Master The Art of Manly Selfie

It’s official!

Like it or not, “Selfies” is now a term in the Oxford dictionary. Without a doubt, selfies have fast become a part of our daily lives – even the elderly know what selfie is.

And nope, taking selfie is no longer a privilege only for the ladies; guys do have their fair share in the selfie game as well. According to a survey by Samsung, the poll found that men are more likely to snap selfies than women. There are also many male instagramers with a great number of followers.

Whether it’s at the dining place, at the beach, a quick catch-up with your friend, at a local festival or even at the gym! When it comes to selfies, the world is your playground and your surrounding is your backdrop!

Manly Selfie
Image credit: imgur

This post consist of all the tips, tricks and psychology on how to perfect the art of taking a ‘manly’ Instagram selfie and maybe have a jump in the number of followers after mastering the art of doing so.

Before we do so, you might want to prepare your phone or a GoPro so as to try a shot or two along the way.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is a ‘Selfie’?

First things first, lets get something clear – a selfie is only a selfie if you are taking a photo of yourself. A photo taken by another person is not a selfie.

The biggest culprit to selfie disaster has to be our self-conscious. Forget about your surroundings and focus on getting your best picture.

Getting started

Familiarize yourself with your phone’s camera button.

In case you are not aware yet, both the top and bottom of your volume button can be used to snap a picture as well.

Don’t be like Leo #rookiealert

Stage the shot

Ok, not to be too extreme like the girls who take selfies with almost anything and everything they can get their hands on.

Try to find something interesting or cute (animals and infants are commonly used), or find somewhere cool or unique like in a limo or the backstage of a fashion show.

Look at Ryan… Awwww


As a general rule, brighter environment is better than darker and dull surrounding. The light source should come from the front instead of from behind, which darkens your face.

Adjust your face accordingly to find the angle that lit your face in a flattering manner.

Outdoor Lighting

Stepping outside is still the best and safest option whenever lighting is concerned (outdoor got much nicer and interesting background as well).


Mid-morning or late afternoon will be the most ideal time of the day as the sky is bright and yet it’s not so hot that you started perspiring all over. Not to mention the difficulties in opening your eyes as the sun shoots directly into your eyes.

Not forgetting to mention, face the sun but make sure the shadow of your hand and the phone didn’t cast on your face or photo.

Indoor Lighting

Should you need to take a selfie in door, perhaps at a dinner or in the gym, try your best to find light source and let it shine on your from 45 degree angle.

You’re welcome guys

For gym goers, look for lighting from above and or from the sides. Lights from the side create angles on your body, highlighting that hard-earned physique. If done right, lighting can even help enhance the effect; making the ‘actual’ physique appear even better (you know what we are talking about).


funny celebrity selfie

Flash those pearly whites! A smile (genuine and candid one) will make you appear more confident, which help translate towards being more manly. ‘Emo’ posts on the other hand shouts weakness and needy for attention (or attention seeking if we may).

On the other hand, Instagram is a platform to share individual’s current mood, thoughts and feelings. Hence if you are simply not in the mood to smile, then don’t – no point forcing one (our suggestion is to not take any selfie when you are feeling down). Who’s in the mood for selfie when feeling down anyway.

Coming back to the point, look at the camera, smile and shoot!

Look confident but not cocky though.


Your posture tells a lot about you and of course your manliness. To capture that manly selfie, these non-verbal cues must be done properly. Straighten your body, lift your Chin up and relax your chest. Keep your shoulders straight to show confidence.

Posture is perhaps one of the most important elements if for snapping the perfect selfie in the Gym (for obvious reasons).


Don’t be lazy on this.

You’ve spent some effort finding the right lighting and getting the best angle. The filter you choose can make or break the final result of your Instagram post.

It can help translate your current mood and the style you are looking to bring out in the photo. For guys in the gym, certain filter (depending on the shot) can really help emphasize the features of your body.

Tips for gym goers: Try black and white filters with added contrast for a more dramatic effect.

>> Consider Photo Editing Apps

There are many apps in the app store with outstanding filters, and the good news is, they are mostly free or comes at a crazy cheap price of between US$0.99 to US$4.99 (SG$1.28 to SG$6.98). These apps not only have filter function, they also allow all sorts of image editing like image rotation, cropping, contrasting, shadow edit, noise edit etc.

VSCO Cam is perhaps one of the most popular one around but our personal favorite is Afterlight.

We come to know Afterlight after seeing a friend’s stunningly filtered photos (yes, many photos) on Instagram. Here’s her reply in the exact words ” It’s Afterlight! Not even two bucks. Best investment ever 🙂 ”

Afterlight App Interface

What’s even better: One purchase allows you to use on 3 devices, even if the device is not yours (hope you get the hint).

There are many other photo editing apps in the iTunes store, here are a few:

>> Free apps

1) Snapseed (Free)

snapseed by google

2) VSCO (Free, with in-app purchases)

VSCO cam

3) Layout from Instagram (Free)

Layout from Instagram

>> Paid apps 

1) Afterlight (Price: SG$1.48)

Afterlight photo edit

2) Enlight (Price: SG$5.98)

Enlight Photo App

3) Faded (SG$1.48, with in-app purchases)

faded photo editor

With everything good about filters, avoid overusing or relying on them. Some filters can make your image appear dated (we don’t mean vintage, but dated).

And if your image is really nice on its own, go for #nofilter


Instead of applying filters, sometimes, all you need is slight adjustments on the contrast, clarity and maybe even temperature and you are good to go.

Anyway people likes to see the true and clear you once in a while instead of all edited and filtered photos isn’t it.

no filter selfie

Photos without filters also show confidence that you don’t need to hide your selfie behind filters and neither do you always need filters in order for your photos to look great. Furthermore, filters can sometimes hide details in the photos that are actually very nice and interesting.

So next time you do decide to go without filters, don’t forget give that post a #nofilter hashtag!

Other Challenges

Other than a selfie stick, everyone knows the selfie was taken with your hand.

That said; try as much as you can to not to get the whole arm in the shot.

The challenge with selfie is that there is a limit to the length of our arm, and many of us want to get as much as we can in the photo, and most importantly, not to have our face looking big and bloated.

The key to overcoming the fear of not having all your surrounding captured in the photo is to identify what you really want to show in the photo more. You can also play and experiment with proportion.

As for big face issue, use a selfie stick or learn to find the angle of your face that doesn’t look fat. You can also get a GoPro for their fisheye lens can not only capture much of the background, but also make your face look slimmer.

And lastly…..

Have Fun, Be yourself!

Image credit: @daxon

Throw away the notion of being judged, because the truth is, you are already being judged anyway.

The purpose of your Instagram is to share with people who care about you (your followers), whether they are interested to have a peep into your daily lives or are looking to you for positive influence.

Have fun! At the end of the day, regardless of your selfie outcome, you can choose and filter/ edit before posting that most satisfied one.

Manly photos shouldn’t take top priority but rather the message behind the photo!

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