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How to Take Better Selfies

by Hanna Brooks Olsen
photo & video

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Image: Paško Tomić via Flickr

Often viewed as the height of narcissism, selfies can — bear with us — actually be a great exercise in branding, marketing, and generally being a social person. After all, people have been taking self-portraits for ages, and in today’s modern era of sharing and social media, including your own likeness in photos that document your life or location can be a really great way to keep your family, friends, or fans up to date on what you’re doing. The key is just to know how — and how many — selfies work best.

Some general tips for how to take better selfies:

1.) Be clear (to yourself) about your intention. Are you posting a selfie so that everyone will tell you how nice you look, or because something interesting/exciting/fun/cool happened? How do you expect people to respond? When it comes to selfies, a little self-awareness goes a long way. Just ask yourself “why?” before posting and see where it leads.

2.) Stick with the rules of photography. Rule of thirds? Still works in a selfie. Chasing the light? Ditto. Skip the front-facing camera if the one on your phone is kind of crummy, and definitely step away from the bathroom mirror. Taking artful, beautiful selfies elevates your Instagram feed — so think of it more like a self-portrait than just another grainy photo of your face.

3.) Save your selfies for something special. Drone selfies = Cool. Statue selfie = delightful meme. Spied Paul McCartney and Warren Buffett while getting a tasty frozen dessert? Snap that selfie, kid! If your friends and fans aren’t used to seeing your face every other day during generally mundane times, your selfies will be much more welcome and exciting.

Need more tips, still? Our friends at Adorama made this pretty helpful infographic:

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Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.