For some, selfie taking comes naturally. For everyone else, the experts interviewed for this story — tweens, teens and a couple of honest adults — offer some tips.
1. Hold steady
“If the first one is blurry, retake it,” said Alec Erdahl, 11. Even a photo of a goofy face should be in focus. If you can’t hold steady, maybe ask a friend to take the snapshot. (Yes, a selfie technically is a picture you take yourself, but there seems to be some rule-bending among the younger set. If you post a picture of yourself that you’ve purposely posed, it counts.)
2. Try, but not too hard
“You’ve got to make sure it looks good,” said Sarah Shipman, 13. But not too good. And no fishing for compliments, a la “Look how cute I am today!” That’s tacky.
“You can fall into a trap of oversharing things that are meant to make yourself look good,” said Greg Swan, who prefers silly in-the-moment snapshots.
3. Mix it up
No duckface every time. “A lot of people joke and say if you look good in a Snapchat, you’re doing it wrong,” said Yusra Murad, 16. “The uglier the Snapchat the stronger the friendship.”
4. Keep it appropriate
“Make sure it’s OK if the whole world saw it,” said Kelly McCloskey, 13. Nothing ever really goes away on the Internet.
5. Amateur mistakes
Other signs of an selfie amateurs? Arms in the photo. “My dad takes them with arms in them all the time,” said Emma Strub, 20. But that’s OK. It’s about expressing yourself. “You do you. You own it,” Murad said. “Give it your all and I’ll probably ‘like’ your photo if it shows up in my feed.”