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How to take good selfies: complete guide for the perfect selfie images

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Outlines how to take good selfies by following the 8 steps to perfecting better images, and how selfies can be used to boost your profile.

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Everyone loves selfies, everyone takes selfies. But not every picture becomes the perfect selfie. And why do the self-portraits of stars like Kim Kardashian or Selena Gomez always look perfect on social networks? What is the secret of the celebrities and models? We’ll show you simple tips and tricks that are sure to help you take the perfect selfie.

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How to take good selfies: the 8 steps to perfection

The selfie is arguably the most popular photo online. Many strive for the perfect selfie. Regardless of whether they are stars or the average consumer: Everyone loves the self-portraits and is busy taking pictures. Selfies have become indispensable in social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Most of the celebrities look perfect and they get millions of likes on the internet for it. But what is the secret of the stars and how do I get the perfect selfie? In order to take a good self-portrait, you just have to follow a few simple basic rules.

Which camera is best for a selfie?

Selfie experts advise: never use your front camera! Although it is also famous as a selfie camera and makes it easier to take self-portraits, it often takes poorer pictures due to its lower resolution. For a selfie with the normal camera of the smartphone you need a little skill, but the result will be even better later. But if you want to practice for the perfect selfie first or if the quality of your front camera is sufficient, this is a very good alternative. Nowadays, many smartphone manufacturers rely on a powerful front camera anyway.


Everyone experiences it: Sometimes you have dark circles under the eyes, look tired and the skin is not flawless, but you still want to take a photo and that should be as perfect as possible. No problem: Simply set a filter, for example on Instagram or another app, and nothing stands in the way of the perfect selfie. A black and white or sepia filter conceals and hides dark circles and a soft focus ensures flawless skin. By the way, the most popular Instagram filters are “Rise”, “Valencia” and “Sierra”.

Facial expression

Pay attention to the expression on your face. While duck-face and pout are still common poses, it’s best to avoid them. A beautiful smile is usually the best way to take a selfie. Find your best side, then think about what you want to express with your selfie: coolness, relaxation or just a good mood? 

Probably the most popular pose is a friendly smile at the camera – you can’t go wrong with that. Experiment with both your facial expressions and your gaze and discover what you like best in your selfies – you will soon find your sweet spot. Make sure, however, not to look at the display of your smartphone, but directly into the camera lens. So you look the viewer of your selfie straight in the eyes.

If you want your snapshot to look sexy and seductive, put on a bedroom look. In most cases, however, a friendly smile is the best option: It looks friendly and inviting – this will put you in a good mood not only for you, but also for the viewer of the photo. The middle ground is also an option, because even a hint of a smile appears friendly. 


The right light also plays a major role on the way to the perfect selfie. Natural daylight is best. Your selfie will be most beautiful with daylight, because too much light from above promotes unwanted dark circles – too little light and the whole selfie is too dark. 

You shouldn’t use the camera flash either. You get a great result if you position yourself next to a window at a 45 degree angle to the incidence of light – you avoid unsightly shadows on your face and your skin looks more even. Outdoor shots are especially nice in partial shade on a sunny day.

Composition and angle

“Two thirds face, one third rest” is the magic formula for a perfect selfie, which immediately makes your picture more interesting. Position your face in the selfie, e.g. B. in the left two thirds of the picture and let the background take effect in the last third. It doesn’t matter whether you divide the thirds from right to left or from top to bottom. 

The right angle is another important factor in taking a good selfie. Some perspectives just make you look very unfavorable.  The first rule for the perfect selfie angle is: never take photos from below! First, this perspective cheats shadows where they shouldn’t be. Second, an undesirable double chin can appear at this angle. The nose also usually looks much larger and less advantageous. The best thing to do is to stretch out your arm slightly and hold the cell phone at eye level or a little above it. This angle flatters almost everyone.


