7 min read

Photo-sharing social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat started the selfie craze. Nowadays, we all want to look our best when we snap Insta-worthy pictures, right? That means knowing how to take selfies with all the latest tips and tricks for top-tier photo magic! 

Time to take better shots! Learn how to take a good selfie and use these hacks to upgrade your photo game for ultra-flattering pictures, every time.

Young woman takes selfie from high angle for cool photo effect

1. Know your angles

Which side is your ‘good’ side? When we take selfies, certain angles capture our best looks. But how do we get to know which is the best one?

There are two main ways to find your best selfie angle. First, you can use a small mirror and sit in a place with great lighting. Look in the mirror from a low right angle, then left. Raise the mirror to the center of your face, and do your best to see what you look like from a left and right profile. Finally, hold the mirror above you to see what you look like from above, and remember which angle looks the best for your face type. 

Another option for how to take a good selfie is to use your smartphone camera to test different angles. This way, you can look at all the angles in your camera roll, and quickly compare which angles are best for you. 

Woman uses light effects to take a unique photo

2. Smile with your eyes

Ever heard of ‘smize’? That’s when you smile with your eyes–a selfie tip used by all kinds of famous models. A genuine smile in your photo can also be contagious, and encourage others to share your photo on their feed. 

One of our selfie tips is to smile and then say the word ‘yes’. This gives you a very natural, pleasing smile. Don’t force or fake your smile for the pic. Instead, think of something that makes you truly happy –  and you’ll notice that your smile will unintentionally become more natural. Perfect for taking an amazing selfie!

Woman sits with cat on couch to take a selfie

3. Take more selfies

Not everyone can take the perfect selfie on their first try–that’s why we recommend taking more than one selfie during your next photoshoot. The practice will also help you learn how to take the perfect pic. 

This rule actually applies to all photography, since having the choice of several shots will make sure you get the best selfie angles every time. Try different angles, different lighting, or different poses to take selfies you really love!

Woman on pink background taking a selfie

4. Don’t over-edit

When you want to know how to take a better selfie, the trick is to keep post-photo editing to a minimum. Over-editing was the norm some time ago – it’s not anymore. And even though photo editors are still important to create exciting effects, you don’t want to go overboard, or make yourself look unnatural. 

If you need to adjust the contrast, saturation, or add a cool shiny effect or polaroid filter, go ahead – but don’t get too crazy with it. Your audience will totally notice, and might scroll by without engaging with your latest pic!

 Before and after using natural lighting to take a selfie Before and after using natural lighting to take a selfie

5. Use natural lighting

Natural lighting is the best way to take a selfie since it’s flattering for all complexions. It also makes it easier to add filters later, since the original light source will add brightness to the photo that gives you more to work with during the photo editing phase. Natural lighting is how you get the best selfie light!

We recommend that you take your photo outside, or near a window. This also applies to how to take a mirror selfie, since having a natural light source near your mirror bounces more natural light for the best shots possible. 

Just remember, the best time to take a selfie is during the golden hour, which is a period of time shortly before sunset or after sunrise. During the golden hour, shadows are less dark, which makes it a perfect time for selfies – and photos of all kinds.

Woman with flower taking a photo

6. Go for a mirror selfie from time to time

We still LOVE a good mirror selfie. This is an interesting way to get cool shots without needing a tripod for your camera. To take a great photo, all you have to do is prop your mirror up near some natural lighting, strike some mirror selfie poses, and click! 

As an extra tip when you’re taking selfies, you can also hold your smartphone camera upside down to get a slightly different angle. The lower angle can be really flattering, and add an exciting effect to your photos that your followers haven’t seen before!

man with camera using outdoor mirror to take selfieWoman on bed in socks taking a selfie

7. Avoid photo clichés

Even if you already know how to pose, you shouldn’t get stuck in a rut with photo cliches that everyone uses when they take selfies. If you really want to stand out on Instagram and make your feed as unique as possible, play around with your photo settings, use reflective surfaces to catch unique angles, and use the timer on your camera and a tripod for really creative photos. The duck face and certain “candid” poses have to go. Step outside of your comfort zone for super original selfies your followers will love.

group selfie from a low angle

8. Play with sunglasses

Searching for the best selfie poses for any season? Sunglasses are a great answer to add excitement to your photo, or to hide tired eyes. They’re also a fun way to add spice to your outfit and can really flatter your face. Sunglasses are also a great way to get really good light without having to squint your eyes. 

There are all kinds of funky sunglasses out there these days too, which means you can really add some style to your pics depending on what pair you wear. Just put on a pair of shades that match the shape of your face, find the right pose – and snap! Awesome selfies in seconds.

funky sunglasses selfie with woman wearing racoon hatyoung man taking a selfie from a low angl

9. Watch your background

Just because you struck an awesome selfie pose doesn’t mean your background will always be perfect. And since your background is part of your picture, you definitely want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing.

So what kinds of backgrounds are the most interesting? Your background can be a mural, a landscape, or a skyline–but remember, if you want the viewer to focus on your face, make sure there are no distracting elements behind you. To make sure you stay in focus, you can use portrait mode while snapping the selfie, or can manually add depth of field to create a blurred background with photo editors online.

man taking a photo with cool foil background

For example, you can use Pixomatic’s Blur Background tool to easily blur your background while keeping the main object in focus. Or, you can use a dedicated Blur tool to play with a variety of amazing blurring effects!

Want to get extra creative when you take your next selfie? We recommend using our Magic Cut tool to trim the original background, and then add any of our cool custom background images to your photo for a completely different vibe. 

two women taking a selfie together with cool backgroundtwo women taking a selfie together with an X background

10. Be extra

The ultimate tip for how to take a good selfie? Don’t be afraid to be a little ‘extra’. Look around the house for interesting props to create killer photos that no one else has on their feed. This is also a great tip for brand influencers who want to focus on a certain product to promote brand awareness. 

We also recommend using the props to create other effects in your selfie: for instance, you can use plants or curtains to create amazing shadows on your face. If you already have the perfect selfie, you can also try shadows effects in your photo editor, and add beautiful natural-looking shadows to your selfie. Your options are really endless, so get creative with it, and make sure to have fun!

 selfie with shadow effects

So, how exactly do you nail a great selfie? We think it's all about finding your perfect angle, pose, good lighting, and optimal background. Add your dazzling smile, lots of creativity, and a touch of photo editing – and your selfie will be ready to shine on your Instagram, Snap, or TikTok feed!

cat in photo looks like its taking a selfie

Now go snap the perfect selfie!