The Ultimate Guide to Mastering a Selfie with your Smartphone
Even if you are a bit camera-shy, you can take jaw-dropping selfies. Who doesn’t want to have an excellent portfolio picture for Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn? Create beautiful images of yourself with your smartphone. With these tips on how to take Selfies with your Smartphone, it will be a walk in the park.
But before you start taking selfies, make sure you read this blog post and buy yourself a tripod, remote shutter, and microfiber cleaning cloth for the sharpest results.
- Take a look in the mirror
- Choose a pleasing or relevant background
- Use natural lighting
- Add a flash
- Strike a pose
- Do some funny faces
- Take more than one picture
- Choose a different angle
- Use portrait mode
- Look directly into the lens
- Consider a selfie stick
- Use the timer or remote shutter
- Edit your photo
- Shoot with the rear camera
Sounds easy, right? So let’s get to it. Find an inspiring or pleasing background, grab your phone and start shooting.
The gear I used for writing this blog can be found on my favorite gear page.
1. Take a look in the mirror
It might be an obvious tip, nevertheless an important one. Does your hair look alright? Are your teeth clean? Are there no smudges on your face? Is your make-up still in all the right places? These little details can make or break the result.
2. Choose a pleasing or relevant background
It’s only the background, you might think. But a pleasant, entertaining, or inspiring environment, can make or break the picture. Look for solid color background or one with a unique texture. Your messy bedroom or living room is not something the audience would like to see. Don’t let the background distract people from your pretty face.
3. Use natural lighting
There is no doubt about it. Light is the most crucial aspect of taking a selfie. Watch for shadows or harsh lighting. Move through a scene while looking at your face. Watch what happens when you change your position relative to the light source. You might want to use artificial light as well if the natural light source is not sufficient. Find the ultimate spot and get ready for taking an impressive photograph.
Here is my favorite smartphone selfie light for this moment, the Selfie Ring Light with Tripod from Ubeesize Store. It is very well priced and comes with 5 color lighting modes (from warm light to cool white, and daylight). Each light mode has 11 brightness levels. Ampel options to create the best possible look!
4. Add a flash
If your camera does not have a front-facing flash, you can use some LED add-ons or third-party apps to get you going. Even if your smartphone has a front-facing flash, you should consider buying an external light source. Especially when you make a lot of selfies or vlogs. You can find good quality and affordable selfie lights on Amazon. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Selfie Light with Flash for iPhone and Android Phones
- Universal Clip-On Mini Light for Smartphones and Tablets
5. Strike a pose
Let the fun part of taking selfies begin. You have already learned that the background and lighting are essential to taking impressive selfies, but your posture is just as important. Don’t overdo poses or facial impressions. It is not fun to look at (unless it is meant to be funny, see our next tip). Make sure your arm is not in the picture (at least not too visible). Try some different poses and see what the outcome is. Keep the rule of thirds in mind for a striking image. Once you have found some flattering poses, keep them in mind for next time.
6.Do some funny faces
It does not have to be serious all the time! Put on your best angry, funny, sweet, jealous, jaw-dropping face, and take a unique image. You can practice in front of a mirror and see what your mood does to your face. Who needs emoticons when you can make your own.
7. Take more than one picture
Welcome to the digital era. You can take as many images as you like. It does not have to stop by one selfie. Try different things and find out what your best face and pose is. Throw away the bad and keep the good to share on your social media. Change it up with every click. It does not have to be a significant change, tilt your head slightly, or turn to the sun a bit more.
8. Choose a different angle
It sounds easy, taking a selfie. Just stick out your arm, smile, and take a shot. But we like you to try different angles to find your sweet spot. Tilt your chin down a bit or to the side and follow the camera with your eyes. To avoid a double chin, try extending your jaw forward a bit. Keep your camera on different angles, from low to high, and see what works for you.
9. Use portrait mode
A general rule of photography is to put the primary source of light behind you. I might be the sun, a lightbulb, or a street lantern. Look at the subject from different angles and look at what that does to the potential image. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the available light. It can be quite interesting to deviate from the standard norm. For example, you can use long shutter speed to create light lines from cars passing by.
