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How to take a great selfie

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How to take a great selfie

So you’re about to embark on your next adventure. Of course you’d like to take lots of photos to document your travel and relive those precious memories.

But sometimes it’s hard to take that perfect shot, especially when it’s just you and that breathtaking view. Thank goodness for selfies! Since this term was coined it’s no longer shameful (we don’t think so anyway) to take a photo of yourself.

So here are some tips on how to take a great selfie!

Be ready at all times

The best selfies are the ones that are hard to capture so it’s vital to be ready to snap away at a moments notice, especially while travelling. Wild animals in Africa won’t wait for you to get your setup ready – they’ll either run away, or perhaps towards you… neither of which is ideal. When it comes to popular attractions it could be about snapping a photo of yourself with no other people in the background – again something you need to be ready for quickly when the opportunity arises.

Frame the setting

With travel selfies it’s assumed the background is pretty important. Whether it’s the stately Colosseum, the sprawling expanse of Machu Picchu or the iconic Eiffel Tower, you need to offset your face and make room for the scenery. Yes, the shorter your arm is the harder this might be, but there are ways to work around this. Changing the angle of a shot can make for extra background space, and technically even setting the timer and then running into the photo is still classed as a selfie according to some people.


Camera phones have come a long way in the last few years, but they still vary greatly from phone to phone. Your phone evidently needs to have photo-taking facilities, and the higher resolution back-facing camera is generally the best way to go. Learn when to use (and not to use) flashes for the best effect, and if in doubt snap two versions of the same selfie (one with the flash and one without). There are also a huge variety of apps out there that allow you to tweak different elements of the shot to create a better end product.

Filters and more advanced photo editing

Filters were created to enhance photos, and the effect is often major and can change a poor photo in to something your followers will talk about for ages. Don’t go overboard, but use the nifty function when needed. Some Instagrammers exaggerate the filter effect but have thousands of followers because of how they do it. For example, when travelling natural landscapes can look even more amazing with the right filter. Others are known for never using a filter. Choose a style and make it your own.

Poise and pose

The two Ps are very important. Get one of these wrong and you’ve got yourself a selfie failure. Odd angles can create accentuated noses and foreheads, neither of which generally classify as attractive. Also, what you may not instantly realise, is that although you’re taking the photo on your smart phone and it looks good, someone else might be seeing it on the iPad – in which case it comes up much bigger.

Get creative

Selfies don’t just have to be about one expression (duckface was never cool), but they don’t just have to be of your face front on. Feet, arms, fingers and other body parts, styled in an interesting way, can often make for (arguably) more thoughtful shots, especially in hard-to-get-to locations that you can brag about down the track. Think outside the square. Sure, hands holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa make for your standard selfie shot, but what if you used your feet instead to make it a little different.

Source: Tatyana Leonov, How to take the ultimate travel selfie

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