10 Tips for Taking the Perfect Selfie

What can we say, sometimes a selfie is kind of necessary! We asked fashion experts, photogs, hairstylists and regular Instagrammers alike to spill their top tips for looking super hot in a selfie. And boy, did we learn some good, good stuff…

models taking a selfie

image: Imaxtree


1. Pump up the volume.

Who knew big hair could be so crucial? “Oftentimes, because images are flat, what works in real life requires a little tweaking for the camera,” explains celebrity hairstylist and Creative Director at Assembly Salon in L.A., Jacqueline Bush. “Your hair needs more volume both up top and around the sides, as photos tend to shrink it.” For blondies, updos work great, highlighting the texture in your mane. Brunettes, on the other hand, should focus on achieving shiny, sleek strands, she advises.

2. Download the Camera+ App

According to Dr. Arleen K. Lamba, Medical Director of Blush Med Institute, the art of snapping an awesome selfie really involves knowing your good side. But in case you’re clueless, one way to capture your best Kodak moment is to first download the Camera+ app. “For only 99 cents, it allows you to brighten and clarify your skin, and make that hot pink pout shine even brighter.” 

3. Use a filter for goodness sake.

If you’re looking like you’re about to keel over and die or haven’t slept in weeks, New York-based PR pro Stephen Wright highly recommends selecting an extreme filter, such as Inkwell or Willow, in Instagram to wash out those lines and dark circles from your complexion. Voila, beautiful!

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4. Take your phone cover off.

Turns out, doing this can have a major impact (in a positive way, of course) on your photo quality. “You’d be surprised at the difference in clarity with and without a cover,” divulges Julia Jacobson, Founder of fashion marketplace NMRKT. “Although there’s a hole in the cover for your camera lens, it catches the camera focus in the periphery, causing the image to be slightly less clear. It’s like night and day when I take my cover off and just shoot with the phone itself,” she says.

5. Do as the models do.

Kojenwa Moitt, CEO at Zebra Public Relations, suggests simply following the lead of models: “Hold your phone high above your head and away from you at a 45 degree angle so that you look slim and trim in your selfie.”

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6. Let there be light.

Want your selfie to seriously shine? Then step outside! “Early morning or late afternoon is the ideal time for lighting,” reveals seasoned Instagrammer and Social Media Account Manager at /excelamktg, Dara Minchew. Also, don’t reverse the camera on your phone so that you can see yourself, she warns. “It lowers the quality of your photo.”

7. Get your angles right.

First things first, experiment in front of the mirror to determine which angles are most pleasing for your face, advises photog to the stars Matthew Rolston. “The majority of people look best when their face is tilted at a slight angle to the camera, as opposed to straight on,” he adds. “If your nose curves to the left, favor the left side of your face, otherwise, the curve of your nose may be greatly exaggerated. If emotional engagement is what you’re seeking, the best eye line is directly to the lens.”

8. Don’t copy a Kardashian face.

Unless you’re actually a Kardashian. “I’ve tried, and I’ve yet to look like them,” proclaims 5W PR girl Elise Levyn. “The gaze and puckered lip thing is really hard to achieve.” But hey, we guess practice makes perfect, right?

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9. Remember: slow and steady captures the selfie.

Style Expert Lindsi Lane urges amateurs to go slow and concentrate on positioning. “Continually pushing the capture button only results in blurry photos and can cause you to accidently autofocus on something else in the shot.” 

10. Have fun.

Let’s be real, you’ll never find another model who will have as much patience with their photographer as you when you snap a self portrait, says author of SnApp Shots Adam Bronkhorst. “So take your time, explore all the possibilities within the photo and be as creative as you can.” After all, selfies are supposed to be fun! 

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