Did you know that, on average, 93 million selfies are posted every day on the web?
Whether you’re hoping for a world-class Instagram feed or you’re just looking for a casual photo with a friend, knowing some tips and tools to take a good selfie should be on everyone’s list.
While apps and filters can help, using the right selfie poses can make a significant difference in achieving your favorite look.
To learn how to take good selfies, you have to know your poses!
The 21 top Selfie Poses
- 1. Test different angles to learn your best side
- 2. Get close and show some detail
- 3. Use the Rule of Thirds
- 4. Try selfies with your feet, your hands, or full-length shots.
- 5. Frame photos with two hands rather than one
- 6. Take a selfie posing for a selfie
- 7. Move your shoulders at an angle to the lens
- 8. Add accessories like a hat or sunglasses
- 9. Lift your neck and extend your jawline
- 10. Use natural lighting from a window.
- 11. Put the sun behind you outdoors
- 12. Add “curves” to your body
- 13. Place your hands near your face
- 14. Don’t look directly at the camera
- 15. Try the ‘tiny human’ pose
- 16. Get moving
- 17. Light mirror selfies from the front
- 18. Include your pet
- 19. Pose in black and white
- 20. Silhouette your selfie
- 21. Practice, practice and practice some more!
1. Test different angles to learn your best side
While it sounds a bit harsh, each of us has a ‘best side’ that looks better in selfies.
A great selfie pose should always come from an angle that’s most FLATTERING for your face – specifically, your jawline and forehead.
Shooting from the front will always create the most natural-looking selfie.
Shooting from above will eliminate odd shadows and may help your face to appear slimmer.
One of the best tips I was given was to play around a little bit.
The perfect selfie is different for everyone, and you need to explore a little bit to find the best one for you.
2. Get close and show some detail
Put that selfie stick away.
You can get some great selfies if you get up close and personal.
These great selfie poses use the face to frame the photo.
Getting up close to the subject to capture the emotion and story behind the eyes, mouth, and facial expression can lead to some amazing selfies.
When in doubt, use your natural smile in selfies. Smiling photos tend to be more popular and are always a classic look.
3. Use the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds in photography is a design technique to help you place the subject of your photos in the most appealing areas of the image.
Don’t worry, it might look like rocket science at first, but it’s pretty easy to grasp.
Imagine dividing the square of your photo into a grid of three squares by three squares.
The Rule of Thirds directs photographers to place the most interesting parts of the image along the intersection of these lines.
It helps draw the viewer’s eye to the focal point of the selfie and avoid distractions elsewhere in the picture.
Some smartphone apps will automatically create Rule of Third’s grid lines to help you line up eyes, mouths, or other parts of your selfie this way.
4. Try selfies with your feet, your hands, or full-length shots.
Put away your face for these poses.
For whatever reason, selfies with just faces have become the most popular types of photos on social media.
Yet they may not be the most interesting.
Some of our favorite selfie poses feature hands, feet, or full-length body shots.
Body selfies are a great way to mark the occasion if you’re having a bad hair day and look like you’ve just woken up.
Don’t forget to try different angles for these selfies as well.
The right angle and good lighting can be a recipe for a great photo (with not a face in sight).
5. Frame photos with two hands rather than one
We are creatures of habit.
But when you pause to think about it for a minute, nothing says that a good selfie has to be taken with one arm only to hold out a selfie stick.
You may take a better image by framing the photo with both arms extended.
Both arms then form intersecting lines that draw the eye right into your face or the focal point of the image.
Make sure to keep your fingers out of the way.
6. Take a selfie posing for a selfie
Take the selfie one step farther and shoot a photo of yourself taking a selfie.
Set up two cameras and use the self-timer feature to capture your shot within a shot.
A quirky little photo and one of our guilty pleasures when it comes to selfie poses.
7. Move your shoulders at an angle to the lens
The most flattering selfie poses have shoulders positioned at an angle to the camera.
Move slightly to the left or right rather than position your shoulders square to the camera to give the image more depth and dimension.
Also great if duck face is a worry.
A lot of people find this angle flattering for the face.
8. Add accessories like a hat or sunglasses
Your selfie poses never need to be repetitive.
Mix up your selfie poses by adding in some elements to the immediate foreground and background.
Add a unique hat, sunglasses, or jewelry to add contrast and visual interest.
9. Lift your neck and extend your jawline
Your mother was right when she told you to sit up straight.
Extending your jawline and using good posture in selfies is essential.
You’ll appear taller and more slender by sitting upright with your jawline slightly extended.
And they say the camera adds weight.
That’s assuming you don’t know about this little trick!
Check out this Quick video by Jen Rozenbaum, that explains how to get a super flattering look in your photos:
10. Use natural lighting from a window.
The best selfie poses are taken with natural light.
Natural lighting is the most flattering and will highlight your best features in the selfie. — test different windows around your home.
Shoot at various points in the day. Both can help identify the areas and times that enhance your selfie the best.
11. Put the sun behind you outdoors
Bright, sunny outdoor selfies can result in harsh lighting and shadows on your face.
If taking a selfie outdoors, it’s best to either move to a shady place with diffused light or to position the sun behind you.
By making sure your head blocks the direct sunlight, you’ll create better outdoor selfies.
Check out this article from Canva on how to use Natural Light to take great photos.
12. Add “curves” to your body
Standing straight while holding the camera in front of you may work for some full-body selfies.
