How to Take Good Selfies (19 Top Model Secrets Revealed)

Do you know how to take the perfect selfie? This guide reveals 19 of the tips and tricks used by top Instagram models for looking your best on camera every time.

Ask any teenager, Instagrammer or socialite: knowing how to take good selfies is an essential skill here in 2023!

Whether you want a better profile picture for social media or just want to experiment with finding your best ‘side’ for photos, this guide will be your new best friend.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a model or naturally photogenic to get the perfect selfie.

All you need to know are these 19 selfie tips, and you can make yourself look even more amazing right away!

So, let’s take a closer look at the secrets to getting a flattering selfie in 2023.

(You should also read: how to take great pictures of yourself when alone.)

19 Selfie Tips & Tricks for Looking Your Best (Every Time!)

1. Choose the right camera angle

Credit: Yan Krukov

You’ve probably heard that the best selfie angle is to have the camera slightly higher than your head. Well, that’s true for some but not necessarily for all people or all selfies.

Different selfie angles change the way you look and what you’re communicating to the person seeing your selfie.

You can hide the double chin when you take the selfie with the camera slightly above your head tilted down.

If it’s a full-body selfie, you’ll also look slimmer because the body will be further away from the camera. This angle also makes you look more approachable.

On the other hand, if you take selfies from below, you’ll look taller and more empowered.

So, you can take a good selfie from any angle – it’s just a matter of choosing the one that’s best for your body and personality.

You should also read our guide to learn how to take a good full body picture.

2. Find your most flattering angle 

Credit: Anna Shvets

You’ve probably noticed that you look better in some pictures than in others. Of course, the facial expression, lighting and many other factors come into play – but did you know that we actually do have one side that’s more flattering than the other?

Studies suggest that most people look better on their left side because their facial features reflect better their emotions.

However, there’s an exception to every rule, or you might be self-conscious about something on your left side, so don’t take this for granted.

Analyse your photos and look for the pattern that emerges in the ones you like the most – which way were you facing? You can also study yourself in front of a mirror.

Once you find your best angle, you can make sure you’ll have a flattering selfie.

3. Use natural lighting

Credit: Cottonbro

The great thing about natural light is that it’s very versatile – you can completely change the mood of a photograph if you take it at midday or during the golden hour. It’s also free and available everywhere.

Make sure you stand next to the window to take a good selfie if you’re indoors. Outdoors, try to have the light coming from the front – unless you’re going for a silhouette-style selfie.

You can also read our guide to flat light, and see how you can use it to your advantage.

4. Use a selfie stick 

Credit: Andre Furtado

Smartphone cameras, like all cameras, have lens and perspective distortion.

One of the most obvious effects is that you’ll look wider as you get closer to the lens – especially if you’re towards the edge of the frame, for example, on a group selfie.

Often an arm’s length is not enough to avoid these distortions. In these situations, it’s better to use a selfie stick.

You can find some very cheap ones on the market but just watch out for the quality. It’s important to consider the material, the extension mechanism, the connection, and the total extension length.

Here’s our guide to the best selfie sticks so you can find one that works best for you.

5. Use Portrait Mode 

Credit: Oladimeji Ajegbile

Have you noticed that in most professional portraits, the background is blurred? This effect creates depth in the image and helps the subject (in this case, you) stand out.

Smartphone cameras allow you to create this effect by using a special mode – on iPhones, it’s called Portrait Mode.

Most default camera apps have this function – if there isn’t one on yours, you should consider looking for a third-party camera app.

You’ll also see this feature named Selfie mode on some Android phones.

6. A genuine smile  


One of the key aspects of making a good selfie is to smile, and it should be a genuine smile so that people can connect with you when they see your selfie.

I know what you’re thinking, though – once the camera is pointing at you, it’s not that easy to loosen, and your smile ends up looking awkward!

So, how can I smile like a model? Well, professional model Britt Bregmeister recommends practising in front of a mirror – check out the video above for more top tips.

7. Avoid harsh shadows 

Credit: Tommy Huang

Direct sunlight creates deep shadows that add a lot of character to photographs – but that’s not necessarily the most flattering lighting for a selfie.

If you’re using natural light, take your selfies early in the morning or later in the afternoon so that the sun is closer to the horizon. Otherwise, wait for an overcast day or search for a place in the shade where you can take a good selfie.

