7 Top Tips For Taking The Perfect Selfie

When it comes to taking the perfect selfie, there are a few essential techniques that will take you from duck-face to flawless beauty.

And no one knows this better than Glenn Gordon, photographer and owner of Third Eye Photography.

Forget filter-queen Kim Kardashian, us mere mortals can achieve fabulous selfies with a few handy techniques and a bit of practice. We went straight to the source and asked Glenn to share his top selfie secrets….

Tip 1: Natural Light

Photographer Glenn Gordon's own recent selfie

Photographer Glenn Gordon’s own recent selfie

“Natural light.” said Glenn, “No flashes or electronic, non-natural light. Although it can be quite good in a studio, it is never, ever as good as natural light.”

And summer time is the perfect season for achieving great results.

Glenn said: “Right now it is noon in July and there is such a great glow coming in from the window. It’s almost impossible to get a bad selfie with natural light.”

“Photography is about creating an illusion, so the selfie is like creating an illusion of oneself. Key point: soft light will create an airbrush glow effect.”

However, he warns of over-exposure which can have the opposite effect: “if you were to stand in direct sunlight, the light becomes very harsh and you will get shadow as well as really look your age. Not very flattering at all.”

Tip 2: The Right Background

“My second tip has to be to choose your background appropriately” said Glenn.

“I wouldn’t put myself up against a blue wall when I’m wearing blue shorts and a blue vest top (well, I might, if I only wanted to show off my tan). Contrast between background and subject can be good.”

Glenn says that for example dark haired selfie-takers may want to contrast this by placing themselves against a light coloured wall.

Tip 3: Symmetry

“I like things to be symmetrical” said Glenn.

“However, I know that most faces aren’t really symmetrical so that’s why I mentioned about the importance of your hair. Make sure you’re happy with things like your hairstyle, because if it’s pushed to one side it changes the entire shape of your face.

“I like my hair to be symmetrical so that when it falls around my face it gives it a more symmetrical look overall.”

And what about the infamous pout? Do we or don’t we?


Tip 4: Smile

Glenn said: “Nevermind pouting, I think smiling is a key feature in a selfie because whenever you learn to smile in a photograph, it shines through.

“You don’t have to look like a fish. You can look happy..happy people are the prettiest people.”

Tip 5: Eye Contact

Glenn explained: “Eye contact is extremely important. You can connect with your audience right away whenever you are making good eye contact.

“Try to hold your face up, and symmetrically. When you hold your face up and make eye contact, make sure the rest of your body is also symmetrical then proceed to smile and get ready to take your selfie. It’s all about positioning your face and having nice, natural light.”

Tip 6: Don’t Hide In The Dark

Glenn says it’s time to forget about night-time selfies, especially in the summer, he reckons the best time to get the perfect look is during the day.

“Don’t get me wrong, unnatural light or a flash can be good at night time. However, during the day you will not get better light and you will look flawless” he said.


Tip 7: Enjoy It

Finally, Glenn emphasises the importance of not taking yourself too seriously and enjoying your selfie game.

He said: “Remember that you are creating an illusion. It’s therefore good to develop a relationship with your camera. It’s fine to think of your selfie as something fun, something creative, an illusion.  And don’t put yourself through so much pressure about your image.

“Have fun with it. Take note of the selfies you like best and get to know which side of yourself you like better, which way you prefer your hair or your smile…practice makes perfect.”

Of course it’s okay to have some selfie fails. It’s all about experimenting and accentuating your natural features says Glenn.

“I know how to take the perfect selfie now because I know how to take the perfect photograph, but it wasn’t always that way.

“Snapchat is quite good because of its flash when your camera is turned round the other way, but try to avoid filters: you do NOT need them. You can achieve great results with natural light and look just as flawless. So play around, I look forward to seeing the results!”

Bonus Tip: Let Glenn Help!

For some people getting the right selfie is important not just for ego reasons but because in the world of social media for many people looking right online is important for their business.

Photographer Glenn Gordon's own recent selfie

Photographer Glenn Gordon’s own recent selfie

While you may not want an amateur shot of you partying with your friends, you might equally not want an overly formal business profile picture.  Getting that balance is key.

Glenn explained: “For many small business owners social media is key to the success of their business.  However, the reality is that people judge us for how we look.  I’m not talking about beauty in the sense of models and celebrities and having to come across as a designer perfume model.  

“It’s more about the essence of your picture.  Maybe you want fun and professional or casual but business-like.  We have many clients who will come into the studio just to get their Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and/or Twitter profile pictures taken.

“It may sound a little narcissistic but in an aesthetical age, it’s just another part of our entrepreneurial branding.”

Book Glenn or one of the team today for your 10 minute Selfie Shoot (includes shoot and 3 final pictures) for just £25 now by calling 07931432145, emailing Tep689@yahoo.co.uk or logging on to the Third Eye Photography Facebook Page

Let Glenn see your favourite selfies and tell us why in the comments below!

About the Author

Abby Williams
Belfast based author/writer specialising in entertainment, mental health and human interest.