How to Take a Good Selfie (or the art of taking photos of yourself in your bathroom mirror)

Yesterday (that’s October 19th 2013, future readers – hello, by the way), something truly remarkable happened – the word ‘selfie’ was named the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year, narrowly defeating ‘twerk’ (a topic for another time…or not).

The ‘selfie’ is a beautifully simple concept that involves a person taking a picture of their own face without the assistance of anyone else. Selfies are generally taken on smart phones or tablets and are predominantly taken using mirrors – bathrooms are a particular popular choice of location. After taking a ‘selfie’, it is then tradition to upload the photo to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the other social networks you happen to be using.

The concept, while existing since the mid-00s, has been made popular by a number of celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Beyonce. Indeed, a celebrity taking a selfie is now deemed important enough to warrant a news story.

As a company inadvertently responsible for the rise of the selfie, we felt it was high time to acknowledge our role and provide you – our wonderful customers – with a definitive guide on taking the perfect selfie.

Choosing your setting

The setting of a selfie is vitally important. It can be the make and break of your photo, the difference between 1 like and 20,000 likes. For example, imagine if Kim Kardashian took a photo in a peat bog. While some would comment on the artistic merit of having lovely, lovely Kim contrasted with the relative horror of a bog, few would comment on how nice Kim looks.

There are other considerations too; you want a room or location that is well illuminated and preferably private, as many people enjoy nothing more than ‘photobombing’ (next year’s word of the year, no doubt) a selfie. For a well-framed selfie, you’ll also need a mirror.

The bathroom is the ideal room to take a selfie in, with adequate lighting and a sizable mirror for optimum selfie shooting. If you have one of our LED bathroom mirrors or Hollywood mirrors, you’ve more or less got a ready-made selfie photography studio!

round illuminated mirror


Made for selfies.

Striking a pose

So, you’ve chosen your setting, you’ve picked out a lovely outfit and you’re looking pretty good. You’re ready to start snapping. But how does one pick a selfie pose?

The most popular of the selfie poses is ‘duckface’, a pose in which young women (and, indeed, men) pout their lips to such an extent that they appear to resemble a duck. Hence, duckface.

This is an absolute no-no…unless you are a duck, in which case you’re ready to skip (or should that be waddle?) to the next step.

For everyone else, a selfie pose should be focused on your ‘good side’ and straddle the fine line between ‘serious and sexy’ and ‘playful smile’. Try and appear as naturalistic as possible, despite the fact that whipping out your phone and taking a picture of yourself is actually quite an unnatural thing to do (really, don’t think about it too much).

Getting the practicalities right

Setting sorted and pose struck, it’s time to take your selfie…nearly.

Have you actually ever taken a photo of yourself in the mirror? It’s actually incredibly difficult; getting the angle right so that your face isn’t obscured by your phone, limiting flash so that you don’t look like a paranormal occurrence and choosing a filter are all things you’ll need to think about before snapping. Don’t let the pressure show in your pose, though (there isn’t any pressure really)!

The best way to take a standard bathroom mirror selfie is to hold your phone just level with your waist, facing up at a 40-degree angle. Try and illuminate the room to avoid the need for flash. A tried-and-true method by selfie enthusiasts is to check their camera before hitting snap – this is probably something you should do.

And now, selfie amateur, you’re ready to hit click and immortalise yourself as part of the greatest trend of 2013!

If you’d like to learn more about our selfie photography studi-…we mean, illuminated bathroom mirrors, take a look around the site or get in touch with us today.




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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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