The Dos and Don’ts of Taking a Good Selfie

selfie_bannerCome on, admit it: you’ve probably taken at least one selfie in your life time. The word ‘selfie’ has become so iconic that mentions on social media increased by over 17,000% in 2013 alone. Everyone loves to take selfies. If you’re a regular user of our website, you’ll know this is true. It seems trendy these days to take a sneaky dating profile selfie to show off their best assets; be it a good smile, a great hairdo…or other questionable pursuits. However, there’s an unspoken art to taking a good selfie which is rarely talked about (or acted upon). This means there’s a world of selfie disasters out there that are the brunt of many jokes on blog websites, which can be socially devastating for persons involved.

If you’re new to the selfie, follow our guide before taking a snap to avoid any embarrassment and make the right impression in the search for your someone.


Capture your best angle – Experiment with different angles by taking a few ‘practice’ selfies. Turn your head a few degrees, and hold your head slightly higher than your head. Review each angle before making a decision. If in doubt, photograph your left side: according to a study published in Experimental Brain Research, the left side of the face is more aesthetically pleasing to people.

Check your background – Backgrounds tell a story, so check what’s behind you before taking a snap. In general, steer clear of any inappropriate locations. Try to choose a nice, neutral background. The walls of your home are sufficient. If you have a nice garden or backyard, or an interesting painting, these would also work as a suitable backdrop.

Dress to impress – Don’t overdress, but wear sensible clothing. Be your best self and wear something that tells a story about your personality. Being yourself by wearing clothes that reflect who you are can be incredibly alluring to a partner. The trick to taking a good selfie is to show you’re comfortable and confident, and your favourite clothes can help project this. If you’re worried about what to wear, dressing for a potential date might work best – see our guide on dressing to impress.

Light it up – Good lighting is crucial in any photo. Natural lighting works best, so try to work with the sun to your benefit. A balance between sun and shade is best. Make sure the sun is shining on you, not behind you (otherwise it will give your body a silhouette look). Try not to use your phone’s flash – it harshens the face. Experiment with filters if you feel your selfie has been compromised by lack of light. There are plenty of great photo editing apps out there – search your phone’s app store.

Smile – A genuine, warm smile will work wonders in a selfie. Science has proven this: a study by the University of Aberdeen revealed both men and women found people more attractive when looking towards the camera and smiling. A smile is your greatest asset, as it projects an image of confidence, so don’t be afraid to use it.


Avoid duckface – If you’ve come across selfies, you’ve almost certainly come across duckface. The act of trying to appear more attractive by pouting, often while angling the camera downwards, has flooded many Instagram and Facebook feeds globally. The duckface is meant to give the effect of larger cheekbones and bigger lips, but in the majority of cases, the expression comes off looking comical (hence the plethora of selfie blogs out there). Have a look at our featured image which compares duckface to their natural smiling face: you can see why this expression doesn’t work.

Overdo the makeup – This is a common mistake in dating profile photos. Unfortunately without the right lighting, your makeup could appear overdone; a study has found that men actually prefer women who wear 40% less makeup! Keep the makeup natural and minimal for maximum results. A tinted moisturiser or light foundation, a press of powder, a tiny bit of mascara and some subtle lipgloss would work perfectly.

Binge drink in photos – The Internet is sadly a world where photographs are extremely hard to erase and easy to share. If you’re going to be looking for a job in the future, prospective employers could come across your binge drinking selfie and judge your work ethic on this one photograph. Further, a photograph like this could send the wrong message to potential partners, who may think you are more into partying than making a serious connection. Leave alcohol out of the photograph.

Steer clear of the “mirror shot” – Posing in front of a mirror looks forced and unnatural. Point the camera in front of your face! Use your phone’s back camera to capture high-definition, natural selfies.

By following these dos and don’ts, you will be on your way to taking a winning selfie and finding your perfect someone. Set aside some time if you feel like you need to hone in your photography skills. Practice makes perfect in the fine art of selfie taking. If you get stuck, ask a trusted friend to take a photo instead. Most importantly, be yourself; smile, act natural…and steer clear of any inappropriate locations!