The Spy guide to selfies

Spy News,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 4 April 2017, 11:32PM
Matilda Rice. Photo / Instagram
Matilda Rice. Photo / Instagram

Selfies. They're not exactly a new phenomenon, but the prevalence of smartphones and social media in our lives has made it so much easier to share every single cute snap you've managed to take of yourself.

And taking a selfie seems like a relatively simple concept. You just point and shoot, right? Wrong.

There’s so much more to think about when it comes to upping your selfie game. You need to consider lighting, angles and what's in the background of your shot (hello, laundry basket in the corner over there). Then, of course, there are the different categories of selfie to study. So let's get started, shall we?

Mastering the perfect selfie

Anyone who has experienced the horror of looking down at their phone to find the front-facing camera is on knows that angles are your friend when it comes to self-photography.

The key is to hold your camera – angled downwards - just above your head, as former Bachelorette Matilda Rice demonstrates for us here.


Haaaates a selfie 🙎🤳 - tonight at @fatfreddysdropnz

A post shared by Art Green (@art_green) on Jan 14, 2017 at 3:08am PST


Or make use of that selfie stick and really create some svelte-looking angles from up high. (Just be mindful of where you're swinging that thing.)

Or, you know, just lie upside-down and work your angles that way, a la Newshub's Verity Johnson.

(And of course if the glowing skin in your pic has been achieved without the aid of make-up, then obviously hashtag that fact too.)



And don't worry about taking a whole bunch of selfies in the quest for that one perfect shot.

As David Farrier demonstrated at Justin Bieber's recent Auckland show, it can take plenty of practice to become a selfie master.


glad my well-composed concert photos could bring so much joy to justin bieber fans #fans #justinbieber

A post shared by David Farrier (@davidfarrier) on Mar 18, 2017 at 7:25pm PDT


Don't be afraid to use a flattering filter either. (It's what all the stars do).

If you've gone to the effort to take dozens of snaps, you may as well take the time to smooth out any pesky wrinkles or eyebags in the winning shot.

Just remember, less is more.

As Breakfast's Brodie Kane and Olympian Eric Murray recently demonstrated with the use of a "we don’t have any wrinkles or flaws" filter on an Instagram snap, there can be too much of a good thing.



The different types of selfie

So which kind of selfie suits you best?

The old take-a-photo-in-the-mirror is a favourite of many, giving rise to, amongst other things, the Bathroom Selfie.

Yes, for reasons not immediately apparent, sharing photos from the bathroom has become a popular pastime.

Kiwi actor and Riverdale star KJ Apa gave the Bathroom Selfie a crack this week and garnered approximately 350,000 "likes" for it on Instagram.

If we were being picky, we'd recommend he crop out what appears to be a rubbish bin in the corner of the shot (if, in fact, you noticed there was one even there).



A post shared by KJ Apa (@kjapa) on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:54pm PDT


Another popular spot for selfies is the car (although please don't be serving up those angles while you’re driving, people).

Actress Teuila Blakely isn’t afraid of a good Car Selfie, sometimes throwing a former Silver Fern in there too for good measure.


A post shared by Teuila Blakely (@teuilablakely) on Jan 18, 2017 at 12:44am PST


Guns N Roses ready 💋💋

A post shared by Teuila Blakely (@teuilablakely) on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:04pm PST


Then there is the Outfit/Hair/Make-up of the Day Selfie that often has that "Oh this? I just threw this on" kind of vibe.


A post shared by Alysha Brown (@alyshajadebrown) on Dec 19, 2016 at 8:01pm PST


The Selfie with a Celebrity can be a fraught experience.

Often you're having a little meltdown over who is standing next to you and all those tips for a good selfie go out the window (as Paralympian Liam Malone admits in this snap taken with actor Sam Neill earlier this year).

The Selfie with a Celebrity highlights the importance of practice making perfect, as it's a bit awkward to ask a star if you can take a photo one more time. Spend your next rainy Sunday afternoon with your friend/flatmate/significant other and practice taking selfies under time pressure and in a variety of situations.


A post shared by Liam Malone (@liammmalone) on Feb 1, 2017 at 10:42am PST


Then we have the Holiday Selfie, which serves mainly to induce massive envy in all who might lay eyes on it.

The All Blacks’ selfie king Malakai Fekitoa demonstrated this type of selfie during his off-season trip to Bali (but again fell victim to not checking what was in the background of his otherwise impressive shot. Hi, random guy!).


Any recommendations for things to do in Bali ? 😊

A post shared by Malakai Fekitoa (@malakaifekitoa) on Dec 4, 2016 at 1:04am PST


Meanwhile, the Duckface Selfie looks to still be a thing, as TV personality Carolyn Keep (nee Taylor) demonstrated this week in a bathroom (creating that rare hybrid, the Duckface-Bathroom Selfie).


A post shared by Carolyn Keep (@carolyntaylor_) on Apr 4, 2017 at 12:49am PDT


But if you're ever stuck for inspiration, merely take a scroll through the Instagram feed of undisputed selfie queen, Kim Kardashian, who has her own tome of selfies for sale.

Because when somebody decides to publish a book of your favourite selfies, you know you’re probably doing them right.

Look and learn, people!


Selfish in Mexico

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:03am PDT