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9. How to take a great selfie!

‘I remember when selfies were called: “No one else wants to take my picture.” – Unknown


Once upon a time the selfie was regarded as a folly of the young or of the narcissistic and self-absorbed. But since that time, it’s evolved as one of the best ways to express yourself and share your point of view, show a sense of place or just a fun way to share with your friends.

However, there are good selfies and not so good selfies. 

It’s so easy nowadays to just whip out your phone and take a selfie for whatever you may require it for. For instance, if you’re keen to find friends at 5050 Cafe Friends then you may like to join with the confidence of knowing that you’re using a great selfie as your profile photo.

But how do we achieve a great selfie?


A good selfie can be one where you have applied a little make-up, tidied your hair, lighting (stood in the right spot), subject to camera distance (if too close – used a selfie stick) and adjusted the angle (slightly higher than eye-level) to flatter your image.

A selfie that comes off as friendly and pleasant looking, clear, flattering and not shadowy, tinged with a sense of fun is going to be a keeper.

Let’s Start With You

  1. Make-up A little make-up can enhance your features and make you look less washed out. Whether you’re male or female (think tv make-up) an even skin tone covering blemishes can proper grooming can improve your look: Male grooming tips

For females (as for males) keeping it natural is what looks best. Making your makeup look amazing in photos by applying a blend of concealer, foundation and translucent powder is a good beginning. Female grooming tips.

2. Hair

Tidy hair and show more of your face by choosing to photo the side of your face where your hair’s partition is. Flip your hair to the other side or scrunch it for a more relaxed look.

You may even like to create a little movement by positioning a fan some two feet away to give your hair the wind-swept, volume and bounce look.

If you look towards your phone’s camera, this angle will emphasize your hair and your face’s best angles while softening your features.

3. Smile

Don’t forget to think of something that truly makes you happy to radiate a smile. A smile will make you appear friendly, approachable and fun.

Smile like you mean it!

Profile Photo Selfie

Using a ‘selfie’ as your profile photo is a good way in which you can maintain and update your online image. The good thing about selfies is that they don’t have to be perfect or of a professional standard and they tend to depict ‘the true you’ the unembellished image of the person who you see staring back at you in the mirror.

But unembellished?

By unembellished we simply mean not photoshopped or edited in any way. By all means do your hair and make-up so that you feel and look good in your photo.

If you use a professional photo as your profile photo – that’s great, but sometimes they can make you appear a little rigid and too ‘special occasion’ when what people really want to see is the relaxed, everyday you. 

Your profile photo is your most important photo as this is the first photo that people see when they search, share the same interests as you or come from the same area as you.

Best Profile Photo Composition

  • a ‘head and shoulders’ photo of you is best
  • crop out of the photo what is not needed
  • Clear and in-focus
  • Taken in the last two years

No, No’s

  • Too zoomed in, so that the whole face is not visible
  • Too zoomed out, so the subject (person) is too far in the distance
  • Face hidden behind hat and sunglasses
  • Group photos
  • Photos of other people, objects, or non-human photos

With Selfie Stick

You may find using a selfie stick lets you better adjust lighting, frame and subject – camera/phone distance to achieve a better photo.

A Few Helpful Hints When Taking A Great Selfie!

  1. The Best Angle

Experiment with angles. Hold your camera/phone at a slightly higher angle (just above eye-level) so that you are looking up towards the camera a little. You will appear slimmer.

Looking down at the camera/phone will produce a less flattering photo where you may look piggy, bloated or threatening. You will appear fatter. 

2. Portrait vs Landscape Mode  

Portrait Mode

The instinctive way to hold your phone is vertically, because it fits in the palm of your hand more easily. But, visual shots in portrait mode will not be able to fill most screen types. Portrait screens only exist on smartphones.

Landscape Mode

When taking any photos or videos, always use your camera/phone in landscape mode. Why? Because it fits more in visually and it’s the screen ratio that is used on lap-tops, TVs, cinema and monitors.

Video feeds eg. Facebook Live didn’t always make possible shooting in landscape mode, but that is now changing.

3. Keep It Natural

It’s difficult not to try out lots of pouty poses and expressions to see what looks good, but these seldom look natural. Wearing a smile is the best way to look natural and look good at the same time. Take a whole bunch of photos and select the one that you think looks best. 

4. Lighting

‘Light is undoubtedly the best beauty product you don’t have to pay for.” – Vlogger, Jordan Liberty

Lighting matters. Avoid direct harsh sunlight and strong shadows. Avoid having a light directly above your head or directly behind you because this will cast strong shadows on your face. Soft lighting is best. 

Extra Photos

Profiles with more photos tend to receive more attention. But it’s a good idea not to add any photos that show other people as well as yourself as strictly speaking – you should really acquire the permission of the other people in the photo before you display it in your profile. 

It’s best to show photos that relate to your hobbies, interests or travels that give an insight into your personality.

Don’t upload any photos that are too personal or that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world!

At 5050 Cafe friends they encourage you to selfie. In fact, they also encourage you to vlog (a selfie video) so friends can see what you are truly like.

If you follow the tips above for your selfie, they will also apply if you’d like to upload a vlog. With a vlog you instantly become 5050 Verified, so while you’re having fun perfecting the great selfie, have a go at perfecting the great vlog!

All you have to say in your vlog is:

‘Hi, I’m (your first name) from (where you’re from) invite me for coffee.’

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