10. Look directly into the lens
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it. It is tough to look at the lens and not on the screen while taking a selfie. A lot of people want to make sure they have the right facial expression before hitting the shutter button. Take it from us. Practice makes perfect. Take a selfie while you look at the screen and one where you look at the lens. You will see the obvious difference.
11. Consider a selfie stick
Selfie-sticks are a bit of a pain. The stick annoys people, but they are handy. These sticks come in very handy when you want to take selfies with others in the frame, or when you like to show more of the background. Please make sure you are allowed to use a selfie stick when you visit a museum or a zoo. An alternative for a selfie-stick is a tripod. If you have a lightweight variation, you can use it as a selfie stick with the legs folded. Or find a selfie-stick and tripod combo. That way, you do not have to spend your money twice. Here are some of our favorites:
Bluehorn Portable All-in-One Selfie stick
Selfie-stick and tripod in one. Made of lightweight aluminum alloy. With a built-in rechargeable battery.
➽ Available from Amazon
Fugetek Portable All-in-One Selfiestick and Tripod
All-in-one extendable professional selfie-stick with a built-in tripod. With a remote Bluetooth shutter.
➽ Available from Amazon
12. Use the timer or remote shutter
To prevent blurry pictures while stretching your arm, holding your smartphone up, and pressing the shutter button to take a picture, you can use a remote shutter or timer. Most native camera apps have a built-in timer. You can choose between the different amount of seconds in the settings of the camera app. These extra few seconds will also allow you to put on your selfie face and strike a pose.
Another solution is using a remote shutter. You can pick one up for a couple of dollars on Amazon. I have been using this wireless shutter for many years and it is very easy to pair with any smartphone.
13. Edit your photo
Do not overdo it! Don’t get us wrong; we are all for editing photographs. But please keep it simple. Adjust the lighting and exposure, add a bit of contrast, change the saturation and vibrance, and you are done. Or choose a filter from the library that fits the mood of the picture. Many third-party apps are fantastic for editing your photos. Our favorite app is Adobe Lightroom, available for Android and iOs:
You can use Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile on your smartphone and tablet. It is a free app that allows you to edit and share your images. You can also synchronize your phone with the desktop version of Lightroom. The mobile app offers the same possibilities as the computer version, including RAW image editing. It is regularly updated.
- Photoshop Express for Android and iOs
- Snapseed for Android and iOs
- VSCO for Android and iOs
- Afterlight for Android and iOs
You can read more about our top 3 editing apps in this blog with tips and tricks on using Lightroom, Snapseed, and VSCO.
14. Shoot with the rear camera
Choose the highest resolution possible to guarantee high-quality images. It usually means shooting in the native ratio settings 4:3 with the primary lens on the back of your smartphone. Choosing a different ratio means you will crop the image. It is always better to crop the photograph after taking the picture.
How to hold a mobile for taking a selfie?
There are several ways you can hold your smartphone to take a selfie. Do not cover the lens or lenses with your fingers. Here are a few tips to get it right:
Hold the phone in landscape mode
In most situations, you should hold the camera phone in a landscape position. But in some, you might want to choose portrait mode. Just remember that the frame should work with the object or objects. A selfie at sunset is best taken in landscape mode, but a selfie of your full body can be better in portrait mode.
Hold the smartphone in one hand
Depending on whether you are left or right-handed, take the phone in your dominant hand. Make sure the shutter button is close to your thumb. You can rest the camera on your pink and index finger. Keep the phone stable with your middle and ring fingers. Your thumb is free to take the picture.
Hold the camera phone in two hands
You can hold the smartphone very stable with two hands. Both your arms can act as a visual frame to take cozy pictures. Two-handed selfies are particularly suitable for taking images of just yourself.
How to hold your phone to take a mirror selfie?
Hold your smartphone in your dominant hand in the vertical position (portrait mode) if you want to photograph your full body. Let the phone rest on your pinky and use your index, middle, and ring finger to stabilize the mobile at the back. Your thumb has shutter duties.
Some other cool tips for unforgettable mirror selfies:
- Do not hold the phone in front of your face (unless you have some unique ideas).
- Use your body at an angle, so your phone is not in front of yourself.
