How to “Selfie”: The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Selfies


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“To selfie or not to selfie?”

That is the question that plagues the hearts of many when deciding whether or not they’re in good taste. To capture a gratuitous picture of yourself is not a new phenomenon — I mean look at the Mona Lisa. However, with the advent of our smartphones and apps like Instagram and Snapchat, the selfie has become an integral part of our social media lives — whether you like it or not. In fact, it was the Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” in 2013, so it’s now officially a word. Though taking a “perfect selfie” is subjective, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you best capture your glorious self.

 DO:

1. Have an interesting expression.

Whether you’re smiling, making a crazy face, sporting some new glasses or anything in between, we have faces for a reason — to express ourselves! So capture how you feel and let everyone know! Just make sure it’s authentic, no one likes a fake smile that is a borderline constipation-face. (Disclaimer: “Duck face” is not and never will be an expression)

 2. Have good lighting.

 If you’re outside, make sure the sun isn’t to your back — no one likes creepy, dark silhouettes. And if you’re inside, make sure you have adequate lighting as well. I recommend turning on a desk lamp in darker rooms and taking the picture a few feet away from the lamp to maintain more natural looking light.

3. Take your selfie as a memory of an awesome event.

Whether you bump into a long lost friend, you’re at the Super Bowl or if you’re in outer space —capture it with a selfie. I recently attended a Manchester United soccer game, something I’ve always wanted to do, so I snapped a quick selfie at the stadium to mark the occasion. The selfie is physical proof you were there.

 selfieblog14. Use your phone’s back camera.

 Though it’s considerably harder to take a selfie this way, you are guaranteed a better picture with the higher resolution camera. Just make sure the flash is off.

 5. Grab more people to be in the picture!

 The more the merrier. This is a fun new take on the “group picture” that Ellen DeGeneres made famous at the Oscars.

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DON’T:

1. Duck Face.

 Are you a bird enthusiast? Is your favorite Disney character Donald Duck? Are you a big fan of the University of Oregon Ducks? If you answered yes to any of these questions — STILL DON’T DO THE DUCK FACE.

2. Use a mirror.

 Now this is a tricky one, because sometimes you can pull off a good selfie with a mirror. But they usually turn out terrible and unflattering. And last time I checked, no one wants to see your toilet or bathroom sink. Flash + Mirrors = the worst.

 Exhibit A:

mirrorselfie3. Use flash.

Again, this is a tricky one because the flash on your phone’s camera is there to enhance your pictures, not ruin them. However, flash and selfies for some reason do not mix. Don’t use flash if you can avoid it. It usually causes forehead glare, distorts how you look and can cause the red-eye effect.

 4. Take selfies in inappropriate places.

If you’re at a major occasion like a funeral or wedding, put down the phone and mark the occasion by celebrating those people. Similarly if you’re near an accident (like a car accident) or memorial site, it’s best to pocket your phone and be respectful.

5. Fake it.

If you fake whatever expression you are making, people can tell. As stated before, avoid the “duck face” because it’s not a real expression, keep it real. So never fake it — that is, unless you’re taking a “fakecation” selfie, which is trending and absolutely hilarious.

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Other Tips:

  • Use photo filter and editing apps like Afterlight (iOS) and Vignette (Android) to make your selfies even more awesome.
  • If you do the “duck face,” you will transport into a black hole.
  • Be yourself and ignore the haters.
  • Grab yourself a stylish OtterBox Symmetry Series case that will compliment your style and keep your phone protected. Here is a selfie I took with my limited edition Nina Garcia Symmetry case:

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Let us see your Symmetry Selfie on Instagram! Use the hashtag #symmetryselfie to show off your awesome case!



About the author

Karam Ahmad

Karam Ahmad

I’m a Colo(rad)o native with Mesopotamian roots. I love to write, create new ideas, play and watch soccer (the true football) and have a strong passion for social and environmental justice. I’m a fan of truly absurd humor and a little obsessed with national flags (you name it, I can identify it). When I am not at work, you can find me devouring spicy foods, hiking the Rockies with my friends, or playing and listening to music — yes, all in that order. My name means “generosity” and I try my best to live by it in all that I do.

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