Here's How To Take The Best Selfies

Let’s face it: everyone loves taking a good selfie once in a while.

Whether you’re trying to show off a scenic background or just need a new Facebook profile picture, the selfie has become a staple of internet culture.

Selfies are meant to be seen and shared by others, so you’ll want to make sure you photo is as interesting and flattering as possible.

Here are some quick tips to help you improve your selfie-taking skills in a pinch.

Be aware of lighting conditions

It's probably one of, if not the most important factor in determining the quality of any photo. Here's an example of a selfie taken in frontal lighting, meaning the light was directly in front of me as I took the photo.

The three-quarters lighting trick

Here's what the same image looks like taken with three-quarters lighting. This means I moved the light to the left so that it lit my face from the left, creating shadows on the opposite side.

This sometimes brings out your facial features a little more clearly.

Backlighting

This time I moved the light behind me to create a backlit effect. This can sometimes be useful if you can get it just right, but most of the time (like in this instance), it just ends up looking harsh.

Edit your shots

There are a ton of apps out there that are made for editing selfies, but only a few of them are actually worth checking out.

Perfect365 (iOS | Android) works pretty well, and it offers a ton of editing features from eye enhancers to basic touch ups.

Here's what my selfie looks like without any editing.

Now here's that same photo after some editing

I added some minor tweaks using Perfect365, which include touching up my eyes and airbrushing my skin.

In this case, I added a few enhancements that keep the photo generally looking natural, but Perfect365 has a bunch of tools that can completely change your look.

More is always better

Chances are, the friends in your Facebook or Instagram feed enjoy seeing you having fun with other mutual friends.

In fact, a recently released study from the Georgia Institute of Technology found that Instagram photos with a face in them are 38 per cent more likely to gain likes.

So the more faces, the more likes, right?

Think about that famous Oscar selfie that went massively viral. If it were just a selfie of Jennifer Lawrence or Brad Pitt, would it have become the most retweeted photo of all time? Probably not.

Use your phone's rear camera when possible

It may feel inconvenient, but your phone's main camera has a higher resolution than the camera on the front, meaning it takes photos at a higher quality.

Here's an image taken with the front-facing camera of an iPhone 5, which has a 1.2-megapixel camera.

Pro tip: If you're using an iPhone, you can press the 'up volume' button on the side to snap a photo.

Now here's the same photo with the rear camera ...

This image was taken with the iPhone 5's main 8-megapixel camera.

It's a little less grainy, and the subject's skin tone looks more true to real life.

Notice the difference?

Capture your background when appropriate

When it comes to taking selfies, sometimes the background is just as important as the subject.

Here's an example of a shot composition that works when you're trying to capture something in your immediate background.

Now let's lighten that a bit ...

Ever been in a situation where you're taking an indoor selfie that's too dark? Use an app like Adobe Photoshop Express to lighten it up.

Here's what that same image looks like with some exposure adjustments. It looks a little grainier since it was taken in dark conditions, but it's a quick fix for a poorly lit situation.

Now here are the types of selfies you should be avoiding ...

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