Your Instagram feed is probably flooded with selfies—those off-the-cuff photos taken with an iPhone that offer an of-the-moment glimpse into someone’s day. The photo phenomenon has grown in popularity ever since phones have had cameras, and social media has given us a place to share them. But if you’ve even tried shooting one yourself, you might realize that there’s a certain art to pulling one off. All things have to be considered in choreographing the shot—choosing flattering lighting, the angle you’re holding your phone, and even the particular head tilt that’s most flattering.
But what really makes a selfie truly great? To find out some insider tips, I consulted Who What Wear’s very own editors to find out the tricks they employ to take a selfie that makes it onto their feeds. Here, they’re sharing their top selfie secrets to take the perfect one every time—and I even threw in mine for good measure.
"For me, it's all about the eyes—I squinch to really give it to the camera."
"I always start by finding the best light and then take my photos from an overhead shot—that way your face looks slim, and you catch your best angle."
"My tip—find your light! Natural sun is always the best for photos."
"To be completely honest, I am not a huge fan of selfies… at least of myself. On the rare occasion that I post one, I like for there to be other semi-interesting elements in the photo like a cool background, messy hair, a peek at a cool shirt or coat I'm wearing—that sort of thing. That way if my friends (jokingly) accuse me of being vain, I can be like, 'I was showing off the skyline, duh.'"
"Sunlight, jewelry, foliage, and sunglasses will all help the cause if, like myself, you're not a natural-born selfie-taker. Case-in-point: me, by a window, in front of a plant in our office's studio, wearing sunglasses indoors and my newest earrings."
"I'm personally a fan of mirror selfies. Sometimes a regular selfie can feel a little too close for me, so instead I'll snap one in a mirror. I usually tilt my head to the side at a flattering angle and pick out a spot where there's a cool background to include."
"A few years ago, I shared Jennifer Lopez's simple yet brilliant selfie trick: 'Turn around in a circle until you find the best lighting before taking your photo.' Naturally, I had to try it and it really does make all the difference. As they say, lighting is everything."
"My favorite selfies are all very impromptu—grab your BFF (or, you know, your mom) and snap away. Outdoor lighting and matching hats never hurt, either."
I think it can be nice to have a little bit of hand placement in a selfie, as long as it's not too forced or pose-y. Try a fist-to-chin pose or give your hair a zhuzh. Rule of thumb is: Whatever feels natural is always best.
"My preferred form of selfie is the good old mirror pic. What I always end up doing is sticking out my left leg a bit and pushing my hips back slightly to create the illusion of longer legs. That, and the obvious (but so important) use of good lighting!"