Did you know that June 21st is not only the Summer Solstice but also National Selfie Day?

What better way to use the longest day of the year than to perfect your selfie game!

selfie of Lauren LunaIn all honesty, I take horrible selfies. Like triple chin, see every imperfection on my face selfies. I also have a tendency to take them in less than ideal locations. Clearly, this post is not a completely altruistic endeavor, but rather an excuse to learn more about what it takes to make a good self portrait.

⬅️ See! I told you that I was bad at this selfie thing. Note: This photo included one of my kids, but I cropped him out because he’s not even looking at the camera. He shares his mother’s genetic inability to take selfies.

Here are 5 tips to better selfies from someone who could use every bit of this advice.

Lighting is key:

Lighting, particularly natural light, is the key to a good selfie. Don’t let all those extra hours of daylight go to waste this summer; use them to capture radiant selfies.

Taking pictures outdoors is your best bet, but if you’re inside it’s recommended that you go near a window. Did you know that good lighting can actually make under-eye circles and shadows disappear? I definitely could use that like all day, not just when taking selfies. *Pro tip: The best time of day to take photos are when the light is low and most flattering, either at sunrise or sunset.

Choose your best angle:

Chin down, camera up! You want to hold your phone so that the bottom is level with your eyes. If you’ve ever used a selfie stick, then you know that they produce this same flattering angle by forcing you to hold them up high.

➡️ Not a great angle, but at least I am outside with natural light and a simple background!

Background:

Whether you’re taking a photo at the beach or in your own backyard, you want to either remember to make the background super interesting or very simple. Those ones we take in our cars with the kiddos flailing around in carseats are actually the epitome of bad self backgrounds—you’ve got a so-so backdrop and photobombers. Unless you’re trying to include your offspring, it’s best to avoid anyone else in the background that takes away from your stunning visage. 

Take A LOT of selfies:

The very best selfies you seen on social media are probably selected after scouring through hundreds, literally hundreds of photos. As in all things, practice makes perfect in the selfie game. Try different angles or vary your head tilt. Whatever slight variations you try, the better because you will have more selfies to choose from when it’s time to post. Just be sure the camera is in focus. 

Smile!

Remember when you were in grade school and the photographer told you to tilt you head, then tilt again? Then scoot back on the bench…nope, come forward. Yea, that smile that came across your face of utter annoyance should not be the one that you present to the world past 8th or 9th grade.

You want to flash a fresh expression and a natural smile. If your selfie is on the serious side, practice that look, too. Remember Rule 4? While you’re taking all those selfies, try a few different but genuine smiles (i.e. teeth, no teeth, parted lips, closed mouth, etc.) and choose the most flattering grin you’ve got. 

⬆️ Natural light. Genuine smile. Cute baby. A pretty good selfie by any standards!

I hope some of these tips can help you.

As you can see, I don’t take a ton of good selfies. When I do, there is most likely a child photobombing me or a smear of someone else’s snack on my shirt. Maybe these don’t make great selfies, but they sure as heck are realistic. When I look back on them, they’ll be a moment in time that’s genuinely me. Now that’s a true “selfie.”