21 Selfie Poses for Great Pictures

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 best selfie poses can make a significant difference in achieving your favorite look.

So, what are some of the best 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:

The 21 Best Selfie Poses To Try

  1. Try 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.  The best selfie pose should always come from an angle that’s most flattering for your jawline and forehead.  Shooting from straightforward will always create the most natural-looking selfie.  Shooting from above will eliminate odd shadows and may help faces appear slimmer.

  1. Get close.

    The best 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.  When in doubt, use your natural smile in selfies.  Smiling photos tend to be more popular and are always a classic look.

  1. 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.  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 Thirds grid lines to help you line up eyes, mouths, or other parts of your selfie this way.

  1. Try selfies with your feet, your hands, or full-length shots.

    For whatever reason, selfies with just faces have become the most popular, yet they may not be the most interesting.  Some of the best selfie poses feature hands, feet, or full-length body shots.  Try different angles of these selfies as well.

  1. Frame photos with two hands rather than one.

    Nothing says that a selfie has to be taken with one arm only.  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 the face or the focal point of the image.

  1. Take a selfie posing for a selfie.

    Take the selfie one step farther and shoot a photo of you taking a selfie.  Set up two cameras and use the self-timer feature to capture your shot within a shot.

  1. 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.

  1. Add accessories like a hat or sunglasses.

    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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Put the sun behind you outdoors.

    Bright sunny outdoor selfies can mean harsh lighting and shadows on your face. It’s best if taking a selfie outdoors to either move to a shady place with diffused light or position the sun behind you.  By making sure your head blocks the direct sunlight you’ll create better outdoor selfies.

  2. Add “curves” to your body.

    Standing straight 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.  Put your 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Don’t look directly at the camera. 

    Just like traditional portrait photography, some of the best selfies have the subject looking off the camera or looking at an object rather than directly at the camera.  Use your self-timer function or a friend to capture a look of divided attention away from the lens.

  5. 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.

  6. Get moving.

    There’s no rule that you need to stand still in a selfie. 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 with movement (running, dancing, walking towards or walking away from the camera, etc.

  7. Light mirror selfies from the front.

    If you’re taking a mirror selfie, always aim for as much natural lighting 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.

  8. Include your pet.

    Selfie poses with you and your favorite furry friend add some extra life and dimension.  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 at the park, in play, or while lounging around in bed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Practice, practice and practice some more!

    The best way to know how to pose a selfie is to practice.  Take some time to experiment with the different techniques, try different angles and learn what you like the 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 the best is to practice.  Thankfully it’s easy to delete anything you don’t like and then take some more.

Related Questions

Is it true that it’s better to take selfies with the back camera than the front camera on a smartphone? 

Yes.  One of the biggest mistakes of taking selfies is using the front camera on your smartphone rather than the back. Although it’s tempting to check your expression in the screen, the front camera on your phone generally takes a lower resolution and lower quality image.  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 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.

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