Here’s How To Take Better Selfies

When it comes to gym selfies, there’s a lot that can go wrong. One false move and suddenly you’re *that* guy on the Internet: An overnight sensation—and not in a good way.

Laugh if you will, but taking the perfect gym selfie is actually kind of an art. It’s all too easy to look gross and sweaty or washed out by bad fluorescent lighting. And seriously, that quasi-creepy into-the-gym-mirror selfie pic? Just don’t.

We put our lives on the Internet these days, and although you might feel cheesy clicking a pic, why should you be ashamed to show your tribe your athletic side? Besides, in the age of social media, workouts only really count if you post something about them online.

The good news is this: Anyone can master the art of selfies. Following a few simple rules can improve your solo snapshots in a major way. We asked Fort Myers-based photographer Brian Tietz (whose photos have graced this mag’s pages many times) for his selfie taking tips.

“Always make sure the camera is up a bit, that you’re not shooting from below you looking up,” he warned. By shooting from above (but not drastically so), you’ll eliminate the threat of a double chin and a view straight up your nose. “Tilt your head up a bit too, that makes your neck look longer and will help avoid that double chin thing,” he adds.

Gyms are notorious for having terrible lighting—fluorescent overhead lights make everyone look bad. Tietz suggests seeking out natural light if at all possible. “If your gym has a window, take the photo as close to it as you can.” Or if you’re in a CrossFit box with a rollup door, stand by that. But don’t stand right in front of the light source; that will make the photo backlit. “If you are stuck with fluorescent lighting, position yourself so the light is slightly in front of you, not right over you,” says Tietz.

Oh and the duck face? It’s not doing anything good for you. “The only time the duck face works is if it’s intentionally ironic,” he says. In fact, for most of us, doing the duck face just makes us squinch our eyes—making our crow’s feet really stand out.

If you don’t want to end up as an Internet meme, avoid trying to get an action shot the first time you try a new move. Instead, try snapping a shot post-lift next to that impressive stack you put on the bar. With a snappy caption, you’ll get a ton of likes.

For the ladies, consider wearing just a touch of makeup. Waterproof mascara and a tinted lip balm will make you appear polished and put together without that “I wear makeup to work out” clown face. Also, shoot early in your session; no one looks sleek after 100 burpees (unless you want to show how badass you are, then go for it).

“Have fun with it,” Tietz adds. Really, that’s the cornerstone of his advice—if you’re having an awesome time, it will shine through in the photo. “With any photography it’s okay to break the rules every once in a while. A cool shot is a cool shot,” he adds.

 Additional reporting by Victoria Wiseman