Ever taken a million selfies, trying to get at least ONE that looks good? 

Check out my 5 quick tips for taking a better Instagram-worthy selfie!


This is perhaps the most important factor to consider when taking a selfie.  You have three options:


This is the easiest light in which to take a great selfie.  Your face will be well-lit and your eyes bright.   Natural light is best, so if you’re inside, face towards a window.  If you’re outside, face towards the sun (even if its cloudy!).  A quick tip if you have shadows under your eyes and nose. Take a piece of white paper and hold it beneath your chin.  It acts like a photographer’s reflector to help light up those dark circles!  Beware of shadows on your face though – avoid dappled light under trees!


This is very flattering too, and creates a more moody or atmospheric selfie portrait.  Turn sideways to the window (or the sunlight), so that one side of your face is lit and the other is dark.  Side light works particularly well in black and white selfies!


This light gives a really bright background to your selfie.  Face away from the light source so that the sun or the window is behind you.  Its important here to focus the image on your face so that your smartphone camera exposes the selfie correctly… otherwise, the picture will be too dark.   You can also use your camera flash in this instance to help light your face correctly.


The main rule here is to hold the phone high and keep your chin down.  If you hold the phone out at chest height, you will end up with a shot looking up your nose and highlighting beneath your chin – not a flattering look for anybody!  Keep the bottom of phone higher than your eye level at least.  Taking a selfie from a higher angle is always much more flattering.   Play with the angle of your head too – looking straight at the camera is not always the most flattering shot. And lastly, smile like you mean it!


Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and been fascinated by what’s in the background of somebody’s selfie, rather than the photo itself?  Be aware of what’s behind you and visible in the shot.  If you can’t find a good background, try hiding it by using the bright backlight of a window or the sun.


if you struggle to hold your camera steady, then try resting it against something and using the timer function to take your selfie.  If you have an iphone, you can also use the volume buttons on the side of the phone to take your shot, rather than the round trigger button on the screen.  These are often easier to reach when holding your phone for a selfie.   Alternatively, you can purchase various different grips to attach to the back of your smartphone to help you hold it steady when taking selfies!  I love these from https://popsockets.co.uk/


Last, but by no means least, we come to editing.  If you want that smart Instagram-ready look, then you must edit your selfie by hand using an editing app or use a pre-made filter.  For filters, I like the VSCO app and if you’re confident editing your own shots, the Photoshop Express and ColourStory apps are fantastic.


Louisa Williams is a family photographer based near Cambridge and working throughout Cambridgeshire, Suffolk.  You can see more of her current work and enquire about commissions here and can follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Photographer Cambridge

If you’d like some beautiful family portraits, you can find more details about my family sessions here.  If you’re ready to book and would like to secure your session date, please drop me an email on louisafrenchphotography@gmail.com or fill in this form.


Louisa French Photography

Cambridge Photographer