Countdown to Oscars 2014: How to Take a Selfie Like a Celebrity

As if there weren’t enough flashing bulbs on the red carpet, stars have been snapping and sharing their own pics with glamorous results—witness Emma Roberts’ bombshell shot at the American Music Awards. Here’s how to avoid the genre’s pitfalls (no more duck face!) and take an Oscar-worthy photo of yourself.

Let There Be Light

Bad lighting instantly magnifies every pore and every laugh line. To get the most of out of your camera phone photoshoot, find a bright, sunlit area and make sure any overhead lighting is in front of (not behind) you—backlighting is friend to no one.

Get a Little App Happy

Most cellphones and social media apps offer a standard range of filters and contrast setting, but to take your selfie to the next-level try a photography app like VSCO Cam. Described as “the ultimate darkroom for your phone” it offers endless ways to edit, crop, and filter photos. Your followers will be left wondering how you booked Steven Meisel for a personal selfie sesh.

Ducks Are for The Pond—Not Your Instagram Feed

Repeat after us: I solemnly swear to never post a duck face photo ever again. It’s time we as a society collectively put the pouty lips, squishy face look to rest. End of story.

Be Genuine

Don’t be afraid to get a little silly. In our book, a well-timed snap of yourself with a funny-looking face mask on and a glass of vino in hand can be extremely endearing. For more inspiration, take a look at gander at Lena Dunham or Taylor Swift’s instagram handles—these fearless ladies clearly know how to let loose and have fun.

Aim for Quality—Not Quantity

One word to keep in mind on your journey of selfie exploration: moderation. Make sure your social media outlets are well rounded. Add interesting photos of your travels, tasty meals you’ve whipped up, or cool-looking graffiti you spotted on the way to work to the mix.

Conduct a Thorough Background Check

Birchbox Community Director and selfie-pro Rachel Silver says, “ If you’re too focused on your own appearance, you might not notice that bra hanging on a doorknob or other messy, embarrassing objects in the background!" Make sure to turn around and check out your backdrop. Remember: You are the star, here. Plus, all it takes is a dreaded photobomb to ruin a perfectly good selfie.

Own It

In the words of the immortal 3LW hit, “haters gonna hate.” We say: Ignore the naysayers. Our in-house selfie queen and Birchbox Campaign Strategy Senior Manager Deepica Mutyala says, “At the end of the day, my selfies are just for me. I love sharing a fun lipstick hue and my self-confidence—but if people don’t like it, that’s their cross to bear, not mine.” We couldn’t agree more, Deepica!

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