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Strike a Pose! Here’s How to Take a Good Selfie

Learning how to take a good selfie requires a little technique and a lot of personality. Here’s how to serve every time.
Editorial team
December 6, 2023
June 22, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

Quick — how many pics did you snap the last time you felt cute? Now, be honest: Did you delete them later? If so, you're not alone. We’ve all been there. Although selfie queens and professional thirst traps make it look easy, nailing the right angle, lighting, and background is an art form. 

Learning how to take a good selfie doesn’t require ring lights and a photography degree. It’s about playing with what your mama gave you and having fun with a little trial and error. With a few new tricks, you’ll have everyone gagging in no time. 

Understanding the basics of a good selfie

Behind every good selfie is a mix of technique and personality. Whether you want Insta-glam or a cute OOTD, mastering a few basics can turn your selfie game from meh to magnificent. 

And don’t worry; step one is not “be hot.” Because we both know you already are! Unfortunately, it takes more than good looks to snap a fierce selfie. If you want to know how to take a good selfie when you're not photogenic, use these essentials as your guide:

1. Light it up

Bad lighting is enemy number one to a good selfie. Harsh overhead bulbs or the glow of a computer screen light up your face in all the wrong places. Nobody needs hospital-style lights sabotaging their skincare routine with unsightly dark circles.

Warm, natural light works wonders. It flatters your features, avoiding heavy shadows or a floodlight on every last line and blemish. 

Position yourself near a large window or step outside. Always face the light source — backlights cover you in shadow, highlighting everything but you. To grab the best light, shoot during the “golden hour,” when the sun’s closest to the horizon (about an hour after sunrise or before sunset). You’ll glow like a movie star. 

2. Choose your angle

Finding your best side is like the secret spice in a recipe, making your selfie extra tasty. The right angle flatters your favorite features. Experiment with tilting and turning your head in different directions to find the best angle. 

A good rule of thumb is placing the camera just above eye level and angling it down. It’s a universally flattering way to take a self-portrait that elongates your neck, avoids a double chin, and gives your eyes power.

And don’t forget the body — especially if you’re taking some underwear pics or a private nude. A slight shift in posture (like angling your hips or pushing your chest forward) accentuates the right bulges. The important part is to play around with angles until you find a balance between feeling hot and looking natural — unless you’re trying to show off your contortionist skills.

3. Pay attention to the background

Your self-portrait isn’t just about you. A carefully considered background will set the stage to elevate or distract. A dirty mirror, messy room, or giant dildo on your nightstand is going to give Grey Gardens realness. Not flattering. 

A good background is less about location and more about careful cropping. Always do a quick scan before clicking to ensure surprise elements don’t sneak into the frame. 

4. Know your phone

Learning how to take a good selfie with an iPhone or Android starts with understanding your phone and the built-in camera app. Although taking selfies with your back camera is less comfortable, it usually captures sharper images, which means your fierceness will be caught in high definition.

Your phone camera app also has helpful camera settings and built-in filters. The portrait mode blurs the background to make sure you pop, whereas night mode can bring up low lighting with longer exposures. 

5. Edit your pics

A lot of magic happens in editing. Try adjusting the brightness for an immediate glow-up, tweaking contrast for more depth, or playing with saturation to make your skin look more natural. 

Try to enhance your features without creating an entirely new face. Although photo editing apps like Facetune can retouch uninvited pimples, a feed full of AI-looking images reads like you’re catfishing your audience. And if you’re taking selfies for your dating profile, heavily Photoshopped images are a big no-no.


6. Practice makes perfect

There’s no shame in taking a million selfies. Snap away until you hit your stride. Learning how to take a good mirror selfie or capture your best features comes with repetition.

Try putting your phone on video mode and channeling your inner model. Play around with poses, expressions, and angles as if you’re in a photo shoot. Later, you can freeze frames, screenshot your favorites, and replicate them for future selfies.