- Create depth with your body by putting one leg in front of the other. Or try sitting down.
- Angle the phone slightly downwards for a more favorable result.
- Find a mirror and stand against it. Now use the front camera for a unique image. You can also use a second mirror to create the same effect.
- Use other reflecting objects like a mirror. You can use a shiny building, a rain puddle, reflecting sunglasses, or a wing mirror
How do you take a mirror selfie without holding your phone?
You can take selfies without actually holding the phone or showing the phone in your pictures. Try these five tips:
- Use a selfie stick (link to selfie stick)
- Set a timer (Link to timer and remote shutter)
- Buy a remote shutter
- Let somebody take your picture
- Master photoshop
How do I make a picture without holding my phone?
There are many ways to take pictures without holding your phone. You can use a selfie stick, a tripod, or ask somebody else to take your picture. You can DIY a tripod from a bottle, a paper cup, and a toilet paper roll. The possibilities are endless. Use other objects like glasses, trees, rocks, or lanterns to support your smartphone.
Do you look at the camera when taking a selfie?
Most people prefer someone looking into the camera lens when it comes to selfies. Try looking directly at the lens and not on your mobile screen. It will make a huge difference. If you do this right, you can make real eye contact with your audience.
But how can you make an unforgettable image of yourself when you don’t look at yourself directly. Follow the above steps to create a stunning selfie, and when you are ready to press the shutter button, keep your head still and move your eyes towards the lens. Success guaranteed!
There are moments when you want to look to the side and not directly into the lens. It will create a more mysterious look. Try to leave your eyes and pupils visible. You can achieve this by looking at the beginning of your hand palm (that is holding the phone).
How do I become more photogenic?
Most people do not think of themselves as photogenetic. But there is no reason you cannot be. Practice makes perfect; we keep reminding you. Try these tips:
- Practice makes perfect. Keep trying different things.
- Find your angle. Which side is better looking?
- Smile or show other emotions (with your eyes).
- Squint a little to get tiny pockets under your eyes, the half-moon eyes.
- Tilt your chin downwards and out a bit.
- Rotate your body for a three-dimensional look.
- Don’t blink, close and open your eyes just before you shoot the image.
- Look towards the light source (not directly into the sun).
How do I change my selfie background?
If you are a real Photoshop wizard, you can do it the proper way. It takes time, but you will get the best results. If not? Here are some alternative apps that will help you in creating a custom background for your selfie.
- Automatic Background Changer for Android
- Simple Background Changer for Android
- Pro KnockOut-Mix Photo Editor for iOs
- Background Eraser for iOs
Unique and creative ideas for taking a selfie with your Smartphone
So you have no more unique, inspiring, and jaw-dropping views for taking selfies. Here are ten surprising and doable ideas for future images:
- Take a selfie in a rain pool with a colorful umbrella.
- Take a picture from your shadow while walking the streets.
- Make a wake-up selfie with the sheets half over your face.
- Create an underwater shot in your favorite pool.
- Use lights coming through shutters to create lovely light and shadows on your face.
- Take a selfie in the reflecting sunglasses of a friend.
- Use a mirror to create a double selfie with your front-facing camera.
- Kiss your pet on the nose.
- Look over your shoulder instead of into the lens, instead of standing straight in front of your camera.
- Use elements to hide parts of your face, like leaves, bedsheets, glasses, and mugs.
It is time to make some unforgettable selfies
Now it is time to go out, or stand in front of your mirror, and take some mindblowing selfies. You will have enough tips to get started and to keep going. Don’t forget to check your gear. Is the camera lens clean? Do you have a selfie stick or tripod? Did you come up with a fantastic pose? What is your best side? Done all that? Now you are good to go.
Share your selfies with the world
You have been practicing your pose, found your best face, and are ready to post some of these fabulous photographs of yourself. Before you do so, ask yourself this. Do I want the world to see this picture? If yes, go ahead and post them on your favorite social media. If not, delete the image so it cannot find a way into the digital world. It has proven difficult to remove pictures that you no longer want to be seen. So be smart about what you will and will not post.
Have fun, and keep creating these unforgettable selfies.