The Art of Taking Selfies

Modern Marketing
Social Media Marketing
User Generated Content (UGC)


We live in a visual world that relies heavily on communicating with each other through online sharing, liking and commenting. We’re constantly striving to capture the perfect image when we’re traveling, exploring or hanging out with friends and family.

The selfie has quickly become a symbol of self-expression around the world. Our phones aid us in capturing the ultimate selfie and social media platforms allow us to instantly share them with our peers. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that understanding how to take a good selfie is considered a professional skill these days. If they’re used effectively, brands can even incorporate selfies as part of an influencer marketing or UGC marketing campaign. See the art of taking selfies so you can deliver flawless results each and every time.


If your goal is to capture a headshot, then consider flipping your phone around and taking the picture with the back of your camera. The image will be much better quality than if you use the front of your camera, which will make it look grainy. One trick to ensure perfection, is to place a mirror in front of you so you can still see yourself as you’re snapping the photo.

Selfies are usually taken with a digital camera or smart phone held at arm’s length, however, now they make selfie sticks that’ll help you create greater distance between your face and the camera. Smart phones make it very accessible and, therefore, tempting to want to take selfies everywhere we go. Phones have a convenient and easy to use flip button that allows you to see exactly what you’re going to look like in a self-portrait.


Lighting is one of the most important elements of a good selfie. Decent lighting is key to producing a clear and defined picture. Without a doubt, natural lighting is the ideal type of illumination for a selfie. Many people take selfies while in the car because of they offer an abundance of natural light and accessibility to mirrors.

If you’re inside and need more light, grab a lamp and place it right by your face to brighten the photo. Lamps with blue/white light bulbs will provide the best lighting for your face. Using lamps with yellow light bulbs will wash you out.


Actually snapping the picture is the moment you’ve been waiting for, so don’t mess it up! Now that you’re actually ready to snap your selfie, it’s time to discuss how to create the perfect angel. Determine your good side and know your bad angles. Since you’re the one in control, set yourself up for success by accentuating the features you love about yourself and downplaying the ones that are less flattering.

Shoot your selfie from slightly above your head with your torso in the frame, turning one shoulder to face the camera. Lastly, as Tyra Banks always says, elongate your neck like a giraffe so you’re not a “no-neck monster.”


Filters can be your best friend or your worst enemy. There’s a fine line between enhancing a photo and sharing one that looks fake. Select filters that make your complexion look smooth and your wrinkles disappear, and stay away from ones that make you look like a ghost.

Be careful not to overly brighten your selfie, because you’ll look like a floating head without a nose. On the other hand, don’t use too much saturation or you’ll look like an orange pumpkin. The point is to pick your filter wisely. When in doubt, always go for a natural look.

What You Should Do

Nobody wants to see your dirty dishes, messy house or inappropriate personal items. There’s nothing wrong with staging a selfie. Not every location is a good one for a selfie, and it’s your job to recognize that and move locations or rearrange your belongings. Your selfie should be taken with the background in mind, including stimulating locations, colors and scenes.

Do something interesting besides just standing there staring at the camera. Rack your brain of all the selfies you’ve seen and then try not to replicate any of them. Be your own person and capture your unique personality and activities. Get your selfie to stand out from the crowd, even if that means holding that goofy pose for longer than necessary.

What You Should Not Do

If there’s one thing you should never do in a selfie, it’s take yourself too seriously. A selfie is supposed to be a fun and playful image with a one-of-a-kind message. Your selfie should never make it look like you’re trying too hard. The picture should appear casual and impromptu in order for it to be awesome.

Be mindful of how many selfies you’re taking and sharing and don’t overdo it. Selfies have the potential to annoy others and turn people off. According to Digital Photo Secrets, “A 2013 study by the University of Birmingham discovered that posting too many selfies on Facebook was strongly correlated with lower levels of social support and intimacy.”


You should now be fully equipped to capture the perfect selfie when you’re on the go. It may seem like a stress-free task, but as you see outlined above, there’s actually a lot to it. Just remember to pay attention to the camera, lights, angles and filters, but not so much that you take the fun out of the selfie game.

Written By

Katie Carlson, Contributing Author with Experticity.