Another idea if there’s a sunny day is to wear a hat. This way, you won’t get hard shadows on your face creating weird dark circles under your eyes or chin.

Instead, if you’re using artificial light, make sure you use a softbox or a beauty ring to create good lighting.

8. Adjust the camera settings 

Credit: Veronica Puente

Using a smartphone is no excuse to simply take photos in auto mode. If you really want to take the perfect selfie, you need to take control of the camera.

To do this, different apps have manual mode – sometimes called Professional Mode. This allows you to select the ISO, the white balance, the shutter speed and even the file format to save your images.

Other smartphone editing apps allow you to make touchups to your images which can help make your selfie look even better.

9. Look at the camera

Credit: George Dolgikh Giftpunditscom

Where should your eyes look when taking a selfie? If you want to make eye contact with whoever sees your selfies, you need to look at the camera – not at the screen.

Most phones have the camera lens on the top left corner, so look at the screen only to prepare the perfect selfie pose, then look at the camera when you actually take the selfie.

You can usually use the volume button of your phone or earphones in order to take a selfie, if it becomes too awkward trying to hold your phone with one hand.

Of course, you can also achieve great selfies looking away from the camera, but make sure it’s a deliberate choice.

10. Smile with your eyes 


You’ve probably heard this advice before – but how do you smile with your eyes? There are different ways you can try. The easiest way to do it is to make a broad smile that naturally makes your eyes squint.

If you want to smile but you don’t want to have such a pronounced smile, you can try to think about something positive or bring to mind a happy memory.

Also, check out the video above and see how professional photographer Sue Bryce directs her models to make them smile with their eyes.

11. Use props

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Props are a fun way to spice up a selfie. If you go to a party store or search on Google, you’ll find all sorts of selfie props.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be something selfie-specific – just hold a champagne glass and toast to the camera, grab some balloons- just do whatever works best for you.

12. Watch the background 

Credit: Cleyder Duque

When you’re taking selfies is easy to forget about the background.

You’re so focused on getting the best lighting on your face, looking to have a real smile that also looks flattering, pushing your neck forward to avoid a double chin and so many other things that you don’t think about the rest of the scene.

However, the background is essential. Make sure it is not busy so that it doesn’t take attention away from you. If you’re in a public place, you also have to be aware of photo bombers.

There are even apps for removing and replacing backgrounds, so you can hide or alter where you’re taking selfies.

13. Gather inspiration from the professionals

Let’s face it – some people simply dominate the selfie game. Browsing through Instagram or other social media, you can find lots of great selfies that you can use as inspiration.

For example, Kim Kardashian even published a book with her best selfies!

You should follow the profiles that feature selfies that you like. See which type of light they use, what are the best poses, if they use filters, etc., then use that information to improve your selfies and find your style.

Don’t assume that celebrities don’t practice selfies in front of the bathroom mirror just like ordinary people! Finding a flattering angle or the best natural lighting for better selfies does take practice, no matter who you are.

14. Use the front-facing camera

Credit: Reafon Gates

Use the front camera of your phone when taking a selfie to see how you look, how is the light hitting you, what’s in the background, etc.

Unfortunately, most phones have a lower resolution camera on the front or don’t support portrait mode with that camera.

If this is the case with your phone, use the back camera but try to take a selfie in front of a mirror. This way, you can try different poses and check everything before you snap the photo.

15. Use photo accessories

Credit: Anete Lusina

Strictly speaking, a selfie is when you’re holding the camera – otherwise, it’s a self-portrait, but let’s not get technical!

A great way to take self-portraits is by using a tripod and taking the photo with a remote control or using the self-timer. This will give you freedom of movement and much more possibilities than those you have at an arm’s length.

Also, try using an additional light source. Using a beauty ring or a LED light will make your face brighter when there isn’t enough natural lighting.

16. Take a lot of selfies

Credit: Sam Lion

If you think that all the perfect selfies you see posted on Instagram are the first, second or even the tenth selfie, you’d be wrong.

The key to getting a great selfie is to take lots of them. Not only because practice makes perfect but also because having a wide array of choices makes it easier to find the best one.

17. Don’t be self-conscious

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Have you ever been at a club or a party and seen how people who enjoy their dancing look best – even if they don’t really know how to dance? The same principle applies when you take a selfie.

