15 Poses and Tips for Selfies

In Features by Improve Photography97 Comments

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.

Photo Credit (Left) Kristi Randal. Photo Credit (Right) Jennie Harless

Photo Credit (Left) Kristi Randel. Photo Credit (Right) Jennie Harless

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!

Photo Credit: Jennie Harless

Photo Credit: Jennie Harless

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!

Photo Credit: Kristi Randall

Photo Credit: Kristi Randel

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.


Photo Credit: Ali Edwards

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.

Photo Credit: Jennie Harless

Photo Credit: Jennie Harless

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.

IMG_3316 copySmallPose #6: Selfie of the Selfie

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

All ready for your Pinterest Boards!

All ready for your Pinterest Boards!

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.

Click on the photo to see the Amazon listing for this $10 wireless selfie stick.

Click on the photo to see the Amazon listing for this $10 wireless selfie stick.

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.

About the Author

Improve Photography

This post is a guest post by a reader of Improve Photography.


  1. something to tip #9
    with the iphone you can also use the volume buttons on your headphone to take a photo. so you can place your phone farther away from you.

      1. and you can also click to the volume up button on your iphone if you cannot reach to the button for taking pictures

        1. Also, you can click to the volume up button on your iphone if you cannot reach to the button for taking pictures.

        2. Dirty onion rings and waffle grease. Turtle eggs and boogers! Toe hair, face lifts, oranges, and whedas

        3. Instead of that it’s better to take help of a selfie stick😊😊

    1. This has helped me sooooooooooooo much for my insta thank you sooooo much xoxo

    1. Really that is like so easy and important cause I like this guy you see and he says I need to take better selfies

      1. sorry but if he’s telling you that you need to take better selfies I don’t see why you like him.. he sounds like a bit of a dick.

        1. Also, the guy should be paying more attention to her then her selfies. In my opinion, if he looks more a your selfies than seeing you personally, I wouldn’t know what why I bothered liking him. This is because he would be more interested in a picture of me that can not talk, when he could come see me personally and that way we could get to know each other better. This is just my honest opinion, so I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this.

  2. In my opinion another important tip would be how to retouch a selfie or what types of apps/filters should we use and when.

  3. one of the best solution to make nose smaller without surgery and makeup just try to use nose right tool for 2, 3 week you will get awesome result

  4. Thanks for sharing everybody!
    follow us on Twitter: photoimprover
    Follow me on Instagram: _sabrina.bxtch

  5. tips for i phone users…. tap on a place where it is too dark (when taking a pic) and a square and a little sun will appear. then you can slide the sun up and down to get the perfect lighting in dark places!!!!

  6. Its nice but not too nice 4 me, I always want more, all dis are too common 2 me.

  7. For me, i dnt think for a selfi lover these are great tips but not least one…

    1. Ive got a gf and she is always telling me to instagram but i dont know what to take pics of!!!!!!!! and she says that i am really cute but the problem is that how to take selfies and i kind of a shy boy BTW i am in year 7


  9. Your Comment *really very nice tips….thanks 4 all tips that u given………..byeee…have a nice day….

  10. Yee dis sum good advice fo a real g. Finna take sum selfies n shit Yall ain even kno how a real thug do, finna take a selfie o two. Real thugs need to be mo active online ya feel. Finna take sum selfies n shit. It coo do if I take a shot at taco bell while I’m eatin n shit? Yea das coo my lil neice be doin dat shit. Finna get big on facebook finna take sum selfies n shit – Spanky

  11. Like fa reel do is coo if I be takin shots at taco bell? Finna get sum real thug food n take a selfi. Ma girl be workin at taco bell. I wonder wat she up to rite na.. you know dat bitch owe me like 7 dallas. Is all good do she koo.. Finna ask her to take a selfie of me taking a selfie while I’m consuming Taco Bell.

  12. Thanks for these tips. I’m going to try them out and post my selfies on Selfie Snapp

  13. Instead of holding by hands you can use Selfie stick..
    Timer camera app is available in play store. Download and enjoy..

  14. Thank you so much !
    Very useful tips, I started using them already, But I think I need more ….

  15. With iPhone you don’t need a separate app for the timer. It’s built into the camera. It’s the second to the right icon in the upper right hand corner.

  16. personally I love adding extra text to my phone photos before sharing them) I am preparing myself for essay writing service legal zoom . ahahaah
    Additionally, I like experiment and try every possible angle. The common eye level angle is good for landscape but for a more dramatic photo you will need to get low and high.

  17. These are great tips for selfies of any kind !!😊👍 I would lke to take a body selfie but i don’t know how to take one great 😕 I need a mirror for that ? If you explained more about the body selfie the post would have been perfect! But thanks! 👍😁

  18. Stop hating Patricia, some ppl put effort to make these tips and you just start hating! gtfo moron

  19. If you have ever used nose right from noseright.com . Tell me what you think about. Did it work? Did you get results? Also my nose has a slight bump and has a droop. I want to know if this will help. Thanks 🙂

  20. Lots of great tips! I use the Learn Photo365 app to get ideas for my selfies! I’d recommend it to everyone!


  21. You can also just use the 5 second timer duhh, way easier cause you can just pick your time😑

  22. Hi, Thanx for sharing these selfie tips. May I ask what phones/cameras and modes is used on the sample selfies (specially tip #3)?

    1. its my butt…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  23. Surprised no one has mentioned that u can hit the volume button to take pictures.

    1. ummm………actually someone has!! its the first comment on the top!! it was from 2014!

      FOLLOW @lol_._random ON INSTAGRAM!!!!!!

      1. a total of 3 people have! the 1st comment from 2014 and the 3rd and 4th comments from 2015 and 2016!
        stop trying to act like you know everything!

        FOLLOW @lol_._random ON INSTGRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Thank you! I should take selfies with my kitty. I guess it doesn’t have to be perfect.. I can take the shot from high and make it fun. I also want a selfie stick now!!

  25. Love the suggestion for Pose #3! Most individuals resort to using the Rule of Thirds for shots capturing landscapes or objects but often forget that this can be used to create some unique selfies as well!

  26. Wait! in the #6 option, the picture said the phone wasn’t included, but is the girl!?!?!?!?
    please say yes!!!

    ps: FOLLOW @lol_._random ON INSTAGRAM!!!!

  27. If using a mirror, flash somehow makes people look more interesting.

  28. These are great tips i have problems with taking selfies it’s a little hard but thx now it’s fun and easy 😂👌💁

    1. You can also go for some wonderful selfie apps . Read about them at betapage.co.

  29. Also use snapchat as a camera for selfies ! Takes a better shot and the photo is not reversed like it is when using the camera 🙂

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