How To Take A Good Selfie For Your Instagram Feed (Awesome Pictures Tips)

by Zara Mohammed, Entertainment Columnist

Published in Entertainment on 9th April, 2019

If you've got an Instagram account and you want to increase your followers and popularity but don't know how, I have some great tips to take your self-portrait photography to the next level so that you can grab people's attention and get your message or story out there.

Keep reading to find out how to take amazing selfies for your Instagram feed.

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What Exactly Is A "Selfie" And Why Do We Take Them?

Obviously you know what a selfie is, and if you don't, which rock have you been hiding under?

Let's take a look at the literal definition and try to figure out what Selfies are really all about. I always think it's important to consider why you want to do something before you actually go about doing it, so let's think about why taking a great selfie for your Instagram feed is important to you.

According to English Living Oxford Dictionaries (which was the first result that showed up in my Google search), a Selfie is:

A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media. Occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn't necessary.

I have no idea whose little quote that is on the end of the definition, as it doesn't specify, but I think it totally ruins the simplicity of the initial basic definition, which has annoyed me.

Judgement simply isn't necessary when all we want from a dictionary is the literal factual meaning of a word so that we can understand and interpret the use of it for ourselves, am I right?

Let me re-write this definition for the benefit of all if the selfie and social media addicts reading this article:

A Selfie is a personal representation of identity taken and presented in the form of a photograph which is often posted on social media.

That's better. Far more empowering, don't you think? You can quote me on that if you like.

I know an older woman who started posting a selfie every single day in order to develop her self esteem and a more positive image of herself as a beautiful and independent woman after being in a abusive relationship for years.

She went from not recognising herself, to knowing exactly who she is and what she stands for. A simple selfie can indeed be a powerful thing, and I think that taking one every day is absolutely fine. You do what you gotta do.

Okay, let's move onto how we can achieve amazing selfies.

How To Take An Awesome Selfie: The Basics

The first thing you need to know before you can start taking the best Selfies, is how to take a decent picture of yourself.

  • If you think you're ugly or you hate having your photograph taken, it's probably not because you are an ogre, you just haven't learnt how to pose properly for the camera. Most of the models you see in magazines or online look like Goddesses, but this is largely to do with the fact that they have learn the art of posing for the camera, not to mention all the post-production editing. And posing really is an art form. How do you think ballerinas always look so beautiful and elegant, they have been trained to hold and position their bodies in a certain way.
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  • Here are a few simple things that you can start thinking about so that your selfies are more on level with the photos taken of your favourite Instagrammers, who you think are stunning, but who are probably just as ordinary looking as the next person in real life, they just know how to make their legs look longer in photos!
  • Know Your Body and Your Face Shape - If you know what you have to work with, you can figure out how to work it! You probably know what you hate about the way you look, but you also know what your best features are. This is the first step towards starting to be more conscious about playing down the things that you are insecure about and making sure that the focus is on the things that you know make you look and feel beautiful. For example, everybody prefers one side of their face, and most people think that a certain part of their body is too big or too small. We often forget that although we focus on our own flaws, other people tend to focus on our assets, so the more we can show those off the less obvious our flaws are going to be in our selfies when we look at them.
  • Be Conscious About What You Wear - When posing for a photograph the clothes you wear can make a big difference to how you look in the photo. Get to know your colours. And I don't mean the colours you like best. I mean what colours compliment your skin tone and at the same time bring out your personality or the way you are feeling? Those are the colours that are going to make you look and in turn feel great in photos. You should also be aware of what clothes are best for your body shape. If you are not sure, analyse the wardrobes of celebrities you feel look the most similar to you, because they have professional stylists who are trained to pick out the best clothes to flatter their clients. It's like having a free stylist!
  • Choose a Good Location - Be aware of what you are standing in front of, or next to, or behind. Having a tree branch coming out of the top of your head is never a good look. Likewise, you want to be aware of the colours in the environment, so they don't clash but instead contrast nicely with what you are wearing. Is there anything else in the shot that might take away the main focus being on you? Could you use the environment to make you look more comfortable or natural instead of standing awkwardly in a space and not knowing what to do with your hands?

Basic Photography Tips

Get to know your camera, and consider the camera settings or modes and the available light before you start snapping away. Smartphone cameras are pretty intuitive and have some great features to help you create the best pictures, so take advantage of them!

Wherever possible go for natural light. If you aren't able to shoot outside at least try to stand by a window. Alternatively you can experiment with different kinds of light to see the different effects light can have on the ambience of your photographs. Play around with lamps that you can point in different directions.

There are some easy technical tutorials on Youtube that can help you to understand how you can use light to make your photographs look better. Candlelight can also create some fun, moody selfies.

If you are feeling extra experimental you can even play with the patterns created by casting shadows over your body or the background with objects. Large plant leaves for example are perfect for creating artistic selfies when you use them to interrupt the light shining on you from a lamp.

You can also play around with angles. Make yourself look slimmer, taller, sad, powerful and much more, simply by changing the angle of your camera.

Pro Tip: Plan and set up your scene first, and then place your camera on a timer and put yourself into the shot.

How To Get Creative With Your Selfies

Once you have mastered how to take decent, flattering, and attractive photographs of yourself in your environment, you can then move onto increasing the creativity of your selfies. In order to do this you have to think about the intention of your desired image.

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The intention is essentially the story of your picture. What do you want your selfie to say? How do you want your audience to feel when they look at it? When you are able to provoke emotions with your photography, suddenly your selfies will step up to the next level, because they are not just snaps of your pretty face anymore.

Now they convey meaning and they give people something to relate to. You are now creating art.

Before you snap another Selfie, have a think about what kind of picture you want to create. Here are some ideas:

  • Convey your vulnerability
  • Make people feel empowered
  • Provoke joy and happiness
  • Make people laugh
  • Show off your natural beauty
  • Make a statement with something you are wearing
  • Make people feel empowered
  • Provoke joy and happiness
  • Make people laugh
  • Show off your natural beauty
  • Make a statement with something you are wearing
  • Display inner confidence
  • Expose truth
  • Bring a smile to someone's face
  • Make people think more deeply
  • Show off the beauty of your location

Selfies are a powerful tool not only to increase your self esteem, meet people online and grow your followers, but also to evoke emotion and tell powerful stories. So now that you have learnt the basic skills of how to take amazing selfies for your Instagram feed, how are you going to use your new superpower?

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