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How to Take a Good Selfie: The Must-Know Selfie-Ready Guide for Men

As a woman who’s spent a good deal of time swiping through dating apps, I can honestly say most men do not know how to take a good selfie.

how to take a good selfie

With just a few minutes of swiping through a dating app, it is painfully clear that men do not know how to take a good selfie or feel natural doing it. Now, I don’t blame you. Taking a photo of yourself can feel awkward and shallow.

But, a selfie is no more than any other photo and should be treated as such. With selfies being what draws people into our social networks or even into our romantic lives, they are a small window into who we are.

That is a lot of pressure for one photo. Once you pick up on how to take a good selfie, it won’t be so terrifying. [Read: A photographer’s guide to taking a sexy picture]

Why men don’t know how to take a good selfie

When I say men, I, of course, do not mean all men. Have you seen Will Smith’s Instagram?

But, there is a reason you came looking for this post. Whether you feel weird taking selfies or think your selfies always come out wrong, you are probably right. Sorry, but it is true. I do not want to judge men or anyone on a simple selfie, but with the way online dating and social media are nowadays, selfies say a lot.

So, why do men not know how to take a good selfie? My opinion is that you are trying too hard. Do you pose and make serious faces when your mom takes a photo of you and your sister? No, but that is your most flattering photo.

From what I have seen, men put on a persona or give off a vibe in selfies. It seems like men are try to impress other men with their selfies. They don’t want to be seen as feminine or vain so they make a face that says “cool” rather than “happy.”

Sure, not all selfies men take are to attract someone romantically. Even your aunt and grandma will prefer to see your next selfie looking like you and not like a version of you trying too hard to impress. [Read: The best and worst ways to present yourself online]

The idea behind how to take a good selfie

When you are about to take a selfie, what are you thinking about? How your hair looks or how the lighting is?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, think about the selfies you see. Statistically, selfies that show someone smiling are swiped right *liked* about two times more than selfies making any other face. When you see a girl on Instagram post a selfie smiling, that smile affects you more than a duck face or a serious look.

Even if you don’t think so, it is proven. Smiles are contagious. They are responded to more positively. So, go into your next selfie happy and having fun rather than putting on a show or acting a certain way that just doesn’t feel like you.

A selfie should look how you look. It should feel like someone is looking at a still of how you are, not how you want to appear or think you should appear. [Read: 30 effective tips to help you win at online dating]

How to take a good selfie for someone

Who is your selfie for? All your Instagram followers? A dating app? Your girlfriend? When taking a selfie, the recipient it is important.

And I am sorry to say I have received too many less than flattering selfies from guys on Snapchat. Not to mention the many bad selfies on Bumble and Tinder. This may be too much information, but if you look constipated, it is not a good look.

I cannot tell you how many times I received a selfie from a man on Snapchat and actually closed it before the 10 seconds were up. It made me uncomfortable. You should not look serious. Nothing about a selfie is serious. You should not look like you are struggling to make a bowel movement or mimicking the Zoolander pose.

You should have fun with it. Funny faces, smiles, even weird and embarrassing filters are the way to go. And to be brutally honest, sometimes no selfie is better than a bad one. A bad selfie can actually be a major turn off. And it isn’t about your ability to take a good photo, but about the vibe that you’re giving off. [Read: What makes a man sexy – 15 desirable traits that make you hot AF]

An example of how to take a good selfie

As I swipe through a dating app, I am bombarded with photos of guys standing in front of cars I know and care nothing about. I see selfies of guys trying their best to look serious when in fact they look unattractive and creepy.

The rare selfie of a guy smiling or making a funny face is refreshing, intriguing, and attractive. This may just be me, but I feel that women would rather see a guy being himself and having fun rather than trying to impress.

And when guys do post those serious selfies and pictures in front of cars, it seems like they are trying to impress other guys rather than a potential love interest. Are you asking your guy friends’ help to pick dating app photos? Next time, ask a female friend for her advice. [Read: Why a girl best friend is a real gem]

The do’s and don’ts of how to take a good selfie

Hopefully, you see where I’m coming from when I say the best way for a man to take a good selfie is to be comfortable and avoid trying too hard. But along with those tips, here are some more helpful hints to guarantee your next selfie will get all the Instagram likes and the right swipes when online dating.