But the better strategy is to pose in a way that creates ‘curves’ or visual interest. Body selfies can be a bit boring, and this is a great selfie pose for making your photo look professional.
Put one hand on your hip, bend slightly forward, aim one slightly bent knee ahead in front of the other.
All of these options will create more visual interests in your selfie pose.
13. Place your hands near your face
The hands-on-your-face selfie has become incredibly popular—with good reason.
Having skin issues you want to cover up?
Want to add interest or draw attention to your face?
Are you trying to achieve that sultry, confused, or curious look?
Pulling one hand up to the face can be an easy way to add depth and emotion to a selfie — experiment with placing your fingers near your jawline or mouth for a great photo.
14. Don’t look directly at the camera
Just like traditional portrait photography, some of the best selfies have the subject looking away from the camera or looking at an object rather than directly at the camera.
Use your self-timer function or ask a friend to capture the look of divided attention away from the lens.
Not the most common pose, but is that a bad thing?
15. Try the ‘tiny human’ pose
Not all selfies need to be up close and personal.
You can also try the tiny human pose where you are featured as a small part of the foreground against a broader landscape.
These shots have become some of the most famous selfies featured in travel photography.
One of the easiest poses to manage, and like the photo, no one says you even have to be looking at the camera.
16. Get moving
There’s no rule that says you need to stand still in selfie poses.
Some of the best selfie poses have the subject on the move in the image.
Set up your camera using the self-timer feature and then take a photo when moving (running, dancing, walking towards or walking away from the camera, etc.).
Use your imagination and experiment with movement in photos.
17. Light mirror selfies from the front
If you’re taking a mirror selfie, always aim for as much natural light as possible.
But that’s not always possible in a dressing room or bathroom, where the harsh lighting can be less than flattering.
In these cases, position yourself to be lit from the front whenever possible.
Try to position your body less from the front in mirror shots and more from side angles or standing with your back turned slightly towards the mirror.
18. Include your pet
Selfie poses with you and your favorite furry friend can add some extra life and dimension to your photos.
Create scenarios where you and your pet can take a quick selfie together, enjoying the things you like to do most.
Try a quick shot in the park, in play, or while lounging around in bed.
It’s a fun way of adding variety to your Instagram feed.
19. Pose in black and white
Black and white self-portraits have been around since the beginning of photography.
Some of the most stunning selfies begin with natural lighting in black and white.
In many cases, turning it black and white can actually be flattering, especially if you have bad skin.
Explore your moody side!
20. Silhouette your selfie
Not all selfies have to include a full daytime view.
Consider lighting yourself with a silhouette, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue in your selfie.
To create a unique profile, stand in front of a light source, and make sure the background is brighter than you are.
You don’t need a lot of light.
You just need to understand how it works and how to use it to create breathtaking photos.
21. Practice, practice and practice some more!
The best way to know how to pose for a selfie is to practice.
Take some time to experiment with the different techniques, try different angles, and learn what you like best.
It takes time to figure out the angles and poses that are the most flattering for your face and body.
The only way to learn what works best is to practice.
Thankfully, it’s easy to delete anything you don’t like it and then take some more.
Is it true that it’s better to take selfies with the back camera than the front camera on a smartphone?
The short answer is yes.
One of the biggest mistakes of taking selfies is using the front camera on your smartphone rather than the back.
Obviously, it is quicker and easier to set up a shot and to see yourself, but easy doesn’t always work.
Although it’s tempting to check your expression on the screen, the front camera on your phone generally takes a lower-resolution and a lower-quality image.
On the flip side (literally), the back camera has more pixels, a flash for low lighting, and can increase the chances of shooting a tack-sharp selfie.
It takes a bit more coordination to take a selfie with the back camera.
You may need to use a selfie stick, tripod, or even lean your phone up against an object to create a makeshift stand.
You’ll also want to use the self-timer or the exterior button to snap the photo rather than use the onscreen button to release the shutter.
The most important thing you need to remember is that it just takes practice.
Those Insta guys and girls who take amazing photos are able to do that because they practice over and over again.
They master angles and lighting, they can pose immaculately, but it all comes from constant practice.
Taking pictures of landscapes may seem simple when you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty in the outdoors.
But to really take a great photo, one that you want to share with friends or hang on your wall, there’s more to it than just pulling out your camera and snapping a few pics.
How different are landscape photos to taking selfies?
In short, the difference is huge!
For a start, it’s difficult to get the image sharp and clear because there’s no object in the foreground to focus on.
If you have the opportunity to tweak with settings, you want to select a mid-range aperture.
If you don’t have this option to select, don’t worry, most phones will make a choice automatically.
If you can, get yourself a tripod or find a way to stabilize the image.
One great tip for landscapes is to take advantage of the “golden hour.”
There are actually two golden hours that aren’t even 60 minutes in length, and that’s just after sunrise or before sunset.
Because the sun is low on the horizon, it gives the photo a warm glow.
Perhaps you don’t always need to be the focus of your photos, especially when you find yourself in awe of your surroundings.
So, what are some of the right selfie poses?
There is no one-size-fits-all selfie pose since each face and body shape is slightly different.
That’s not to say there aren’t some tried and tested selfie poses that can help you look more confident and relaxed in front of the camera.
Checking these tips will help you identify your selfie style and get the Instagram-worthy shots you’re looking for.