You can learn all the poses, get the perfect lighting, dress up with the most beautiful outfit, have professional hair and makeup done, etc…. but if you feel awkward, you’ll never get the best selfie.

So, don’t stress too much about it. Just be yourself – start by making some silly faces just to warm up and loosen up. Whatever you need to do to feel confident and relaxed – because when you feel good, you look good.

You should even have some fun taking selfies with a best friend, like in the photo above.

18. Nail the selfie poses 


Like any other portrait, posing can make or break a photo. So, practice until you nail a few selfie poses that you can use in every situation and make some variations so that your feed doesn’t look repetitive.

The ideal pose for you will depend on your body type, what you’re trying to show, whether it’s a face selfie or a full-body selfie, etc.

However, some tips are helpful for most people. For example, keep your shoulders down to achieve a longer neck in your photos.

Practice different poses in front of a mirror. Try replicating poses that you see online that you think look good and check if they work for you.

You should also check our fun guide to selfie poses to get some inspiration for the next time you pick up your phone.

19. Photo editing

Credit: Jaiveer Sharma

Photo editing is an essential part of making photos. Fortunately, many apps let you do professional photo editing right on your phone.

You can use generic apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom, or Snapseed to edit your selfies and get great results.

If you like using filters, you might enjoy VSCO, A Color Story, AfterLight, and Instagram – here’s a guide to the best editing apps for the iPhone.

Some apps specialise in portrait and selfie editing. Some of the most popular are YouCam, Face App, AirBrush, FaceTune, etc.

These have special tools and filters like one-touch skin smoothing. However, it’s easy to go overboard, so don’t use too many filters if you want your selfie to look natural.

How Do You Take Selfies That Don’t Look Like Selfies?

Have you ever seen those Instagram accounts where the model looks like he/she has their own personal photographer? A lot of the time, they’re actually taking selfies.

Here are some tips for making selfies look more natural:

  • Use a tripod and the self-timer.
  • Do a worm’s eye-view selfie.
  • Try using a drone to take your picture.
  • Look away to pretend you’re unaware of the camera.
  • Use a wide-angle lens.
  • Crop the photo, so the holding arm doesn’t show.
  • Don’t use too many filters.


How to install GIMP on Chromebook?

To install GIMP on Chromebook, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Linux terminal
  2. Type in the following command “sudo apt update” to update your device before you begin installations
  3. If prompted, enter your password
  4. Enter the following command to install GIMP “sudo apt-get install gimp” 5. Again, if prompted, enter your password
  5. Wait for the process to finish, and you’re good to go!

Is GIMP easier than Photoshop?

In a way, GIMP could be easier than Photoshop. The interface is more streamlined, so it’s more beginner-friendly. However, both software are complex programs that might take time to master.

Can GIMP do everything Photoshop can?

Sadly, GIMP can’t do everything Photoshop can. Photoshop offers many features that GIMP doesn’t have, such as the ability to edit RAW images.

How to take good-looking selfies for guys? 

Guys can take good selfies by holding the phone slightly above the eye and looking straight at the camera. Eye contact make selfies more engaging.

How to take a hidden face selfie?

You can take hidden face selfies by partially covering your face with a white blanket. Another idea is to place your face slightly off the frame.

How to take a selfie for a girl?

Girls can take selfies by tilting their heads up and slightly forward. This will make their necks appear more slender. In addition, taking shots from different angles helps create a better background.

How to take a sexy selfie?

While wearing sexy clothes would help, a seductive stare is enough for a sexy selfie. So, make sure you strike a pose and smile for the camera.

How to take cute selfies?

You can take cute selfies by using hand gestures or poses like the peace or heart sign. You can also make funny facial expressions, such as winking or pouting.

How to take selfies at home?

To take selfies at home, stand near a curtained window for good lighting. Also try to wear dark clothing to avoid overexposure. Finally, make sure you remove anything from the background that could distract the viewer.

Final Words

I hope these tips helped you to understand how to take good selfies. Whether you’re taking them just for fun, to use on a travel blog, or you want to use it as your profile picture – the next selfie photo you take will be a success.

Let us know which are your favourite selfie poses and any other tips and tricks that you have using the comments section below. We’ll love to hear from you.

8 Tools for Photographers

Check out these 8 essential tools to help you succeed as a professional photographer.

Includes limited-time discounts.

Learn more here
Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular NOW:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.