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How to take a tasteful selfie

Step outside, lower your arm and, oh yeah -- smile.

By Joy Jernigan - MSN Living Editor Sep 13, 2013 4:43PM

Man taking 'selfie' photo.By Diana Stanczak, Men's Health Magazine

It's official: We're living in the age of shameless self-photography. "Selfies" now make up 30 percent of all photos among people ages 18 to 24, according to a recent survey by Samsung.

More from MSN Living: Best wedding photo bombs on Pinterest

The poll also found that men are more likely than women to snap a selfie. So if you insist on shooting your own online dating profile pic or headshot for the company website, here's how to put your best face forward -- without looking like your 12-year-old daughter conducting an iPhone photo shoot.

Related: Capture the perfect profile picture with these helpful tips

1. Step outside
Leave mirror shots where they belong: in the past with MySpace. Adam Assoian, founder of Focused in Photography, also suggests ditching the plain white wall -- it's boring and looks better when left to the pros with a high-quality camera. Instead, head outside. The lighting's better and the background's more interesting.

2. Go toward the (natural) light
Trying to angle your desk lamp or using your camera's flash will leave you looking jaundiced. The sun is a photographer's best friend, and mid-morning or late afternoon is ideal. "The goal is to make sure the sun isn't too high in the sky," Assoian says. Face the sun; turning your back on it will leave you looking like a shadow figure.

Related: Check out these tips to put your best face forward at all times

3. Lower your arm
No need for your biceps to make a cameo in the shot. "Everyone knows you're taking a picture of yourself," Assoian says. Relax your arm, and hold your smartphone about a foot away from your face.

4. Flash your pearly whites
No one wants to relive their high school yearbook picture, so skip the tilted head and forced smile. You want to look relaxed and happy. "Put that smartphone to use and watch a funny video to make you laugh -- you'll be left smiling naturally," Assoian says. Oh, and look straight at the camera. There's no such thing as a candid selfie.

Related: The best ways to whiten your teeth

5. Say no to filters
Save the Toaster filter on Instagram for pictures of your breakfast. "You want your photo to be as true to what you look like as possible," Assoian says. Your picture is the first thing someone looks at when it comes to social media sites -- whether dating or professional -- and an edited picture is easy to spot.

Bing: Word 'selfie' added to the dictionary

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Photo: Yukmin/Getty Images



Sep 14, 2013 11:03PM
Way back in the dark ages "selfies" consisted of school photos - no cutting up - and getting your mom to buy all 400 - or going to the automatic photo booth at the mall - where you could cut up. . . . 
Sep 14, 2013 10:19PM
How about not being so self-involved that you need to take photos of yourself and vomit them all over the internet?
Sep 14, 2013 5:51PM
It's called living in the age of Me Me Me, I'm a self-absorbed narcissist because I think I am important and NEED attention to validate my pathetic existance on this planet that I give nothing back to!  I only take, take and take some more because I am ENTITLED.
Sep 14, 2013 5:50PM
Like most everything in life, what is acceptable or not is all in the eye and mind of each individual. I shun "experts" who think they know all the answers when what they say is nothing more than their own personal opinion. Most of the photos I have of myself are self-taken. That's the nice thing about a camera with a timer for self-photos.
Sep 14, 2013 3:15PM
The most tasteful selfie is the one not taken.
Sep 14, 2013 1:59PM
What about the FISH lips? Why do females think this is sexy?
Sep 14, 2013 7:33AM

Are people really saying it's NEVER ok to take a picture of yourself? really? never?


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