Learning how to pose for a selfie will make a much bigger difference in how you look in the photo than any camera app will. A search for #selfie on Instagram yields over 122 million photos. However, sometimes it can be difficult to take a flattering photo of yourself while also holding the camera. Here are some “selfie” posing tips, along with suggestions for how to hold your camera or phone.
Pose #1: Ditch the Face, and Let the Feet Do the Talking
When I think of a selfie, what immediately comes to mind is a photo of a person’s face. But the truth is, a selfie is any picture of you, taken by you. Why not take a photo of your feet—especially if you want to draw attention to your new pair of shoes? Or shoot a photo of the new bracelet or Fitbit on your wrist or your newly-polished fingernails. In your next selfie, challenge yourself to creatively capture you by striking a flattering pose and experimenting with different ways to hold your camera. Then, just snap away!
Pose #2: Crop In Tight
One difficulty with selfies is that the background is usually busy and distracting. Also, you can often tell that the person in the photo is reaching out to hold the phone. You can solve both of these problems by cropping in tight on your face in the shot.
One advanced tip is that if you hold your phone closer to yourself, it will accentuate features on your face that are closer to the lens and minimize those that are further away. So that means your nose will look longer and your eyes will looks smaller. Not what you’re looking for? I didn’t think so. An easy way to fix this is to zoom in on your phone just slightly (zooming in too much will reduce detail in the shot) and hold the camera far away from your face. Now your features look proportionate and you decluttered the background!
Pose #3: The “Rule of Thirds” Selfie
Photographers know all about the rule of thirds, but seem to forget it quickly as soon as it comes time for a selfie. Selfies don’t exempt you from properly composing your shot!
The photo on the right is a perfect example of how placing your face in the top-right or top-left corner of the frame can be far more compelling than if you placed your face right in the center.
Generally, you want your eye line to be one-third down from the top of the frame, and off to one side of the frame a little bit. Just don’t put yourself in the very middle of the frame or it’ll look like a DMV driver’s license photo.
Pose #4: Show Yourself in Water
Float on your back in a pool and shoot down at your face. Or prepare a bubble bath, lie down in the water, and take a shot of your face framed by bubbles. Be careful, though, not to drop your phone!
Showing yourself in water can be really fun, and it also makes the photo more unique than the typical point-the-camera-at-me-while-eating-a-cheeseburger selfie.
Pose #5: The Two-Handed Selfie
When taking a selfie, you generally have two options: Hold the camera with one hand or two hands. While using two hands is easier because you can hold the camera with one hand and push the shutter release button with the other, you have to be more careful not to cover up the lens.
If you use both hands and pull the camera away from your body, your arms can act as a frame.
One really fun idea that I haven’t seen very often is to have someone take a picture of you taking a selfie. It’s a really flattering look and is really interesting.
If you’re buying a selfie stick, I happen to really like this selfie stick from Improve Photography because it’s well built, fits any iPhone or Android phone, doesn’t require any wires plugged into the phone, and is only $9.99 But maybe I’m biased.
10 Quick Selfie Tips
Tip #1: Experiment with Angles
Tilt your head to the left and then the right as you view yourself on your phone’s screen. For most of us, one side is more attractive than the other. Also, showing off your “best side” is generally more interesting than a straight-on shot, too.
Tip #2: Adjust Your Shoulder Placement
If your shoulders are parallel to the camera, turn them slightly to the left and then slightly to the right, and see what looks best.
Tip #3: Stand in the Light
Pose in an area with beautiful lighting –either inside near a window or outside. Gorgeous lighting = a more flattering selfie. How will you know if the lighting looks good on your face? Hold the phone in front of your face and turn the camera, so you can see yourself. Look at the lighting at that moment. Now, turn 90 degrees. Make note of the lighting. Glance at the background. Turn 90 degrees again. Note the lighting and background. Keep turning until you’re back where you started. Chances are, you will have found a spot with excellent lighting and a decent background. If not, either move to another space or try again at a different time of day. What’s the best time of day to shoot? Ideally, during the magic hour! (The magic hour is actually two hours—one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset).
Tip #4: Pose with Something New
Perhaps, you just got a new pair of glasses. Frame the photo to accentuate your new spectacles. If you recently had your hair cut and colored, show it off in your selfie. Or if you just brought home an adorable puppy, pose with your new furry friend.
Tip #5: Do Something Interesting
Take a picture of you engaging in a fun activity—snorkeling in the ocean, sitting on a jet ski, or hiking in Machu Picchu.
Tip #6: Accessorize
Throw on a hat, don a wig, or wear sunglasses.
Tip #7: Express Yourself
Smile! Frown. Pout. Or make a silly face (But no, not the duck face!)
Tip #8: Take a Full-Body Shot
A full-length mirror works well for this type of selfie shot. Again, angle your body to the left or right, which is generally more flattering than shooting straight on.
Tip #9: Release Your Camera’s Shutter the Easy Way
Holding your camera with one hand is more common, but a little trickier to keep it steady and take a photo. With the iPhone, you can quickly and easily take a picture by hitting either the shutter release button or one of the volume buttons.
Tip #10: Extend your Neck Forward
To completely remove any double chin in your photo, and to accentuate your jaw line, extend your neck forward. This may feel funny, but it will dramatically improve how you look in the photo. Also, shoot from above. Raise the camera slightly above you and then look up to even further accentuate the jaw.
Tip #11: Use a QUALITY Selfie Stick!!!!!!
One way to really make your selfies stick out is to get rid of the cheesy ‘extended arm in the photo” look. I know it seems weird to use a selfie stick at first, but there’s a reason you see them all over the place–they make the photos look really good!
There are two basic types of selfie sticks–wired and Bluetooth. I much prefer the Bluetooth variety. It’s really simple to connect and then you don’t have to constantly stick the cord in and out of the phone every time you want to take a picture. Bluetooth is much faster.
If you want to get an actually GOOD selfie stick, the good news is that the price has come way down. You can get this one from Improve Photography on Amazon for just $9.99.
For more selfie ideas, logon to Instagram, click “Explore” and then search #selfie or #stopdropandselfie.