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Awkward Selfies 101: How to take an awful picture of yourself

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7 avoidable selfie fails that separate amateurs from professionals



As of October 2013, 35 million selfies were floating around Instagram. Whether you’ve joined the masses or are at least considering it, here’s advice on how to master the dark art of taking an awkward selfie.

(Make sure you read all the way to the end of the article where we reveal our essential to protect your portfolio of selfies and your #1 selfie-taker: your smartphone.)

1. Throw context out the window


Aim for that sweet spot where meaningless meets bizarre. A successful awkward selfie inspires confusion and leaves the audience wondering, “Is she deliberately trying to look like a time bandit from the planet Bath Mat”?

2. Document bad decisions


This is your chance to authentically share your imperfect, human side. Be brave enough to bare your soul. Even if that means revealing you prefer eating Pot Noodle out of the bathroom sink. You’re audience will likely lose all respect for you, but that’s the price a true selfie artist pays for keepin’ it real.

3. Ignore your surroundings


A selfie is called a ‘selfie’ because it’s all about you. Why should you have to take inventory of who or what is in the background? Photobombers needn’t ever be a concern… even if your head looks like a camel’s breakfast.

4. Photoshop… liberally


If you weren’t meant to alter photographs, image-editing software would never have been invented. Logic. Boom.

Put your awkward selfie-skills to the test by altering your picture with a heavy, unskilled hand.

5. Pretend the sun is taking your picture…


Sweet smiles and expressive eyes are too predictable; it’s time to mix things up a little. For the angle go high, and screw up your face into a squinty frown. Need extra inspiration? Imagine yourself in the following scenarios:

  • Nan’s just given you a crisp tenner and you’re checking for signs of counterfeit.
  • You’ve stolen your neighbour’s mail and are holding the envelope up to the light to make out its contents.
  • You’re dismantling your boss’ CCTV camera before exacting revenge on her carpet.

6. Or, pretend your belt buckle is taking your picture

Source: Anonymous

Double chin. Cavernous nostrils. Forced frown. That’s belt-buckle photography at its finest. Remind yourself that necks are over-rated as you channel your inner-Shar Pei.

7. Disregard all light sources



Ambient, soft, hard... you can pick from a myriad of portrait-lighting choices. But why pick any light at all? Forgo pedestrian illumination in favour of avant garde darkness.

The best way to protect your smartphone

By taking a few effortless steps, you can protect your smartphone and the jillions of selfies it holds:

    1. Don’t let theft, loss or an upgrade rob you of your photos. Make mobile data backup your best friend.
    2. Only share photos through trusted apps you’ve downloaded from big-name, reputable stores.
    3. Use mobile security for your Android or iPhone to prevent phishing, spyware and viruses.


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There are many simple ways to help you improve the security of your mobile. Read our PDF to find out all you need to know.

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Mobiles are great for taking pictures, but of course there's so much more you can use them for. Read on to find out what else they're great for…

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