The Step-by-Step Guide to Swagnificent Selfies

This selfie is of English teacher and Knight Life Advisor Tisha Pankop posing in Phoenix, Arizona over this past Spring Break. This is the third selfie she's ever taken, and the first one she's ever published
This selfie is of English teacher and Knight Life Advisor Tisha Pankop posing in Phoenix, Arizona over this past Spring Break. This is the third selfie she’s ever taken, and the first one she’s ever published

The art of taking a selfie is one that can be a little tricky to master. It’s imperative though that one learns to become proficient in this, as selfies are a major aspect of social media. Without selfies, what will you post on Instagram when you look good? How will you let all of your followers know you’re hanging out with your best friend? Fret no more. Listed here are tips for how to take a stellar selfie.

1. Find a good location.

A great selfie starts with a great location. You want to pick somewhere with a fair amount of light, but not so much that you look like a ghost. In addition, you’ll look best if the light is in front of you and slightly higher than eye level.

You also want to consider the background. A blank wall ensures you’ll be the center of attention, but it’s so boring. In most cases, nature makes a nice backdrop. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but not over-the-top.

2. Make sure you look presentable.

Even if you’re going for that whole “sweatpants and no makeup #bumming it” look, you still want to make sure you actually look good. Few things are more humiliating than posting a selfie and realizing later  how horrible it looks. If you have a gigantic zit, for example, you may want to put on a little concealer so it doesn’t stand out so much.

3. Find a good angle.

Taking a picture from a flattering angle is key to looking better. Never take the picture below chin level; it’s a universally unfavorable angle that gives the illusion of a double chin. It doesn’t matter how pretty you are, no one looks good at such a low angle. Photographer Matthew Rolston said on the website The Fashion Spot, “The majority of people look best when their face is tilted at a slight angle to the camera, as opposed to straight on.”

4. Smile!

While it may be tempting to pucker your lips out, remember that you are not a duck. Very few people can pull off the infamous “Duck Lips” pose without looking completely ridiculous, and even then, it’s not a very cute face. A smile, though, looks great on everyone. Also, according to an article by Joanne Barker on WebMD, “forcing yourself to smile can actually make you happier.” So please, for the sake of your own happiness, forgo the duck lips.

5. Choose a filter.

This tip is only applicable if you’re using Instagram. Deciding upon a filter is such an iffy decision to make; it can either make or break your selfie. Subtle and understated filters tend to look a lot better than the cartoon-ish and obnoxious ones. Valencia, Rise, and Nashville are a few examples of subdued filters that improve any and every selfie. Kelvin, Toaster, and Sutro, on the other hand, are a few to avoid.

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