The ultimate guide on how to take a selfie

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

Welcome to the 21st century, where teens have revolutionised the way we record memories of ourselves in the form of digital self-portraits, also known as ‘selfies’. The notorious selfie has become a global symbol of every day culture. Of course, we all have our reasons for taking and sharing these ever-so-slightly-indulgent pictures – whether it’s to share precious or funny moments with our nearest and dearest, or to gain a bit of praise from our peers. Whilst they might look easy from an outsider’s perspective, there’s actually an art to taking attention-grabbing close-ups. So if you’re new to this, take a look at our top tips on how to rock (and not rock) the selfie.


  • Use the best lighting possible – Smartphones can be harsh when it comes to revealing every pore and laugh line. Always make sure you take a picture from where the light is reflecting. Avoid switching on the flash button and try standing in front of your window to catch the natural light; it will help to eliminate any dark shadows.
  • Choose your best angle – Angles can do wonders for selfie-fanatics. Practice makes perfect, so take a few snapshots to work out which one is the most flattering. Most of it is common sense – taking a picture straight on or from above usually works a treat, whereas taking a photo from a low position might not give the best results.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously – Try to inject a bit of humour in your shot. After all, this is supposed to be a bit of fun and no one enjoys seeing the same expression over and over again.
  • Smile – Smiling is key to creating the perfect selfie – no one wants to see a moody grimace face popping up on their feed.
  • Keep it natural – No faking it please. Your followers want to see the real you so avoid posting selfies that are over posed or overdone.
  • Make it scenic – Take a picture of yourself in front of a statue, or at an event, or maybe at the park you just visited? Whatever you like, but try to make it a little bit adventurous.
  • Download an app for editing – Download a photo app such as Instagram to tweak and contrast the lighting on your image. It’s also worth adding a filter if you can – filters and selfies go hand in hand when it comes to creating the perfect portrait.
  • Crop and zoom – Annoying photo bomber in the background? No problem, simply crop and edit them out.
  • Re-connect with old friends – Ride on the back of some of the weekly trends such as ‘Throwback Thursdays,’ where people post old pictures of themselves on, you’ve guessed it, Thursdays. Why not see if you can dig up an old childhood selfie?
  • Support a charity – Selfies are such an important part of today’s culture that even charities have got in on the act, like Cancer Research and their ‘no-makeup selfie’.


  • Take a selfie in inappropriate places – Posting selfies at a funeral or in a bathroom is a major no no. No one is going to take notice of your face if there’s a toilet or coffin in the background.
  • Try too hard – The moment you start overdoing it, you’ve failed. Au naturel is the way forward; don’t think about it too much.
  • Take a selfie when you’re driving – This is an obvious one, taking your eyes off the road to take a picture of yourself is extremely dangerous and you’re not going to get admired for it.
  • Forget to remove stuff from the background – Make sure you double check your surroundings; no one wants to see your dirty towels in the background.
  • Pull a duck face - Nothing shouts ‘scroll past quick’ more than the ‘duck face’. We’ve all been guilty of pulling an exaggerated pout, but the regrettable duck trend is well and truly not cool – so go back to basics and smile instead.

Whilst some might use the selfie as a shameless way of self-promotion, it is actually, if done with taste, a great way of expressing yourself and an ideal way of keeping connected with friends and family without being intrusive.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.