Ever feel like you’re in a hurry to get a selfie taken but feel nervous around the mirror? We’re under a lot of pressure to capture moments for eternity on our cell phones, but sometimes we forget how intimidating a mirror can be. Don’t be afraid to dream big, because nothing stops you from taking the perfect selfie … except maybe yourself.

The Insta-worthy Selfie

People are more connected to their smartphones than they’ve ever been before. Between our social media accounts and our snapchat streaks, we’re constantly bombarded with pictures of ourselves. If you’ve ever Googled “selfies”, you’ll know exactly what we mean. You’d think that all that exposure would make us more confident in front of a mirror. Think again. According to a 2015 study by the University of California Logan, people are less likely to take a selfie now than they’ve ever been before.

Since everyone and their grandma is taking selfies, how do you stand out from the crowd? Try using a few tricks up your sleeve to take the perfect selfie. Here are our top tips:

Experiment With Different Shooting Locations

If you’re used to taking selfies in front of a blue backdrop with a bright yellow sun behind you, you’ll be shocked at how different the results can look depending on where you situate yourself. In the above picture, we placed a chair with our back to a wall so that the sun snuck in through a small gap. It was bright but not too bright, and it didn’t hurt our eyes. The wall behind us also happened to be covered in art that we love, so it was a happy coincidence that this piece of art was the backdrop for one of the most memorable selfies ever taken. Take a seat, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy the view.

Experiment With Different Lighting

It’s no secret that different lighting can dramatically change the way a picture looks. When the light is too bright, it can cause the photo to blow out, so you have to be careful not to overexpose yourself. However, being under too much or too little light can also hurt your picture. If you’re in an area with a lot of sunlight, but not enough ambient lighting, then you need to find a way to add some fillers. Here, we used a blue ceiling light as the main light source and added a desk lamp to the mix. Both lights were pointed at the same spot, so all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the show. To make sure that you don’t burn out your camera’s battery, turn off the unit when you aren’t using it. If you leave it on and forget about it, you could end up wasting a lot of time when you return to find that the camera has crashed due to overheating.

Experiment With Different Backgrounds

When you’re taking a picture of yourself, you want to ensure that you’re in the focus of the shot. A common mistake that people make is to place themselves in the focal point of the picture, so when they crop it later, the background will be included in the picture as well. To avoid this, put yourself in the corner of the frame so that you’re not the only one in focus. Remember: you’re the star of the show! Add some props to keep yourself in the picture, like a hat or a mug. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even place an actor in the scene and create a comedy shot for your entertainment.

Experiment With Different Wardrobes

We’re always looking for ways to look our best, and what better way to update your wardrobe than with a new hairstyle or makeup look? When you’re trying on different outfits, make sure that you change your hairstyle and makeup first before taking a selfie to ensure that you look your best. This way, you’ll be certain that each picture’s outcome is as pleasant as the previous one. You can also use this opportunity to practice your new makeup or hairstyle. Are you a fan of Rihanna and what she does with her hair? Do you want to create the perfect beachy look for the summer? Put on some makeup and take a look at how you’d turn heads on the beach. You can use the same techniques to take a picture that will make people think you’ve had some work done, or to show off your new bridesmaids dress for the summer wedding party. Experiment with different wardrobes and find the one that makes you look and feel your best.

Experiment With Different Views

We live in a world full of choices, and sometimes we forget how much freedom of choice we have when it comes to taking a selfie. There are so many different ways to snap a picture that you might not even think of, so don’t be afraid to try new things. If you want a more artistic touch to your selfies, then you could always experiment with different angles and see what happens. Sometimes a simple portrait can look just as good as a selfie taken at an unusual angle. It’s all about how you use the tools available to you. In the right space, with the right lighting, and with the right props, the sky is the limit. Just don’t be afraid to try new things. Who knows, you might just end up with one of the most unique selfies ever taken.