Nothing is more embarrassing than a really, really bad selfie. We’ve all seen them: cringeworthy attempts at looking sexy, duck faces, messy bathrooms, inappropriate locations, and everything in between. Taking a selfie can be a great way to capture memories of great times you’ve had traveling or partying with friends, and if done correctly, it can even help you make sure you get the most flattering picture possible.
A bad selfie, though… well, that’s just embarrassing. Don’t make yourself the laughingstock of Instagram or Twitter. Here are some tips on what to do– and what definitely not to do– to make sure your selfies come out great every time.
- Try too hard to be sexy. Look, if you’re actively trying to look sexy, you’ve probably already failed. Unless you’re a trained model with great body movement control and a great intuition for where you are in space and what it looks like, don’t actively try to look a certain way. This includes facial expressions and body postures. Don’t bother with ducklips. Sure, they suck in the cheeks, and maybe that makes your face look slimmer or something, but we all know it looks ridiculous. Seriously, when have you ever seen a duckface look good? Yeah, exactly. Also, guys, don’t try too hard to flex and pose. Even if you’re pretty ripped, it still looks dumb.
- Take it in an inappropriate place. Don’t take a selfie with your late grannie’s corpse at her funeral. Seriously, just don’t do it. Also, pay some attention to your surroundings. What’s behind you? What does the room look like? Trust me, people will notice your dirty laundry or filthy bathroom walls behind you.
- Stop with the mirror pictures. It’s 2015. Mirror pics are for fifteen-year-old scene girls on Myspace circa 2005. It’s just tacky. This goes double for mirror pics taken in public restrooms.
- Relax and smile! Look, don’t try to pose. Don’t try to make a sexy, brooding facial expression like a Vogue model. If you can pull that off, well, go sign up for some modeling classes, because that’s a rare talent. Seriously, just relax, smile, and look natural.
- Do something interesting in your photo. Anyone can take a selfie, but if you really want attention from random Internet strangers, try either doing something interesting, or being someplace interesting. Take a picture at an interesting landmark at a national park. Take a selfie of yourself painting or making jewelry. Images of yourself that highlight your hobbies and interests come across as more genuine and appealing.
- Crop your selfie as much as possible. As we’ve mentioned, a bad background can totally throw off an otherwise perfect selfie. Just crop it out! You’re the focal point, anyway. Even with a good background, too much space around you can throw off the balance of the photo.
- Follow the Rule of Thirds. Basically, you, the subject of the photo, should take up about ⅔ of the picture.
- Experiment with angles. Everyone has one or two angles that really, really work for them. Find yours and stick with it.
- Good lighting is key. You need good lighting for a flattering selfie. If possible, go for natural light. Also, don’t use a flash, unless it’s a dark nightclub and you have no other choice. The light from a camera flash is cold and stark.
If you keep these general guidelines in mind, you can avoid embarrassing yourself with cringey selfies that no one wants to see. Good lighting, the right angle, an undistracting background, and a distinct lack of posing or duckface, can do wonders for upping your selfie game.