I want to share the tips I’ve learned for “selfies” that don’t make me cringe.
Tips for Lifestyle Bliss: learn to take better selfies to share with your friends on social media!
Over the past year, I’ve posted A LOT of photos of myself on my blog and social media. It’s been a learning process, for sure. Frankly, I really can’t stand posing for pictures. Multiply that by 100x to get the level of disdain I have for looking at them. Now imagine having to post them for the world to see!
Why do I do it then?
Great question! The answer is simple, I”m trying to grow a community for my blog and social media channels. Research shows that personal bloggers connect better when they post selfies. Their actual and prospective tribe members (the word “follower” sounds wrong here) engage more and feel a greater bond when they see personal pictures in daily life. Hence, I keep posting them. (And I bet some of you thought I was just super vain!).
You too might be trying to build an online community. Awesome for US !! Yet even if you’re not, sharing what you’re doing on social media helps you connect with your friends and family and even build new relationships. THIS is the important part! Deepening connections, even if it’s through social media, builds JOY.
Another good reason for photos is for posterity. Think of a graduation party or a big birthday celebration, maybe a 40th or 50th. When all the people who love and support you share a photo wall of memories, what happens? JOY! There’s typically lots of laughter, shared memories, and reconnections taking place because of the photos of YOU and the people in your life. So I beg of you … let there be selfies, group shots, and planned photo events with your friends and family. It will serve as a tribute to all of the relationships throughout your life!
I’m jumping off my soapbox now!
While I still don’t ENJOY the whole process, I have done lots of research and learned on the job 25 tips that make selfies less awful. I hope this helps you as well!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
tip 1: accept your unique quirks
Here’s a reality check, I know this is a shocking revelation … I’m not a supermodel. My guess is that you’re not either. That means when you look at selfies or any other photos of yourself and don’t see a woman straight out of Vogue, don’t be surprised or critical.
We all have imperfections, some of which keep us from being a runway model. haha. However, even the beauties of celebrity stardom have quirks. The actress, Jayne Seymour, once shared in a TV interview that she has lots of facial “flaws”. I tried to find the interview so I can share a few but was unable to unearth it. Not really relevant, however, because it’s what she said about her flaws that’s important. Her flaws are what make her face interesting!
Look at yourself that way and you’re through the gate!
tip 2: wear clothing that fits
This is obvious but it isn’t. I know I’m guilty. I’ve gained about 15-ish pounds in the last 3 years for a variety of age and medical reasons. While I’m slowly building up a wardrobe that fits my new shape, it’s not instantaneous. Thus, you’ll still find me in clothing that doesn’t fit great. It not only shows in photos, but there’s also a weird multiplier effect and it’s not to our advantage!
Here’s a rule of thumb, if you have rolls popping out then the clothing doesn’t fit! Pretty basic, right! That may sound harsh but this is true regardless of age. This isn’t fat-shaming, btw. I have rolls. The point is NOT to try to push your body into clothing that doesn’t fit and then expect it to look awesome in a picture. It won’t!
Also note that some clothing is better than others depending on your figure.
- Cropped pants look great on really slender people yet if you have any fullness to your figure, they aren’t great for pictures.
- Heels are great yet straps going around your ankle tend to make your legs look shorter.
- A slit is good as long as your leg is showing through naturally.
- If your legs are fuller, try to stay away from skinny jeans.
- Balance your outfit. Loose top, fitted bottom. Fitted top, full bottom.
tip 3: have “day old” hair
Yup, freshly washed hair looks dryer and more frizzy (or blow away) than hair that was washed a day or two prior. Day-old hair has more luster and shine. It also styles better.
tip 4: have the right lighting
Bright sunshine is brutal for selfies. The best time of the day is mid-morning or late afternoon. Have the camera between you and the light.
If you don’t have enough lighting, get a ring light or a diffused light for your camera or iPhone.
tip 5: use the camera on the back of your phone
The photos that are taken in reverse mode tend to be a bit more grainy than those taken from the back of our phone (the default position). It doesn’t matter so much online but does for printing.
tip 6: technically, don’t take a selfie
Your position will always be a little OFF if you’re trying to hold the phone and take a selfie. Get someone else to take the photos or use a tripod with Bluetooth shutter function.
tip 7: keep the selfies candid
The best way to get natural-looking pictures is to keep moving as the shutter button is being clicked. Yes, you’ll end up with 50 pictures that you have to filter through BUT they’ll be much more real. Candid is always best when it looks natural! Unless you’re on the red carpet, keep your body moving!
Putting one hand on your hip or both hands with the shoulders slightly forward are both really popular. They do work UNLESS every single picture you do is like that. Then it just looks fake. How to fix the fake … keep moving!
tip 8: have active legs
Sitting or standing, keep your legs active.
Standing, that means to shift weight slightly to one leg and lift up on the ball of the foot JUST A BIT to engage your muscles. You can do this with legs crossed at the ankles for a really nice effect!