Once the selfie is taken, you still have the opportunity to edit the picture and spice it up a little. You can upgrade your selfie with the help of applications like Instagram or retouch product images with a professional retouching service to get the most out of your pictures. Technology is making this even more possible. And let’s be honest: Almost everyone edits their pictures a little. Why else is there the hashtag #nofilterneeded, which expressly emphasizes when a picture has not been edited?

But be careful: The post-processing should only be the final touches. So don’t overdo it with filters, smoothing and softening for flawless skin, because it looks unnatural. We all cheat a bit, but mostly less is more and that also applies to the perfect snapshots.

If your selfie is too boring for you, you can use the “Snapchat” app, for example, to make it a little more colorful with a wide variety of effects.


Not only you should look good in the photo. The background also plays a role in a perfect selfie. Think about what you want to say with your picture and then choose suitable scenery.

You too have probably seen a lot of “bathroom selfies”. But: Shampoo bottles, deodorant and toothbrushes are not exactly the best background for the perfect selfie! A plain background, such as a monochrome wall, is a guarantee for a good selfie. But natural backgrounds such as meadows, trees and flowers always look good.

But be careful: you shouldn’t overdo it. Dangerous backgrounds such as cliffs or train tracks are very dangerous. It’s not worth exposing yourself to this danger just to snap an extraordinary selfie! Places like hospitals, memorials or crisis areas are definitely not the right background for a selfie. Anyone who shoots a seflie there is simply disrespectful!

The “mirror selfie” is just as disadvantageous as the “bathroom selfie”: Smartphones may look chic, but shouldn’t be the focus of your perfect selfie – and with a mirror selfie, these are always visible. It is better to use the front camera of your smartphone for your selfie, so you can check the composition and the incidence of light in the display again.

So make sure you have a calm background that doesn’t distract from you. That means: no untidy chaos, no other people unless it’s a group selfie. However, sometimes you want to take a selfie with a certain background, for example on vacation with a special attraction.

Distance vs a selfie stick

When looking at a selfie stick, opinions differ. Many people like it, others find it embarrassing and stupid. The fact is: A selfie stick makes the path to the perfect selfie a lot easier. It is an indispensable tool, especially for selfies with larger groups. With the artificial arm extension, even the last of your friends will fit in the picture! But grabbing a selfie stick can also be worthwhile on its own. It creates distance to your own face and prevents unpleasant details such as pores or pimples from being too clearly visible in the photo.

But if you don’t want to use a selfie stick, you can use a phone stand or cradle to set up the phone and get enough distance from it for the perfect image.

Cult selfies

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There are quite a few selfies that people still talk about and will talk about for a long time. These pictures have achieved cult status. One of the most famous selfies is probably that of comedy star Ellen DeGeneres from Oscar night 2014. No picture was retweeted as often on Twitter as this legendary selfie. For many, it may be the perfect selfie, as the entertainer managed to get some of the biggest Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt — and more — together for a photo during the award ceremony. The perfect moment is always required for the perfect selfies! Ellen DeGeneres held hers forever.

Then there are the scandalous selfies, which sometimes trigger a wave of events that nobody would have expected. The best example of this: the famous New Year’s Eve selfie by Sylvie Meis, Rafael van der Vaart and Sabia Boulahrouz. The stars often surprise us with their selfie partners. After a long argument between Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose, the ex-girlfriend of husband Kanye West, the selfie queen recently shared a photo on Instagram with the former enemy. Well – a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words.

Success through the perfect selfie

You can not only upload a good selfie on social networks, you can also turn it into a source of income. The perfect selfie can even get you off to a successful start in your career. Selfie Queen Kim Kardashian has published an entire book with her self-portraits and Justin Bieber helped two girls, whose perfect selfies he discovered and then shared on his Instagram account, to a modeling career. Numerous fashion bloggers also rely on daily selfies to present their “outfit of the day”. With a perfect selfie, success and a decent career boost can possibly beckon.

genevieve dumas new Genevieve Dumas is a design, fashion, food and style writer who has worked on major magazines and mastheads in the United States and Europe.


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