#1 Do practice. This does not mean you take 200 selfies before finding a good one. It means you should get used to seeing yourself on camera. You can find your lighting, sure, but also get used to the idea that you are taking a selfie and own that.

Once you are comfortable with taking a photo of yourself, the whole thing will feel a lot more normal.

#2 Don’t show off. Don’t be cocky. I said be comfortable and own the fact that you are taking a selfie, but trying to look “cool” or impressive is not the way to go about it. Making a connection is how you get someone’s attention in person, so keep that as the goal when taking a selfie.

You want to connect with people who see this photo, not intimidate them. [Read: How to make a girl like you without even telling her you like her]

#3 Do smile. Not as if you are taking your third-grade school photo, but as if you are just happy and in a good mood. Smiling does not mean you say cheese and show your teeth from ear to ear.

Just look how you would if you saw someone you were attracted to, came across an adorable puppy, or spent the day with your grandma.

#4 Don’t wear sunglasses. I cannot tell you how many guys on dating apps have five selfies of them in sunglasses. Does this make any sense? The whole point of a photo is to see what someone looks like.

If your end game is to meet someone, they will see what you actually look like eventually. At least have one selfie of your face. Sure if you are at the beach or posting for your friend on your Instagram story show off those Ray-Bans, but not when it comes to dating apps. [Read: 15 things guys do that are a big turn off for girls]

#5 Do be in the light. There is zero point of a selfie when you can barely see an outline of your face. Maybe you are not the most confident in your looks, I get it. But posting a selfie in the dark only magnifies those self-doubts.

You might be scared of rejection or that someone may not be attracted to you, but you put your face out into the world every day. It is your face and you have to own it. The whole purpose of a selfie is to show yourself. So stand in front of a window. Let the sun shine. Natural daylight or evening light is the most flattering.

Posting a selfie that is bright shows that you are comfortable and not ashamed of your looks which is much more attractive.

#6 Don’t be creepy. I am not sure if guys know they look creepy in their selfies or think they look sexy, but either way, stop with those serious faces. You either look creepy or like you have a stomach ache. Trying to look sexy in a selfie is like trying to smell good at the gym, not possible.

Just be you. Your selfie should look how you look. You should look at it and think, “yup that is me.” You should not look like you are making a face. If you feel uncomfortable snapping that picture, people will feel uncomfortable looking at it. [Read: How to not come across as creepy to a girl]

#7 Do have decent quality. With iPhones, there is no excuse for a blurry or pixelated photo. If your selfie is so blurry that I cannot tell what you look like, there is no point in using that photo. It is not artsy or mysterious. Posting a selfie where someone cannot see you makes it look like you are hiding something.

The only other explanation is that you are taking selfies on a flip phone. Get with the times, seriously!

#8 Don’t selfie and drive. This should be obvious and I should not have to say it. But I still see countless men *or should I say boys?* posting selfies while they are driving, and on highways no less. Not only is this insanely dangerous and stupid, but anyone with any sense that sees it will not find you attractive or clever.

#9 Do own it. You are taking a selfie. Sure, it is silly. Sure, it is super millennial. And sure it is a tad shallow. But if you are ashamed of the fact that you are taking a selfie, that vibe is going to come through in a photo.

You know what people say about a photo being worth a thousand words? Well, you want those words to be positive, not second-guessing and uncomfortable. [Read: How to be comfortable with yourself and not give a f*ck]

#10 Don’t overedit. I know, you see people do it all the time. Instagram is full of selfies so overly edited that the subject looks more like a doll than a human.  But just because it is common practice does not mean you should follow.

Sure, you can enhance the lighting and blur a major zit, but you have pores, so don’t blur them into nothingness. The whole point of Photoshop and Facetune is to make it look like you didn’t edit it, not like you have poreless china doll skin. Own how you look and share that with the world.

[Read: 20 hot guy rules for men that will guarantee instant hotness!]

Men, if you take one thing from this list of do’s and don’ts for how to take a selfie, it should be, be you. Your selfie should show yourself, not anyone or anything else.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...