Sitting, you need to be a bit more stealth. Cross your legs at the knee or ankle. For the bottom let, make sure it connects with the ground and lift up slightly on the ball of the foot. For the top leg, lift it up off the bottom leg IMPERCEPTIBLY! This prevents dimpling and rolls as well as engages the muscles nicely!
tip 9: do the twist!
Twisting at the waist in selfies makes it look smaller and creates the impression of a V-shape rising up from your waist to your shoulders.
tip 10: use pilates to look thinner and taller
I implore you … please don’t “suck in” for photos. It doesn’t work. Here’s a better option that takes a few cues:
- Inhale as you lengthen your spine by lifting the crown of your head up and pull your rib cage as far away from your hips as you can.
- Exhale as you do a kegel exercise (life your pelvic floor) to engage your core. Hold for an inhale.
- Exhale and imagine a corset gently embraces (not tightens) your entire midsection.
tip 11: tilt your pelvis
How you tilt depends on your position. If you’re sitting down, bring your ASIS (front hip points) up toward your rib cage SLIGHTLY. Don’t exaggerate or you’ll slouch, either in selfies or life.
If you’re standing, do the opposite again just a bit. It helps your thighs, stomach, and butt!
tip 12: open your collar bone
Pull your shoulders up half an inch and open up your collar bones so that your shoulder blades retract together. This does wonder for how the girls look in selfies!
tip 13: tilt your head
Ah, another reality check … do you have a double chin when looking down? Then don’t look down! Always tilt your chin up but not too high. If you can’t form a double chin to save your life (lucky you!) then tilt your chin down a bit and lift your eyes up to the camera. Pretty!
tip 14: look over your shoulder
While you can’t do this in every photo, looking over your shoulder does wonderful things for the jawline! Use it when you can.
tip 15: relax your brow and smize
Relax your forehead and eyebrows to help prevent making an 11. If you still have those pesky wrinkles between your eyebrows then count on Photoshop (haha … not really joking).
What is “smize”? Smize is to smile with your eyes. It brightens up your look.
Conversely, if you want to relax your eyes, this provides a nice thoughtful look that can work at times too depending on your intention for the shot.
tip 16: work the inside of your mouth
Go to a mirror and play for a few minutes because there are different techniques that work better for some and worse for others. With these options, you’re trying to see what creates a sharp jaw and simultaneously emphasizing your cheekbones in your selfies.
- Push your tongue up to the roof of your mouth.
- Bite the insides of your cheeks.
- Purse your lips as if you were going to whistle (not ducky face, unless that’s what you want).
- Smile with only your top OR bottom lip.
tip 17: shoot from above eye level
Use a selfie stick to take the shot from at or above eye level. This easy tip helps to make all of us look slimmer! yay!
tip 18: Crop part of your body out
It doesn’t really matter what part as long as it’s NOT your feet. You can crop out your head, part of your face, a side of your body, or the bottom of your body. This will create an interesting selfie that becomes more intimate and moody as you pull the frame closer to you. And, to my sister, this doesn’t mean hiding behind someone and just popping your head out so your body is cropped out. That’s just wrong!
tip 19: use natural makeup or just a pop
For the most part, all women look best without a ton of make-up applied to our faces. I know, you might agree but I’ll debate this until I’m blue in the face (without make-up). That said, having a pop of color adds drama. Maybe the glossy red lips or a smokey eye do the trick. Just don’t have your entire face made up heavily. Sorry, not sorry!
tip 20: try wearing your hair to one side
If your hair is long, try wearing it to one side over your shoulder. Both sides are a bit too symmetrical. Symmetry in selfies and photos isn’t ideal.
tip 21: use the rule of thirds
Divide the frame of the shot into thirds both horizontally and vertically, Have the main subject centered on one horizontal and one vertical third line. This is another way to create interest!
tip 22: Emphasize your good side
We all have one. Some research shows that it’s often the left side but regardless, look at your pictures to see which side looks best and try to use that to your advantage. And if your butt is your good side, use that too. Although a selfie this way might be tough, lol.
tip 23: use props
Carry a hat and sunglasses. Walk your dog. Hold a line to a boat. Just be aware that kiddos and pets always steal the show. That’s not necessarily a bag thing!
tip 24: Consider a bit of restraint
Photos have the potential to live on posthumously. That means, well after you’re gone. Be smart with how you portray yourself in the selfies. You’ll have to decide what that means to you but a little restraint never hurts!
tip 25: have fun!
for real, have fun and LAUGH! This goes along with being candid. Your face lights up when you laugh so do it, even if it’s fake!
Now get out there and be the boss of your selfies!
This is a lot, I know. But even if you just get a few of these tips into your selfies you’ll be really happy with how you look. The best part of the pictures is YOU! Remember that’s why you’re taking them … so YOU connect with others in posterity.
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Thanks so much for being part of this community! Namaste, my friend,