How to take a selfie: 15 tips that make a difference

16 Aug 2021

To many of us, taking a selfie is as natural as breathing. We do it every day and almost unconsciously. But, amidst all the voguing and snapping, how many of those shots are actually Insta-worthy? Truth is, snapping the perfect selfie isn’t easy. No need for you to worry though because we’re sharing 15 foolproof tips to help you capture show-stopping selfies with every single snap!

1. Natural Light is Key 

woman with sunglasses taking a selfie

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: when it comes to photography, it’s all about the light! Natural light, that is! Wherever you are, whatever situation you find yourself in, the first step in taking the perfect selfie is ensuring you have good natural light. So find it. And once you do, turn your face toward it. And allow it to do its magic.

2. Know Your Angles 

smiling woman in purple sweater takes a photo

This rule of thumb is so imperative to the perfect selfie that even our smartphones prompt you to tilt your phone upward when you’re photographing yourself. Because it’s not just about knowing your “good side”, it’s knowing how to position the camera to capture that good side at just the right angle to make you look #flawless.

3. Do the Most with Your Background

man takes photo in front an ocean view

In many instances, a selfie is only as good as its background. Your beat may be on fleek, your outfit may be lit, but if your background is working against you, your selfie may be an epic failure. While spontaneity is celebrated, quality should not be compromised. To that end, develop a habit of inspecting your background through your phone screen before finalizing your shots so you’re certain.

4. Make the Space Work for You

woman takes selfie on top of LOVE balloons

OK, we know what you told you in point #4, however, sometimes you don’t have a choice. In those instances where you have to work with what you’ve got, you need to make what you’ve got work for you. Get creative with simple props to transform an otherwise drab backdrop into something that pops. And, if that doesn’t work, our Background tool allows you to choose a suitable alternative. 

5. Think Outside the Box

funky shoes in front of a colorful background

By definition, a selfie is a photo that you’ve taken of yourself. Since the concept emerged, the automatic expectation is that selfies must feature your face, however, some of the most captivating selfies are indeed creative self-portraits that allow you to tell your story in unique ways. Avoid the clichéd poses and experiment with concepts that showcase other parts of your body other than your face.

6. Share it with Others

three friends take a selfie

Selfies are even better when they’re shared with friends! At your next group hang, freeze your memories with some of your faves into an epic group shot everyone will love being tagged in!

7. Play with Shadows

man takes a selfie in the shadows

Not every selfie requires you to step out of the shadows and into the light. In fact, sometimes the most impactful selfies are taken in the shadows, while creatively making use of limited light. Have fun playing around with shadow and light and see what dramatic images you can create.

8. Use Flash (when necessary) 

two friends pose for a selfie

Truth be told, we’re almost always Team Natural Light, but some scenarios call for the flash ban to be lifted. When your makeup is demanding attention but it’s nighttime or you’re indoors, for instance. That being said, feel free to tap into the powers of your front-facing flash to ensure you’re well lit.

9. Seek Inspiration

woman takes a photo in front of a pink background

A little research can go a long way in taking your selfie game to the next level. Take note of selfies that grab your attention and determine exactly what about them worked. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely replicate your inspiration selfies, but use them to create poses, moods, and looks that align with your personality and personal story.  

10. Relax…

woman takes a photo while lying down

In the 21st century, the concept of holding a camera up to your face comes as second nature to many people. However, there are others that still struggle with the concept of being photographed, or photographing themselves. The key to a good selfie is to relax (or at least appear to be relaxed). One way to achieve this look is to exhale just before snapping the photo for slightly parted lips and a relaxed facial expression. 

11. Give Yourself Options 

In the world of selfies, the more options you have to choose from, the merrier you’ll be! So snap away. Develop a practice of taking multiple shots from multiple angles and even with different backgrounds. Have fun with facial expressions and even make adjustments to your hair and outfit if you like. In the end, your goal is to always have as many options as possible because variety will always be the spice of life!

12. Get Goofy with It

woman in yellow top takes a selfie

If there’s one instance when you don’t have to take yourself seriously, it’s when you’re taking a selfie. Not every shot has to be #flawless #fierce #glam. In many instances, the best selfies are those that capture you in your silliest moments, just embracing who you are. 

13. Portrait Mode is Your Friend

woman with colorful braids in her hair

The evolution of the smartphone camera has made them so selfie-friendly they end up doing all the heavy lifting. And no feature is better suited to a selfie than your camera’s portrait mode. Use portrait mode to create a bokeh effect that keeps your pretty face in focus while artfully blurring the background.

14. Invest in the right tools

photo of two people riding a motorcycle

Your arms have been your trusted companions for many years, but there’s a limit to what they can do. And, to be honest, they need a break. Selfie sticks have taken the game to a whole new level, allowing you to capture wider frames from various angles all by yourself. Lightweight and inexpensive, they’re a must-have tool for any serious selfie-taker.

15. Remember, AirBrush is Your BFF

woman seated at a desk takes a photo

Speaking of the right tools…we saved the best for last. Even after following our pro tips, it’s likely that you will still need to edit some of your selfies to attain the most polished and professional finish. In those instances, you need not look any further than AirBrush, the easy photo editor to refine your photos using our Filters and other useful tools to enhance your photos.

Consider yourself schooled in the art of the selfie. Now it’s your turn to go out there and make some magic! Practice makes perfect, so take as many selfies as possible and use AirBrush to edit them then share your photos using #AirBrushApp. If you want to get more tips and tricks on how to take your photography skills to the next level, follow us on Instagram @AirBrushOfficial.