There is more to taking better selfies than aiming a phone in your direction. If you are like many, not all of them turn out how you would like. Here are five tips for better selfies.

Find good lighting

Lighting is crucial in all photography. Try to find natural light, or use a ring light or a softbox if you’re inside. Avoid taking photos in harsh and direct sunlight, as it can create unflattering shadows. Move away from overhead artificial light, if possible, or hold your flat hand above your face out of camera range to block the shadow.

Use the right angle

It’s essential to find the right angle that flatters your face. Experiment with angles and find the one that works best for you. Try holding the camera above your head or at a slight angle to get a better shot.

If a full body shot is in the making, women should stand at a 45-degree angle with the weight on their back leg. This slenderizes the body. Place one hand gently on your hip, or hold both hands gently in front just below your belly button. If you want to lose a pound or two immediately, tip ever-so-slightly forward from the waist. Objects closest to the camera appear bigger than those farther away, which minimizes hips and thighs.

Men’s poses are the opposite of women’s. Guys should stand solidly on the ground facing the camera to give a strong appearance. One hand placed in a pocket or belt loop gives even more breadth to the form or, if seated, take up space with arms and body.

Consider the background

The background is more important than you think—Scout out a spot or two that is clean and simple and won’t distract from your face. Avoid cluttered or messy areas. Using the portrait lens on your camera blurs the background slightly, moving the attention to that beautiful face even more.

Smile naturally

Flashing a genuine smile can make a huge difference in your selfie. Smile naturally or try to capture a candid moment. Don’t force a smile, as it can look fake and awkward. Practicing a smile in the mirror can get you ready for when the next selfie comes along. Remember to smile with your eyes. Think about someone or someplace that makes you happy to “eye smile.” You’ll see the difference in the result.

Limit your edits

Editing can enhance your selfie, but using it with care is essential. Avoid over-editing your selfie, which can make it look fake and unrealistic. You want people to recognize you when they see the photo or you in person. Stick to basic edits like adjusting brightness and contrast.


Focus the group

Ensure everyone’s face or body is on the same plane. Like above, objects closer to the camera are bigger; you want all the heads to be close together and no one too far back or forward unless that is the concept you are going for. This will position everyone’s head to be naturally sized and in focus.

By following these tips, you can take better selfies that you’ll be proud to share with your friends and family. Remember, you are special and uniquely you, so have fun and experiment with different poses and angles to find what works best for you. Above all, relax and have a good time. The great thing about digital photos is that they can be taken over and over at no extra cost.