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How to Take a Good Selfie: Best Poses for Selfies and Other Tips

With the advancement of optics, digital technology, and social media, taking selfies has become part of popular culture. And although you can hardly find a person who has never taken cute selfie poses to express themselves, the genre of self-portrait in photography emerged more than a hundred years ago. The first selfie in history was taken by Robert Cornelius. He photographed himself in 1839, shortly after photography was invented. However, the idea of ​​a self-portrait was not new at that time. Long before the advent of photography, artists created self-portraits using their bodies to convey ideas and emotions that overwhelmed them. In this article, we’ll tell you about the types of modern self-portrait in photography, the secrets of the perfect selfie, and common mistakes of smartphone users while posing for selfies.

What is a selfie? The most common types of selfies

A selfie is a type of self-portrait taken with a photo camera. Usually, these photos are taken by social media users, although some photographers (such as Man Ray, Vivian Maier, and even Andy Warhol) used self-portraits as a creative outlet. The purpose of creating selfies are different. Some photographers use them to tell their subscribers about what’s happening in their personal life. Cute poses are a significant sign of such images. Other photographers prefer selfies to other genres of photography, as self-portrait gives them more control over the content of their work. Stock photographers also shoot selfies and profit from it. The difference between modern self-portraits in photography (selfies) and those of the old times is that their authors do not hide the fact that they are both authors of the shots and their main subjects. For creating selfies, you can use both front or main cameras of your smartphone, as well as compact action cameras like GoPro or professional cameras and lenses for portrait photography. Additional equipment: a selfie stick, additional removable lenses for a smartphone, a monopod, a tripod, and a Bluetooth module for remote camera control, as well as lighting equipment for selfies (light rings and spotlights). Among the most common selfie formats are facial closeups, chest self-portraits, and full-length mirror selfies, as well as photographs of individual body parts such as legs or arms.

Posing for selfies: tips and tricks

How to create the perfect selfie? To begin with, the concept of ‘perfect self-portrait’, like the concept of ‘perfect photo’ does not exist. You can use different selfie poses for girls and equipment depending on the message you want to communicate using selfies. So the first thing you need to decide is why you need to take a selfie. Find some proven tips and tricks to achieve a better quality of your mirror selfies and other self-portraits regardless of their core idea.

#1 Lighted face and darkened background

How can one take a good selfie? You can use professional studio lighting, natural light, or a lamp you’ve got at home. Make sure your face (arms, legs, or an entire figure) is lit. Keep in mind that direct lighting and flash can cause rabbit eyes. However, modern smartphones eliminate this defect automatically.

#2 Use the rule of thirds or opt for the golden ratio

A selfie is a kind of portrait, and portrait art has its own compositional rules. For example, the main part of a selfie (your eyes, mouth, or accessories) should be located in the center or at the intersection of the framing lines. Imbalance in the composition will lead your followers to pay attention not to you, but to an insignificant detail on the image.

#3 Keep your camera above your head

This rule is not set in stone, but following it will help you avoid hundreds of bad shots that show your double chin or your lower jaw that may appear unproportional. Position the camera just above your eye line. This way you will achieve more emphasis on your eyes, as well as make your facial features more expressive.

#4 Look at the camera, not the screen

Looking at a smartphone screen or camera display while posing for selfies will make your gaze appear out of focus. To ensure that those who see your selfie feel as if you are looking directly in their eyes, do not look away from the camera when you press the ‘selfie’ button. Selfies look more lively and dynamic if your face and body are expressing some kind of emotion. To achieve this effect, think ahead about what emotion you want to share with people through selfies.

#5 Start with some cute poses that are natural for you and then move to experiments

Habitual poses and facial expressions are a good start for creating selfies. Once you get used to the camera, it’s time to experiment. Among rules for creating appealing mirror selfies are several from the world of portrait photography: for example, a photo looks dynamic if the model is turned two-thirds to the right and tilts their head slightly. Photo filters and image editors (even if it’s just an app on your smartphone) will help you process the image, equalize the exposure, and achieve the desired color balance. We encourage you to try top mobile apps for photo processing like VSCO, Adobe Lightroom for mobile, Snapseed, and Prisma. If you want to not only edit your selfie but also create an advertising layout based on it, use Crello by Depositphotos.

The most common mistakes of taking selfies

How can you take a good selfie? Despite the fact that anyone can create a selfie (for this, as we have already found out, it is enough to have a smartphone with a camera), many non-professional photographers repeat the same mistakes when creating self-portraits. Why do some selfies on Instagram annoy us, while others, on the contrary, force us to subscribe to the page of an unknown person? Here are some factors that spoil selfies:

— Do not take into account the peculiarities of your optics

Each lens has its own focal length. Many lenses also tend to round corners around the edge of the image. For this reason, the proportions of your face can warp if you hold the camera too close to it. Such a shot can look comical.

— Forget the background

Just because your face is the main element of the shot for you doesn’t mean that your Instagram followers will take your selfie the same way. The viewers’ attention is always captured by a more illuminated (or brighter), larger or unexpected object. Therefore, if you pose for a selfie having other people or animals, the sea of flowers in your background, make sure you look brighter than them.

— Opt for ‘top’ (best) poses for a selfie

Wide-open eyes (the eyes of a sad cat begging for food), extended lips, too far back hips, open mouth… all of these ‘selfie poses for girls’ are familiar to you from the news feed on Instagram. Try to avoid hackneyed tricks and look for poses that look good on you.


You can create a brilliant selfie with any photography equipment in your hands because the main thing in the art of taking a selfie is your idea and practical task. The second success factor is your ability to openly express sincere emotions in front of the camera. There are no unambiguous best poses for selfies, but the more natural and expressive you look on images, the more likely it is that the photo will attract subscribers and clients on stock photography platforms. If you decide to turn selfies into your creative method or source of income, find your winning poses for selfies. When taking test shots, pay attention to the composition. Use the rule of thirds to balance it and draw attention to the main details. Once you have mastered posing for selfies and realized that this genre of photography is fun and could be a source of extra profit on Depositphotos, start stocking up on selfie equipment and accessories. The RC tripod and light ring are a must-have at this stage.