Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How to take better selfies [SOCIAL MEDIA]

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Some selfies are better than others. Leaving aside that some people are better looking than others, all of us can do a few things to make our own selfies look as good as possible.

Here are my top tips that I’ve tested by taking hundreds of selfies:

  • Find something interesting for a background. Selfie after selfie in front of a blank wall gets old – even if you are the prettiest in the land.
  • Lighting. Just moving around and testing different natural lighting angles can make average selfies look great.
  • Smile.
  • No selfies while driving! Don’t take them when it’s illegal or when it might lead to your death.
  • Look at the camera – not the screen. You are taking a photo and aren’t just taking a photo of yourself looking in the mirror.

Looking at the camera – which was a tip digital strategists Sandra Fancher and Kelsey Guetschow mentioned to me – is hard. The camera on the screen side of the iPhone is hardly noticeable. But, in case you can’t find it, it’s left of center at the top of the phone.

Of course, the rest of the phone (aka the screen) is showing ourselves, which will draw our attention to it over that little bity camera.

Those selfies look like this:


I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t looking at the camera until it was mentioned.

Recommended reading: 

Why gym selfies are okay

A selfie looking and smiling at the camera looks like this:


Here’s what I found hard about smiling and looking at the camera while taking a selfie:

  • You are looking at nothing to look at – the invisible camera so to speak. It takes effort to remember it’s there.
  • The smile never looks the way it feels. I’ve found myself retaking selfies because I didn’t like the smile once the picture was displayed after I took it.

But are these selfies more popular?

In the spirit of overthinking everything online I took a look. When it comes to my Instagram selfies in the last 45 days, one of me sitting on a bench at the gym received most likes. A picture of a box of my books was the overall engagement winner, though.


The bottom line is that you’ll have to figure out your own style. Some cultures (American, for example) prefer smiling photos. Others (like some European countries) not smiling in pictures is common. Looking at the camera certainly makes it look like we are looking at our viewer, which is nicer.

Either way, if you want to take selfies, take and publish them.


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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