Camera-ready: Preparing for the perfect selfie

Before you set up your camera, let’s talk prep. You’ll struggle to take selfies if you don’t feel good when you look in the mirror. A little grooming goes a long way; a fresh shave, a touch-up on your hair, or a quick skincare routine sets you up for flawless selfies. Skincare is especially vital. A healthy, natural glow is always in vogue. 

And don’t forget the ’fit. Whether you’re picking out the trendiest streetwear or serving mall-goth attitude, there’s no bigger slay than being yourself. Choose pieces that make you feel cute and confident, whether that’s a classic white tee and jeans or risque bottoms and a crop top.

Strike a pose: Techniques for a flattering selfie pose

If posing in front of the camera doesn’t feel natural, remember that your stance doesn’t just show off your look — it captures the moment. Whether you’re finally feeling yourself after a rough breakup or serving confident top energy, let your mood lead the way. 

That might sound easier said than done. But it'll come through in the photos if you’re forcing a smile or putting on a show. Practice letting your selfie pose come from a place of authenticity. Here are a few tips to unleash your inner cover girl:

  1. Keep moving: Slight movements can create dynamic and natural-looking photos. Shift your weight from one foot to the other, change the angle of your shoulders, or subtly turn your head to make yourself look less stiff. 
  2. Relax the face: Staring straight into the camera gives a lot of nothing. Soften your eyes, relax your mouth, or raise your eyebrows slightly to look more natural — and alive. 
  3. Channel the mood: If you’re feeling playful, loosen your posture and smile. If you’re feeling sexy, show some skin and stand tall. Whatever the mood is, act it out. It may feel silly, but your adoring fans will be none the wiser when they see the fierce final product.
  4. Don’t show all the goods: Although a post-workout locker room selfie can drive your crush wild, teasing will kick his imagination into overdrive. Play with what you reveal and what you hide to increase the allure. 
  5. Don’t forget the caption: A good caption incorporating cheeky humor and the hottest gay slang can turn a selfie post into a work of art. Slay, bitch. 

Don’t wait for the perfect moment to capture the perfect selfie 

No one’s born knowing how to take a good selfie. Men especially aren’t encouraged to get creative with their photography game, but a little spontaneity is crucial for good selfies. Your IG will look awfully repetitive if all your pics are identically framed and lit.

So don’t wait for the “perfect” setup. If you’re feeling good, whip out your iPhone and take a quick snap. The “real life” unpredictability will resonate even if it’s not the optimal shot. 

Werk the group selfie

Group selfies require the same techniques as regular selfies — plus a long arm, mirror, or selfie stick. Whether it’s a fierce pose, a shared laugh, or a candid moment, make sure everyone is photo-ready so you can capture the energy of the moment. And if someone wants a do-over or immediate delete — no questions asked!

Learning from inspirational selfie artists

Although celebs have glam teams and custom filters, you can still learn from the selfie legends. Here’s a shout-out to a few icons who mastered the game:

  1. Rihanna: Ri Ri isn’t afraid to get real. Whether showing off her baby belly or a makeup-less face, her selfies are always a bad gal statement. 
  2. Lil Nas X: With his mix of camp and high fashion, we love Montero’s approach to selfies. He isn’t afraid to go for it — whether showing his V-line in a bubble bath or serving looks at Paris Fashion Week. 
  3. Kylie Jenner: Her big sis regularly breaks the Internet, but Kylie has mastered the art of a good photo. The girl knows her best angles, is fluent in pouting, and makes sure the body is always bodying. 
  4. Luke Gilford: Although the professional photographer fills his feed with celebrity portraits, we live for his occasional selfie and penchant for tank tops, tight wranglers, and cowboy hats. It’s giving ranch daddy realness. 

Put your selfies to good use on Grindr

Taking a selfie should be about embracing the moment. We all want to project our best selves — whether that’s flaunting the booty or capturing a day out with your friends. 

But remember, learning how to take a good selfie isn’t just about capturing how you look — it’s about showing off your personality. So go ahead, strike a pose, and werk that camera. 

And once you’re ready, you’ll send wigs flying on Grindr! Download the Grindr app, or browse hands-free with Grindr Web — the same Grindr you know and love, now available on your laptop or PC with no download required.

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