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How to nail the perfect selfie every single time

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Mon Jun 20 2016


TAKING selfies is easy but knowing how to take a really good one takes a bit more skill. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Yupan Li, Michelle Fan, Yuying Yan offer their guide on what you need in order to snap the best selfies.


Everyone knows how to take a selfie but to really rack up those hearts on Instagram and see those notifications fire up on Facebook, you need more than just the right angle.

Lighting, finding the right background and using the perfect filter app all come into play if you want to turn a good selfie into a great one.

If you want to know how to nail that selfie every time, follow our tips and recommendations below!

The Fundamentals

Find the perfect background 


Just cause you’re taking a photo of yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to where you’re taking it.

Taking a selfie in a nice scenic location is far more appealing than your basic bathroom tiles so, when possible, take your selfies in places that look as good as you.

Stand in front of the sea or a field of flowers or find a simple background that’s not too overcrowded. Simple backgrounds also mean your face will stand out a lot more too.

Getting the perfect amount of lighting 


Any photographer will tell you that lighting is important and that working with natural sunlight can be very difficult.

If you’re planning to take a selfie ourdoors, just know that while sunlight is natural and soft (and with enough sunlight your picture might even help you look more energetic too) too much sunlight, especially in summer, can work against you. You don’t want to look like the sun yourself!

Positioning is very important when it comes to working with natural lighting as it affects not just the shape of your face but your skin tone as well. Look at the first one with soft light and the scary affect the second one have with bad light.

Work those angles

Everyone has their own “good side” and figuring out yours is key to taking a great selfie.

Typically, having your phone at a 45 degree angle helps in that it can make your nose look taller and give a nicer shape to your face. Having the camera directly in front of you on the other hand will make for a flattened face that could appear unflattering to yourself.

Other neat tricks to try and make your face look smaller is to hide it behind something — a mug, book and scarf for example are sensible items to hide behind.

Using the best filters and apps for your selfie

Once you’ve got the fundamentals locked down, it’s time to move on to the fun part — working with your selfies in “post-production”.

While you can work with the filters that Instagram offers by default, there are so many other apps out there that you can use to enhance your photos. We recommend the following three: B612, Selfiecity and FotoRus.


B612 contains more than 90 filters and has a great deal of customisation options for your photos.

What’s more is that you can also take a selfie video too, creating a selfie that’s much more visually interesting and totally compatible with Facebook’s recent moving profile photos.



A before/after comparison between a basic photo and a touched-up Selfiecity photo. | Photo: Yupan Li

This is a more professional selfie app which has a whole suite of options to help you re-touch your photos. Selfiecity can help with the focus of your photo, bringing out your face and eyes.

And as expected from any selfie-supporting app, it also has a range of filters to choose from.


FotoRus brings a bit of creativity to some of your selfies with fun stickers and other options to modify your photos. | Photo: Yupan Li

FotoRus brings a bit of creativity to some of your selfies with fun stickers and other options to modify your photos. | Photo: Yupan Li

If you can’t find a nice background or can’t seem to find the right selfie to take, FotoRus can help make it better. You can create collages from your photos, put different types of stickers over your photos and draw on it too!

Far from just your usual selfie app, this app allows for a bit more creativity and fun – experiment with all the fun options this app has!

Snap away!

Perfected your technique? Found the right app for you? Now all you have to do is snap those selfies and upload them everywhere you go!

Soon enough, your selfies will be so lit that you won’t even be able to keep track of all your notifications!

If you’re after more advice on how to take a great selfie, we recommend the following videos that educate viewers on how to perfect those selfies every single time.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via