We live in a world where taking selfies has become a daily ritual for many of us. We’re all striving for perfection in our pictures, but not every selfie sizzles. Let’s fix the common mistakes and take better selfies.

  1. Outdoor Lighting With outdoor lighting, a mistake people make all of the time is to take their selfies in direct sunlight which is very harsh on the face. It will leave unflattering shadows and enhance wrinkles. Instead, find an outdoor area where there is shade so the light is diffused and the sunlight does not hit your face directly. This will have a softening affect and leave you glowing. Another big mistake is to stand with sunlight behind you. This will leave you silhouetted and your face under exposed. To fix, stand with the sun directly behind you, but use a DIY reflector like a sheet of white paper or aluminum foil to bounce light onto your face like a professional.
  2. Indoor Lighting Overhead lighting is often not very flattering. It can create circles around your eyes and leave shadows on your face. To fix, place a lamp at eye level to light up your face.
  3. When it’s Dark The flash is not your friend. When you’re in a dark space, it’s guaranteed to blow out your face, leaving you washed out and lacking definition. To fix, use a light modifier. It could be a friend holding up their phone with the flashlight shined on your face, or better still, a light ring (often found as part of phone cases).
  4. The Best Angles If you angle the camera too low, there’s a chance it will give you the appearance of a double chin. To fix, hold the camera up at a slight angle — it will work all your right angles, it slims the face and will be the most flattering camera position. To be certain the double chin is gone, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth to tighten the muscles around the neck and also jut your chin out an inch. It will feel weird but it really helps.
  5. Group Shots The trouble with group shots is that it can be difficult to fit everybody in. The answer is the selfie stick. Some even come with remote controls and monopods. The most important thing to remember when posing is that you see yourself in the photo. In terms of the pose, just have fun — that’s what selfies are all about. And if you want a super wide group shot, try adding a wide angle lens adaptor to your phone. They range in price from as little as $10 up to about $100.
  6. Full Length Shots To take selfies like a model, slim yourself and learn the secret model pose. It starts with the legs — bend one knee slightly. Twist body to camera — this creates a slimming V effect. Don’t twist so far that your arms face the camera, though, that will make them look bigger. Better still, put one or both arms on the hip and do the very flattering “Power Supermodel Pose.”

Jennifer Graylock is an award-winning red carpet photographer.  She photographs the biggest stars in the world at fashion shows, movie premieres and red carpet events like the Oscars and Golden Globes. The Today Show has proclaimed her the “Selfie Expert.”