How To Take A Good Selfie: 8 Tips To Help You Look Your Best In Pictures

Photo: Getty
How To Take A Good Selfie: 8 Tips To Help You Look Good In Pictures

When scrolling through social media, you'd be hard-pressed not to spot a selfie or two, including those taken by celebrities who always seem to look glam and flawless, even when taking pictures of themselves.

While we write it off as Instagram magic and an unachievable look for us regular folk, have no fear.

There are plenty of ways for us ordinary people to learn how to take a good selfie.

It's all about mastering the art of picking the right angles, poses and lighting (and a few other tricks) to make you look like the very best version of yourself.

RELATED: Why People Who Post The Most Selfies Are Happier, More Confident And Attractive

Whether it's by finding the perfect highlighter or swallowing your pride and purchasing a selfie stick (perhaps even one with a ring light attached) there's a comfortable, attainable way to capture your best self in pictures.

Here are 8 tips on how to take a good selfie, including the best poses, filters and lighting.

1. Tell a story.


hi’re very pretty

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on May 14, 2019 at 6:22am PDT

Whether you're showing off your wicked winged eyeliner, a spectacular sunset, or your favorite fur buddy, your picture should tell a story or say something about you. Too many times, people take selfies to show off the perfect background, only to end up cutting out the image they're trying to capture or showing off their amazing eye makeup with their eyes open and at unflattering angle that doesn't show off the blending that took twenty minutes to perfect.

When you know exactly what you hope to showcase in your image, you can set the stage to create the desired effect.

Just like professional photographers have a brief in hand of what they're trying to demonstrate in their imagery before shooting, we should have the same mind-set when taking selfies. So become a storyteller and get creative.

2. Know your angles.


A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on May 4, 2020 at 10:27am PDT

While everyone's favorite, most flattering angles are personal to them and can't be dictated by a one-and-done formula, there is a universal approach to posing for selfies that works well for most people.

You may be surprised to read this, but it's the same iconic head tilt that haunted you every year when posing for the camera on school picture day when you were growing up. The 3/4ths head tilt is known to be the essential go-to in selfies and portraits alike because the angle creates the appearance of an elongated jawline and prevents the creation of a double chin.

Play around with your angles. Only you know yourself well enough to map out your face and decide which features you'd like to showcase. Spend a couple minutes in the mirror and slowly start to move your head around, working different angles until you find the one that works best for you.

3. Make sure your makeup is picture perfect.


A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on Nov 11, 2019 at 7:31pm PST

While there are filters that help with mastering the art of the effortless no-makeup makeup look (thanks to apps like virtual makeup app Perfect365), knowing how to do your makeup properly for real can have a huge impact on your ability to take better selfies.

Start with a good primer for your skin.

If you want poreless looking skin, Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer covers even the most frustrating imperfections. As the name implies, it's the best way to look flawless on camera.

Next comes highlighter.

Want to look like the sun is hitting your features just right, giving off a soft glow while adding dimension to the high points of your face? Try using highlighters made to do just that, like Becca's Champagne Pop or Maybelline's Master Chrome.

Finally, find your perfect lipstick.

Whether you're pulling off a nude lip or going bold with red, make your picture stand apart with the perfect pout. Adding a pop of color is an easy way t o draw attention to your lips if you like highlighting then as one of your best features in photos..

Another important tip to remember: licking your lips right before you hit the capture button will make it look like you've just applied the perfect amount of lip gloss. And if you're not smiling for your selfie, part your lips (only slightly) when taking the photo to give your lips a fuller appearance.

4. Find the right lighting.


A post shared by halsey (@iamhalsey) on Apr 23, 2020 at 11:40am PDT

The right lighting is one of the most crucial elements for taking good selfies. Your makeup could be on point as the perfect environment surrounds you, but if you're standing on the side of the room where your face becomes back-lit, well ... no one wants to see that.

The best way to take selfies is in natural light rather than using lamps, flashlights, or your overhead florescent lighting (yes, we've all seen those selfies).

You'll want to make sure that you're looking into the sun (or other source of light), so the light is hitting your face. Not only will this jazz up any highlighter you've applied to your skin, but it also enhances your skin's natural beauty by letting the light subtly fall on the most wonderful features of your face.

One item every selfie lover should consider having is a LuMEE phone case. These phone cases give off perfect, ultra-flattering light even in the darkest places when you're ready to capture your perfect selfie. They also don't compromise in the look or style departments. A favorite of the Kardashians, these cases come in various colors for all phone makes and models.

5. Include a perfect accent piece, accessory or statement tee.


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Dec 22, 2018 at 6:02pm PST

Go on and wear those daring bold earrings or the choker you've had hidden away in your drawer of memorabilia from the 90s (they're back in style now, so it's okay).

By adding accessories into your selfie mix, you give your followers even more insight into your personality — setting yourself apart from all the other selfies hitting their feed.

You can also try wearing a statement tee supporting a cause you care about as a way to make your voice heard on an important topic.

6. Strike a (flattering) pose.


A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on May 6, 2020 at 5:32pm PDT

Just as with angles, everyone's signature pose is personal to themselves (although, please, no duck faces).

While choosing your pose can refer to facial expressions — like the ever-popular kissy face, wide-open smile or the side-eye view — good selfies poses can include other parts of your body as well.

You may notice that models constantly use their hands to add dimension, as well as distraction, In their images. Placing your arm or hand just so can be a great way to hide any insecurities you have while taking pictures.

Have a double chin? Gracefully place your hand underneath your mouth to cover any extra skin you may not be comfortable showing on camera.

Grow a blemish overnight and want to hide it from the lens? Try placing your hand comfortably on your cheek.

The way to capture a great selfie is to do so while feeling comfortable and confident, so use any tool (including your hands or a chair) that help you feel that way.

7. Experiment with filters.


A post shared by Kylie  (@kyliejenner) on Feb 1, 2020 at 3:56pm PST

The day Snapchat filters came into play, the selfie game was changed forever. There's good reason Sephora tends to be flooded with requests for their makeup artists to recreate the looks from customers' favorite filters on Halloween, as they're extremely flattering (RIP golden butterfly halo — I'll always miss your perfect bronzed skin and matched nude lip).

By creating contoured jawlines and baby-doll big glossy eyes, filters can help take the hassle and stress of capturing the perfect look on your own. They're there to help you.

And if all else fails and you're not feeling any of the newer, sillier filters, try going with the blushed face filter. It's always reliable as an automatic way to touch up to any image you want to take.

RELATED: The Best Instagram Filter To Get The Most Likes, Says Study

8. Give a selfie stick a try.

The selfie stick gets a bad rap, but no one will be laughing when you post that glam and gorgeous selfie to your Insta.

When using a selfie stick, make sure to slightly zoom in on your phone in advance. While you want to give yourself more space to create a flattering angle, you also don't want the pole taking up a quarter of your picture.

If you're dead-set against ever using a selfie stick, you can try placing your phone on a timer and setting it someone as far away from you as necessary to capture the image you want. By setting the timer, you won't be as limited in your choice of angles, poses and lighting simply because you're so busy trying to hit the capture button with your thumb.

RELATED: This Super-Addicting App Turns Your Photos Into Insane Works Of Art

Elizabeth Blasi is a New York-based lifestyle and travel writer.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.