Our social media feeds are slapped with selfies on a daily basis, so much so that Oxford Dictionaries crowned “selfie” as the word of the year.

Unfortunately, some of these narcissistic shots seem sloppy, poorly framed and outright embarrassing.

With a few tips and tricks, you can snap photos of yourself with grace and good taste.

1. Get in the spotlight

The whole point of a selfie is to be able to capture yourself – not a shape in the shadows.

Take your photo in a well-lit area, and make sure the source of light is in front of you -- not coming from behind.

Stay away from windows and manually enable the flash if there’s no choice but to stand with your back to the sun.

2. Frame the subject

It’s easier to use your phone’s front-facing camera to frame the action in the screen facing you. Otherwise, you’re wasting time trying to get your face in the frame with the rear-facing camera.

Adjust your phone’s settings so that it snaps the photo using the front-facing camera and keep your head in a third of the frame.

Astonaut selfie

3. Avoid ‘photobombers’

Although unwanted characters creeping into pictures can be comical, it can be tricky to keep the background clear of photobombers.

Unless you have a posse of security guards to keep crowds clear for your selfies, there’s not much you can do. But don’t give photobombers a chance to plan their intrusion – snap the photo quickly.


4. Keep the background interesting

Please, banish the bathroom selfie.

Taking a selfie in front of a bathroom mirror is as interesting as a visit to the dentist for a cleaning.

Bring in some context and show users what else is going on around you.

Also, try angling the camera slightly to about 45 degrees to squeeze in some more of the background activity.


5. Apply some effects

Uploading a plain photo is like eating French fries without ketchup or mayo.

A popular app for applying filters and effects is Instagram, which can transform your images into photos that appear to be taken on a pinhole camera in the ‘70s.

Alternatively (and if you want to get really artsy) you can try Camera+ to punch up your iPhone photos – and the selfies you snap.