Who doesn't love a good selfie? Too bad it takes 20 bad selfies to get to the good one. Who has the patience for that when they have a new haircut to show off? You have a better chance of getting it right the first or second time if you take the time to practice and learn your best angles and poses.
You could practice in the mirror, but then you're working with overhead lighting, which is no one's friend. Natural, outdoor lighting is best, but I'd feel way too foolish holding a photo shoot on my front lawn. I'd never give myself enough time to get it right.
So let's find a spot next to a window or a lamp and get this thing figured out.
Use the Technology
It's possible to take a good closeup selfie. Even with short arms like mine. But if you want to get your whole outfit (or any of it) in the picture, then a selfie stick is a must have. Your phone may have a timer, or a photo burst option. They can give you the time to get your pose just so. And, of course, always use the forward facing camera, so you can see how you look before you snap the picture.
What makes a good selfie, anyway? It's not about making your face or body look thinner or narrower. It's about not making the photo all about your chins. No matter how thin someone is, they can look double-chin-tastic in pictures - especially selfies. This can draw the viewer's eye away from your pretty eyes and beautiful smile. And no one wants that.
You can avoid this problem by emphasizing your jawline. Move your forehead towards the camera and down a little. Consider adding a head tilt. Practice this because it's so easy to get this wrong. Too far down and you're creating that double-chin effect. Tilt your head too far towards your shoulder and you've got the same problem.
Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth can also be useful here.
It's All About Angles
You probably already know that you should hold the camera above your face or level with it. Avoid the temptation to tilt your head up towards the camera. You're tilting down, remember?
If you want your face to look narrower (no judgment - we all have frenemies to impress on social media), suck in your cheeks and do a half smile.
When you include your body in the selfie, you probably want to avoid making your fabulous outfit look like a shapeless blob. Prints are great for this - they're visually interesting and keep your outfit from reading as one block of color. Standing just so will define your shape, making your body and clothes look as good as they do in real life.
Stand diagonal to the camera, then put your weight on the foot that's farthest away from the camera. Remember to stand up straight and cross your feet - that last bit makes your hips look curvy. If you haven't fallen over yet, move your back arm behind your body so your arm and side don't blend into each other. If someone else is taking the selfie, put your front hand on your hip, creating a delineation between your arm and side.
Like everything else, this will get easier with practice.
Actually, don't. You'll look less posed and more like yourself if you say, "Hi." Or say nothing at all and flash an enigmatic smile.
Taking good selfies isn't just about vanity. It can be a real confidence booster. And you're entitled to enjoy how good you look.