10 steps to the perfect selfie
Your expert guide to snapping the perfect self-portrait to share with the world—or whoever is following you on Instagram.
Whether you’re a
pro like Miley Cyrus or, well, not, there’s an art to capturing the perfect selfie. We rounded up the top 10 rules for setting up the best shot, with expert tips from George Pimentel, the Toronto-based celebrity and red carpet photographer, who honed his skills snapping stars such as Angelina Jolie and
How to take a perfect selfie rule #1. Never shoot from below.
Hold your iPhone up above your head and shoot down. “It’s most flattering to shoot from above,” explains Pimentel. This also prevents creating a double-chin in the shot.
How to take a perfect selfie rule #2: Avoid head-on pics.
First, figure out your best side: is it your left or your right? (We
all have a best side—just ask Mariah Carey, who is almost literally always photographed displaying her right side.) Experiment by taking pics and see which looks most flattering. For your prettiest self-portrait, tilt your face slightly down and to your best side.
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How to take a perfect selfie rule #3. Watch those arms.
Sure it’s a selfie, but it doesn’t have to
look like a selfie. “Keep your arm out of the shot and avoid having your fingers in the frame,” Pimentel says. Another no-no? “Don’t take a self-portrait against a mirror.”
How to take a perfect selfie rule #4: Accentuate your waist.
Put your hand on your hip—it’s an instant shortcut to arm slimming.
How to take a perfect selfie rule #5. Lighting is key.
Position yourself so that rays of sunlight fall softly on your face, which creates a flattering, romantic effect. “Be sure to have the sun in front of you,” say Pimentel— shooting with the sun behind you can create unwanted shadows on your face.
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How to take a perfect selfie rule #6. Add a filter.
If you couldn’t get capture enough lighting in the shot or if the photo isn’t exciting enough on its own, add a filter to the image for dramatic, look-at-me urgency to your selfie taken beside your cat Sparkle.
How to take a perfect selfie rule #7: Smile smart.
Put your tongue behind your teeth when you smile—it will help you look more relaxed. (And don’t forget to smize!)
How to take a perfect selfie rule #8. Background matters.
The fact that funeral selfies are even a thing (looking at you, Obama) is no reason to perpetuate the insensitive practice of snapping a photo at the most inappropriate of moments. “Pay attention to the backdrop,” warns Pimentel. “You don’t want a selfie in front of a burning house”—or in front of some dude twerking.
How to take a perfect selfie rule #9. Show off a little.
As Pimentel explains, “People are fascinated by where you are.” Whether you’re at a party, a concert or even the zoo, make sure your pic captures a sense of place—along with your duck face.
How to take a perfect selfie rule #10. Have fun.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” says Pimentel. Consider how unselfconsciously radiant you photograph when you’re having fun. Be yourself. That way you create an album of photos that are true to your personality. Snap!
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