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How to Take a Selfie in 2017: 9 Pro Tips for the Perfect Picture

While we might all take a lot of selfies, how do you take a really good one? It’s like you’re having the time of your life with everything falling right into its place and you just happened to grab a snapshot of that moment.

Okay, we’re slightly exaggerating (come on, Insta isn’t the real world), but there are ways to ensure that you feel your happiest and most confident self with the pictures you decide to post on social media—or accidentally send to everyone in your contacts list. If you must take selfies—or don’t know where to begin—then we’ve got the how-to guide for you.

From knowing how to find your best side to understanding which equipment and filters will make the most of your features, we’ve got some incredible tricks and ideas to help. If you think you need a gentle nudge in that right direction, keep scrolling for our guide on nine pro tips on how to take a selfie.

1. Make sure you have the right equipment
While we’re sure you’re more than happy with your smartphone (hey, it takes good pictures and has your favourite filter applications), you might even want to invest in an actual camera. We spoke to fashion editor and blogger Alex Stedman, who told us that mirror-less cameras are the best as “they shoot square, with great clear images and you can work the pics straight to your phone (even whilst on the tube!).

2. Find your best side
No, we’re not making it up—you really do have a “good side” to your face. Just look at Tom Ford, who always poses in the same position to ensure he gets the most out of a shot. (Don’t believe us? Google it.) There are ways to find yours, however. One street style photographer revealed exactly how to do that, saying that “it really comes down to knowing the angles of your own face and positioning the camera to accentuate those features.” If you’re still struggling, there’s also the SymSide app, which helps to determine your best side.

3. Shoot from the right angle
So you’ve got your best side, but what about the best angle? Speaking to Allure, makeup artist Nick Barose says that “for most people, the best angle for a selfie is one that’s slightly higher than their line of vision. And you probably shouldn’t stare directly into the camera, either.” Noted.

4. It’s all about the lighting
Sure, you might have a LuMee, but is that really the best lighting to get a gorgeous shot of yourself? Photographer and style blogger Candice Lake advised facing directly away or into the sun, as otherwise, you might end up with shadows that “can look like bags under your eyes. The golden hour to shoot a photo is during sunrise or sunset, when the light is low and the most beautiful.” Stedman reiterates this as she prefers to shoot in natural light, as “any lights add a yellow glow which I don’t like in my feed.” Early mornings (preferably not in the blue light) might just be a necessity from now on…

5. Perfect your makeup
Look, we don’t want to make you go full Narcissus, but if you’re feeling and looking good, it sounds like a pretty safe time to take a selfie. As with everything, when it comes to this world, there is a trick ensuring your makeup looks incredible in every (yes, every) picture you take. There are a few tips that our sister site Byrdie has given us on how to get flawless makeup.

6. Shoefies are totally acceptable
When is a selfie not a selfie? When it’s a shoefie, of course. Sometimes, you just have to take a picture of your fabulous shoes, but you need to know just how to get that right too (hey, what’s the point in spending money on footwear if your Insta fans can’t enjoy them too?). We’ve got a few pro tips on how to take the perfect shoefie to ramp up your likes.

7. Test-run the latest trends
Sure, you know your new Gucci loafers are going to get tonnes of action. But what about those polarising socks you love (but your friends hate) or those wide fishnet tights that you’re not sure about? Try out your different looks on Instagram with your selfies and hone your wardrobe in the long run: win-win. And if you’re looking for the best way to get a full outfit in a shot, just take a tip from Stedman, who says that “a sitting shot works well to get the whole outfit in and you can fill the frame.”

8. Be prepared to edit
One tip we always rely on is taking more selfies than you need (or is socially acceptable). The idea is that you will take so many than you’ll end up with at least a couple you like. Once you’ve got your perfect picture, then it’s time to edit using a great app, such as the perennially popular Facetune, or try Kim Kardashian West’s favourite photo-editing app Perfect365. Hey, if Kim says it’s good, then we’re on board.

9. Add a filter
We can almost hear you rolling your eyes at us. Of course you’re going to add a filter to your picture before you post it up. But did you know there are actually filters that are scientifically proven to make you look more attractive? According to Huffington Post, Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech analysed over 7.6 million Instagram photos and discovered that Mayfair, Valencia, Hefe, Nashville and Aden were the most flattering and gained the most engagement when used on photos (#alwaysfilter).