How to take a good selfie – tips from the social media experts

How to take a good selfie - tips from the social media experts

by Gabrielle Albert |

Whether you want nice snaps to share with the family, or to post them online, all you need is a smartphone and a little know-how to take a great 'selfie' (a self portrait photo). We’ve asked the real life social media experts to share their top tips.

Experiment with picture-taking angles

We’ve all seen youngsters lifting their smartphones up really high to take a photo. While it might look a bit odd, it really works!

“Holding your smartphone up above your face – rather than straight on – is really flattering,” says Suzi Grant, aka @AlternativeAgeing on Instagram.

“Experiment by raising, lowering, lifting and tilting the phone as you take your photos,” says Laurie, aka @Vanity_And_Me on Instagram. “After a while, you will work out which poses work best for you.” If you struggle with lifting things for periods of time, Laurie recommends investing in a tripod and using the timer on the phone. Using a selfie stick can also help too.

Top tip: Tap your finger the reflection of your face on the screen of your smartphone to ensure it is focused and not blurry. {#h-top-tip-tap-your-finger-the-reflection-of-your-face-on-the-screen-of-your-smartphone-to-ensure-it-is-focused-and-not-blurry}

Get the selfie light right

“I take my photos in the lightest places possible – I find that more forgiving,” says Laurie. If you’re taking photos indoors, finding the best spot for natural light is essential. “Face a window, where the light is coming in, rather than standing with your back to the light,” recommends Suzi. “The best times for photography is the ‘golden hour’ – early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is at its warmest and most flattering.”

Top tip: Be aware of shadows created by your smartphone, especially middle of the day and the sun is high.

Smile for your selfie like you mean it

“People on Instagram love a smiley face and it cheers them up in these uncertain times,” says Suzi. That being said, if you don’t feel great in yourself on the day, it’s likely to show on camera. “Naturals smiles – rather than forced ones – are always much better,” Suzi says. “If you feel really happy, confident and vibrant it will show in your photos and you’ll come across as being totally authentic. Pretend the camera is your best friend to help you smile naturally.”

Take multiple selfie shots

Just as a professional photographer would plenty of shots on a shoot, so should you. “It can take a lot of photos to get that one good shot,” says Laurie. “You have to have patience.”

Suzi recommends taking as many photos as you like, from all angles. “I never take less than a dozen in one go.” Just remember to delete the unwanted photos from your camera roll so they don’t take up too much space on your phone.

Find a suitable setting for you snap

Before you begin snapping away, it’s worth considering what your surroundings will look like in your photo. “Make sure the background doesn’t fight with your clothes and isn’t too busy,” says Suzie. “I often pose in my garden with a plain sky in the background and my dog wandering around at my feet. Make it personal. I also love plain backgrounds outside such as pastel beach huts, stone walls or interesting fences and architecture. Look around where you live to see what would make a great background and you’ll find you're seeing your neighbourhood through completely different eyes!”

Make the most of your smartphone

There are plenty of apps and inbuilt features on smartphones than can help your selfies to come out even better. “I use the filters and editing tools on both my iPhone and on Instagram to brighten a dark photo and add a bit of vibrancy to the shot,” says Suzi. That being said, try not to over edit your photos. It can be easy to get carried away, but you don’t want to make yourself look unrecognisable.

Meet our Insta-grans

Suzi is a blogger, author and broadcaster whose Instagram account inspires women to grow older looking good and feeling great. She encourages her followers to buy pre-loved items to save money and the planet. She loves colour and accessories – headscarves and sunglasses are her signature look. You can find her fashion, cookery and lifestyle tips via her Alternative Aging Youtube Channel and blog.

Suzi's fashion mantra: "You’re never too old to wear colour."

Laurie is a mum-of-three and gran-of-eight with a background in hairdressing and beauty. As well as Instagram, she shares fashion, skincare and make-up tips on her blog ( and YouTube (Vanity And Me). She prefers high-street and online fashion and her favourite brand is Baukjen.

Laurie's fashion mantra: “Try new trends and shop everywhere."

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Helping hand: some accessories to help you take a good selfie

Smartphone accessories that will help with lighting and angles, browse some of our suggested products here.

And now, like a pro! How to take a selfie for women over 40

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