How To Take The Perfect Selfie

by Kat Kuehl

Remember when you used to have to turn your clunky digital camera backwards or — even worse — pose in front of a mirror in order to achieve that perfect Myspace profile photo? Celebrate the fact that those days are behind us during National Selfie Day on June 21!

Who knew that snapping photos of yourself would eventually turn into a phenomenon that's quickly become its own household name? Just imagine the confused looks you would've gotten if you had used the term "selfie" 10 years ago. But, I suppose their rise in popularity comes as no surprise. In this digital age, selfies are our first impression. We don't ask people about themselves anymore. We simply stalk their Instagram.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not big on taking selfies. In fact, mine usually result in a, "Wait, that's what I look like?" sort of moment. But, sometimes capturing that occasional photo of yourself is just absolutely necessary (good hair day, anyone?). As a result, I've mastered a few tricks of the trade that pretty much guarantee a high quality selfie. Because, like it or not, selfies and narcissism are here to stay. At least until a new trend comes along.

1. Find Your Perfect Angle

Just think about Tyra Banks yelling at those contestants on America's Next Top Model to remember their angles. Selfies are no different. Finding a flattering angle is key for achieving those chiseled cheekbones. Also, do yourself a favor and never take a selfie from below. It's not a good angle for anybody, and you'll save yourself a look up your nose.

2. Consider Your Photo's Background

Nobody wants to see your messy bathroom or your bras air-drying in the background. So, take some time to curate a fitting backdrop for your work of art. Perhaps you'll mysteriously find yourself in a field of flowers, or in front of the Eiffel Tower. Either way, I'm sure you can find a better location than your cluttered closet.

3. Lighting Is Everything

If you're trying to win an award for most flattering selfie, you probably want to hurry up and escape the horrendous fluorescent lighting of that department store dressing room. Natural lighting is always best. So, situate yourself in front of a window or — gasp! — head outside to find that flawless lighting needed to achieve your selfie dreams.

4. Primp Yourself

I'm all for those makeup-free selfies that pop up on the Internet every now and then. But, does that mean that I want to put my bare face out there for everyone to see? Not usually. I'll typically take some time to touch up my makeup, tame those stray hairs, and — for the love of God — make sure I don't have anything in my teeth.

5. Filters On Filters

If you weren't able to capture that perfect lighting, or you wish your teeth looked a teeny shade whiter, have no fear! This is where Instagram filters come into play. Whether you want to use one or one million, simply keep applying filters until you've reached your desired outcome. Thanks, Instagram, for making Internet deception easy.

Put these tips to use in order to accomplish that elusive "retouched without actually being retouched" selfie that you thought only existed in your dreams. Unless you simply just couldn't care less. In that case, I applaud you.

Images: Pasko Tomic/Flickr; Giphy (5)