Selfie Guide and Tips – How to take the Perfect Selfie?

January 31, 2016

Beautiful woman taking selfie photo

Almost everybody nowadays have a smartphone with a digital camera in his pocket. We All enjoy taking photos of things we love to watching, including taking photos of ourselves, aka a selfie picture. I’ve seen countless of selfie photos on the web, some of them are really unique and inspiring, others are quite boring – so how can you make your selfie photo look best?

Here are a few tips that can help you make your selfies look really unique and more interesting.

Pay attention to your surroundings

When you take a selfie, always pay attention to the things that surround you. The photo will be more interesting if you also include a beautiful landscape background or other subjects that beautifully compliment the shot.  This can be an animal, a beautiful landscape or sunset for example. This way you draw an atttention not just for yourself, but for things that happen around you. I’ve seen amazing selfies of people taking photos underwater, with cute animals doing weird faces and I remember spending more time watching them and enjoying the photo.

Zebra and a woman taking a selfie in the zoo

By User:Monica Baudier (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 (

Look at the amazing photo above taken by Monica. It looks like the Zebra also smiles to the camera while Monica is taking a selfie in the zoo. It’s really a unique and interesting selfie shot and I really laughed my heart out when I first saw it.

astronaut selfie

By NASA Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s another cool selfie image that only a few people can take, but you can agree with me that it’s in triggering and very interesting to watch.

Don’t forget to Smile!

You don’t have to smile, it really depends on the situations you are in when taking a photo. That being said, I think when there is a person smiling in the photo, in a way you smile back to the photo.  It makes it easier for the viewer to be identified with it.  In the future, when you look back at the photos, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy watching yourself smiling and happy instead of having a flat face.

Girl smiling selfie image

Image credit: Sarina-Rose., Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Although a smile can really add to the photo, I think it’s not less important to look natural. Just put a natural smile to the camera, think about about the fun your are having right now and try to transfer that emotion to the camera.  It’s like being a model, a little actt doesn’t hurt. Try to change the orientation of your body and pose for the camera. You are shooting with your mobile phone, it’s not a film camera, you can always pick up the selfies that you look at your best and the ones that you like most. So just put a smile on your self(ie), it can really make a big difference!

Groufie — Group Selfie

Some of the great selfie that I’ve seen are not just of a single person, but a group of people, aka Groufie. I think that the most memorable ones are the one taken at the Oscars and the one taken with President Obama.  For example, if you travel abroad, you can take a photo with a local or kindly ask you take a selfie with a celebrity. I’m pretty sure that those photos will get much more Facebook Likes than your other photos, just saying.

Bill Nye, Barack Obama and Neil deGrasse Tyson selfie 2014

Hell yeah, the next time you meet Barack Obama, make sure you get a selfie with him (if the secret service let you). I’m sure it will bring you hundreds if not thousands of Likes the same week :). It doesn’t have to be a celebrity of course, you can just invite your friend to a selfie and pose to the camera (the other selfie recommendations still apply).

Choose the Right Lighting

Choosing the right lighting is very important for portrait shots. This is probably one of the most important aspect of every photo. Even if you are not a professional photographer, you can check how you look in different lighting conditions because of the Live View display on your phone’s screen. If you are shooting at home, you can try to open and position lights in different angles. For example, if you put a light and place it on the right or left side facing you, you can create a very dramatic effect, but it would create a deep shadow on the side that isn’t illuminated.

It’s better to use soft light or shoot at hours where the sun doesn’t produce harsh shadows (early in the morning or before sunset, but not at noon).  Keep in mind that even if you shot a selfie not in the ideal conditions, you can always correct it in post production using an image editing app; and don’t forget, practice makes perfect!

I also recommend using the burst option in the camera to take several shots and later choose the one that you look your best.

Apply Filters and Effects to your Selfie

I remember the first time I used Instagram. I felt like an artists in the first touch. Some of your selfies might turned out flat. I highly recommend downloading photo effect apps, which make it easy to edit your photos an apply unique photo effects. The reason I think those apps are really useful for selfies it because the make the photo more interesting, they change the based color palette, high imperfections, make it more colorful and unique.  There are many “Beautifying” apps that help erase or reduce the appearance of imperfections, make you look at your best.

Those apps can also help reduce distortions, remove red-eye, balance the exposure and create a shallow depth of field effects that blurs the background around you, to better separate the subject (you) from distracting background elements. Most of those apps allow you to apply layers of effects one on top of the other, so you can experiment with countless options and see what works best for a particular shot.

Before we end our guide, I highly recommend watching this excellent selfie guide by Michell Phan that put some more light on how to take the perfect selfie.


When taking a selfie, try to make sure that you take all of those tips into account. Try to posse naturally, choose the right angle, look straight to the camera and choose the right place to compliment the shot. Check yourself out and pay attention to details. The great thing about taking a selfie with a mobile phone camera is that you can experiment with it and always delete those who don’t show your best side – Happy shooting!

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