Still haven’t mastered the selfie? Me Either!

That’s why I chatted with our inhouse photographer, Ryan Logan, on his expert tips for taking a selfie. Here’s what he had to say.

1. Lighting is Key

From a photographer’s perspective, lighting is the most important aspect when taking a selfie, or any photo really! Apparently phones are horrible in low light, so the more light you have the better. But, not all light is created equal.

Lighting from above creates a different effect than lighting from below. Think about the scary stories told during your childhood around the campfire with the flashlight just below the story teller’s chin—scary right! Lighting from below is a technique used in Hollywood (and campfires) to create anxiety and horror. So you might not want to recreate that for your selfie… unless that’s what you’re going for, of course.

The lighting you want for your perfect selfie should be directed from above. Aim for the light that comes above your eye line and chin for the best results.

Pro Tip: Window light is great because it gets slightly diffused. Diffused light is basically soft light that isn’t coming from one direct source. This kind of light gently “wraps” objects, creating a really pretty soft glow. You want diffused light, it’s a good thing.

2. Better check the background:

How many times have you seen a selfie with something questionable in the background? Seriously people, if you’re going to take a selfie in the bathroom, flush the toilet, please. If your background is wack, so is your selfie and you may as well toss it out the window (or flush it down with what you forgot earlier!)

Enough of that, and on to your face! We hate to break it to you but it’s not just about your face—but you knew that didn’t you? The selfie is all about where you are and what you’re doing. Make your followers jealous with it—get the duck face on, but also check the background and show people that dope mural you’re in front of.

3. Well, Duh. All The Angles:

We didn’t bury the lead here, we’re talking phone angles not face angles. You’re already a pro at that!

According to Mr. Logan, phone cameras, by nature, have a fish-eye look. And with that wide lense eye, the wrong angle can really warp your face. What you want to do is angle the phone so it’s flat to your face. The flatter the camera is to whatever the subject matter, the less distortion.

Think about it. It’s more flattering if your camera is angled downward, slightly above the eye line. This angle is your true friend and might just help you accentuate all those features you love.

Pro Tip: The camera should always be at eye level, slightly angled down for any selfie.

4. How Are You Supposed to Hold This, Anyways?

This one is hard for me. My hands are weird and I tend to just hold the thing however I can manage to while still being able to click the darn button. Usually, my face is strained because I’m concentrating so hard on holding the phone. So, if you’re anything like me, pay extra attention to this portion!

According to the expert, the camera orientation for a selfie can really be either way—verticle or horizontal. Woo hoo! The key here is to think of where you want this image to be used in advance and shoot accordingly to save yourself the cropping later.

Pro Tip: Try shooting in square mode if you’re posting to your Instagram feed, portrait mode is also fire.


Have no shame and get ready to smize! The perfect selfie is all about confidence, time to let it shine.

Now that you’ve got the expert tips you need, let’s see what you’ve got! Join us for a little social media fun and tag #UptownStudiosSelfie on National Selfie Day (June 21, 2020) to show us what you’ve learned. Want us to take your photo instead? Holler at us!

Kiara Reed
By Kiara Reed