefer to do without a double chin, it’s best to try for yourself which angle is the most advantageous for you.
However, the celebrities have already got the hang of it – and show how it works: The perfect angle is created from the optimal interplay of the right camera position and head posture.
Tip: It is best to turn the left side of the face slightly upwards to the right (according to studies, the left half of the face is often the chocolate side) and push the chin slightly upwards. Now just lift the camera a little above your head and “Cheeeese”.
The Perfect Selfie: Avoid Background Breakdowns
With the perfect Selfie it is not only important how they present themselves, but also what can be seen in the background. If you pile up piles of laundry behind you or the background is much too dark, even the most beautiful face won’t do you much good. After all, everyone will only pay attention to the unsightly surroundings or perhaps even interpret something wrong into them.
Tip: If you don’t like the background, but still want to do a selfie, then opt for a close-up. This means that you bend your arms and come closer with the camera. This automatically reduces the image area and the focus is on your face.
If you prefer to do a full-body self-drive, it would be better to shoot it in a neutral place or in front of a great scenery, for example on a beach holiday.
Natural beauty instead of Duckface
Even if selfie queens like Kim Kardashian like to show it off: Avoid unnatural facial expressions like the infamous Duckface.
Even if it makes your face look slimmer when you shape a pointy mouth, it doesn’t mean it automatically gets more Likes on Facebook. After all, your friends will notice that you’re not that real.
Tip: Stay authentic! If you like being cheerful, laugh into the camera. Depending on your mood, this can range from a sweet smile to a honey cake horse grin. Be yourself – this is how you like yourself and your friends the best.
Filters for the selfie
VSCO Cam, Instagram Filter or Photoshop: Many Instagramer know exactly how to set the scene on Selfies with the right image editing programs. But even beginners can use the Instagram app to refine images of themselves. Simply press the various tool buttons and adjust sharpness, contrast, saturation etc. as desired.
Tip: Use filter. Not only a good incidence of light, but also the right filter ensure the perfect selfie all around. Studies have shown that filters such as Valencia, Rise or yeast are among the favorites of many instagrams. These immerse the picture in a warm, orange-tipped light and conceal contours and irregularities.
The Right Image Resolution: Essential for the Perfect Selfie
In order to achieve the perfect selfie, you should also use the right camera. The iPhone SE from Apple, for example, is suitable for this (without contract: 459 euros). After all, according to the manufacturer it should have one of the best camera resolutions.
The smartphone also has an exposure control, a self-timer and automatic face recognition. This makes the right alignment for the perfect selfie easier. IPhone SE also tags photos you have taken and shows you immediately where you took which photo.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (279 euros) also has a camera with an image resolution of 13 megapixels – bringing the perfect selfie within reach. You can take whole series of pictures – the Galaxy A5 also has a panorama function and a night mode. So red eyes are a thing of the past.
The new Huawei P8 lite did not appear until 2017, but it also comes with a 12-megapixel camera. According to the manufacturer, the smartphone has extra large pixels and a 5-piece lens that lets you take extra high-resolution pictures of yourself.
It should also have an integrated beauty mode and thus present you from your most beautiful side. After all, you not only make Selfies beautiful – you also make them happy.
Selfies make you happy – even later on
According to research from the University of Texas, people remember your trip 40 percent better if they took photos and selfies during your trip. Who then also places his Selfie in a social network also contributes to a positive emotional memory.
1. Perfect Selfies need the right Selfie light
The right light source is often crucial to make a perfect selfie. Basically, natural daylight is always the best choice, but there are some things to consider here as well: If you look directly into the sun, your eyes appear pinched and small. If you have the sun directly in your back, you will often not be able to see your face because of overexposure. That’s why:
The most beautiful selfie results are achieved with the sunlight in the morning shortly after sunrise and in the evening shortly before sunset. In photography, this time when the light is warm and rather reddish is called the Golden Hour. Optimal for a perfect selfie.
Even a slightly cloudy sky creates the perfect conditions for successful Selfies, as the soft incidence of light ensures lower contrasts. Everyone should test for themselves at which angle the Selfie light works best on their own facial features. A 45° angle to the light source is often recommended to create the best combination of contrast and even facial features.
Important prerequisite for a perfect selfie: Make sure that the lighting conditions are good when taking pictures. Although subsequent corrections are possible, they quickly look artificial with too many changes.
Tip: The smartphone can support you in the dark. In front camera mode, the brief brightening of the screen acts like a flash so that the face does not disappear in the dark. This function is available in the Selfie cameras of the current Xperia smartphones from Sony, for example.
2. Naturalness is the trump card: the right facial expression for beautiful Selfies
Duckface was yesterday. Naturalness is again very popular and is becoming more and more popular in Selfies as well. A discreet smile, a sceptical look or a broad grin – the choice of facial expression is decisive for the effect of the digital self-portrait. With small changes of the facial expression it can change within seconds. So you should always choose a facial expression that matches your personality and mood to create a perfect selfie with an extra portion of naturalness.
3. Tip for the perfect selfie: Put the chocolate side in the limelight
If you’re honest, almost everyone has a side of the face that you like a little better. Exactly this chocolate side should be set on the Selfies in scene. Also to emphasize especially individual characteristics, can cause true miracles when doing Selfies.
However, the choice of the perfect angle is really decisive for the perfect selfie. If you look around the social networks, you usually see Selfies at a 45° angle. Logical, because from this angle, just above the eyes, they appear more open and somewhat larger.
Selfies from below, on the other hand, should rather be avoided, as photos taken from this angle easily create the unpopular double chin. Just like with the light source, you should try out which perspective flatters you the most. Because the angle for a perfect selfie can be very different from person to person.
Tip: If you have not only one but several chocolate pages, you can also immortalize yourself in an extraordinary 3D-Selfie. How this works best is explained in the article about Sony’s 3D Creator.
4. The right equipment: Thanks to Selfie-Stick to the perfect Selfie
Despite the long gone whirl around the so-called Selfie-Stick, this is still an absolute must in some situations. A Selfie-Stick is a telescopic rod to which a smartphone can be clamped in order to pick up perfect Selfies from a variety of angles. A Selfie-Stick is especially advantageous for group Selfies or if you want to see as much of the background as possible on the photo. This is made possible by the extendable rod of the Selfie-Stick, which functions like an extended arm. Practical
5. Choosing the Perfect Selfie Background
Not only the facial expression in a Selfie can reveal a lot about the person photographed, but also the choice of the Selfie background. In the social networks, holiday selffies with beautiful landscapes or sights in the background are particularly popular. A varied selfie background, for example, suggests an adventurous and travel-friendly person.
If you want to make a perfect selfie in your own four walls, you should make sure that the background is neat. Granted: To tidy up the house or apartment for a selfie sounds a bit exaggerated. Nevertheless, you should take this selfie tip to heart and create some order in the background or at least position yourself a little more cleverly. After all, your own face and not chaos should become an eye-catcher!
Tip: If you want to ignore the background or consciously play with another representation, Selfies with Bokeh effect are a good way to let off steam creatively.
6. The right camera for perfect Selfies
If you now want to take pictures of Selfies, all you have to do is choose a suitable smartphone camera. Sony’s Xperia smartphones, with their high-resolution front and rear cameras, are the perfect way to immortalise yourself in beautiful Selfies.