Five tips to taking awesome selfies (for the shy... and shy about their acne)

Posted on January 16, 2014 by Rachel Duran

Super smile selfiePhoto: Super smile selfie by Flickr user Renzelle Mae Abasolo

Rachel DuranFrom the girl in her bathroom mirror to the guy on the crowded train — people are snapping selfies in private, in public, and in situations that both intrigue and confuse. With an arm outstretched just above eye level and lips frozen in a pout, the all-too-familiar, stereotypical selfie is easy to spot.

Flickr: Selfie bombSkip the tripod and the need to proposition a stranger for a photo favor, the forward-facing cameras standard on most phones today have made self-portraits common practice for everyone from teens to celebrities. Selfie was named word of the year in 2013 — the hashtag currently holds 23 million photos on Instagram and 51 million pics pop up under #me. 

While selfies may be simple to snap, posting your own photo may not always feel so easy if you’re self-conscious about your acne. “Flawless skin” as an applauded attribute in these types of photographs can make many feel shy about sharing their image, but what’s important to remember is the fact that these photos are intended to show you — regardless of your skin’s condition.

Instead of concentrating on your acne, focus your energy on taking a quality portrait, from composition to intention. Try these five tips for taking the perfect selfie:

  1. Selfie: ReflectionConfidence is key. Nigel Barker, host of The Face, says the number one mistake people make is relying on the camera. In an interview on Yahoo!'s Daily Shot, Barker gave tips for great self-taken pics. Rule number one: feel good about about yourself. Play your favorite song or remind yourself of a funny story. That relaxed, strong demeanor will be visible through the lens. 
  2. Work your own angle. While everyone, including Kim Kardashian, seems keen on the up-in-the-air stance, this approach isn’t the only option that flatters. Hold the camera directly in front of your nose, try the right and the left — find your best side and work it. 
  3. Set it up. Clear out that pile of laundry in the background and position yourself in front of solid colors, pretty wallpaper, or textured curtains. Then check the lighting—harsh bathroom bulbs and dark closets never make for a flattering photograph. Find soft and natural light that casts an even glow on your features. 
  4. Be snap happy. Sometimes you blink and sometimes you blur the shot with a twitch. Even effortless photos take some preparation. Don’t be afraid to work on that pose until you see confidence in the results. 
  5. Be real. The best selfies are those that exude personality. Whether you’re being funny, weird, sexy, or playing with props, be sincere in your efforts and enjoy the sheer act of the photo shoot.

Video: No Selfie Control by Cazwell


  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic.
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults with acne. 
  • Photo: Bearded snowy "Selfie bomb" by Tim Hettler via Flickr
  • Photo: Sunglasses "Reflection..." by  Renzelle Mae Abasolo via Flickr

Posted in #me, acne, adult acne, annoying, blemish, confidence, feelings, photo, psychology, self-image, selfie



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