Sure, it's kind of lame and vain to take pictures of yourself, but we live in a screwed up world, and the selfie has become common practice.
Anyone who is Facebook friends with me knows I have a tendency to take photos in front of my octopus shower curtain on a semi-regular basis.
I'll admit it.
I do it.
Because it's not possible for one to grow a longer arm, it's sometimes hard to get that perfect shot you think is going to skyrocket you into a world of a million likes.
Here are some tips and shameless admissions:
Find the moment
There are good hair days and bad hair days. There are days you wake up 20 minutes after the alarm was supposed to go off.
Don't rush or force a selfie just because your profile photo is getting stale.
If you think your hair and makeup turned out better than most days or you're feeling a confidence you would like to share with the world, and your friend happens to be like 10 minutes late picking you up already, have at it.
Location, location, location
Most selfies occur in the bathroom mirror which is kind of ridiculous since the bathroom isn't the sexiest place in a home. Nevertheless, the bathroom usually has half-decent lighting and a big ole mirror, so selfies almost make sense there.
They stop making sense as soon as you make a duck face or capture your toilet in the background.
Be aware of your surroundings and your lighting.
Filtered natural light is always flattering, so if you have that going for you, utilize it. Artificial lighting, especially overhead, can be really unflattering; the shadows can make you look like you just went on a bath salt bender and that's really bad.
Editing vs. lying
It's one thing to add fancy filters to your photos to make it look "cool" and "vintage" (Finally! Technology to make it look like we haven't gotten anywhere with technology!).
But there is a difference between editing to give it an interesting feel and completely changing the way you look.
If you decide to stretch your photo inward like Paula Abdul did in her "Promise of a New Day" video back in the day, in an effort to look skinnier, you will end up with a thin, pencil-like head which will be a dead giveaway that you altered your appearance.
Don't try to draw on bigger assets and pinch in four sizes on your waist.
You are you, and I would bet you are beautiful and/or handsome just as you are.
Filters are fun; over-Photoshopping is dishonest.
I mean, if you are OK with people meeting you in person and gasping because you look nothing like your photos online, good for you. That's self confidence and that's always good.
However, some people take it too far and end up looking like some kind of mutant.
Be careful and keep the editing to a minimum.
Also, unless it's purely for comedic purpose, never try to pass off putting your head on someone else's body.
They can't all be winners
Odds are, you aren't going to take one photo of yourself and think it is the greatest photo in the world. Half the time, I look down or over at something and I look completely ridiculous.
A simple smile always works, so act like you just won $1000 on a scratch-off ticket and beam that smile, but take a bunch, then pick the best of them.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)