Personal Health

How to Take a Tasteful Nude Selfie

You've probably taken a nude selfie or two in your life, but did you love it? Like, really love it? Chances are that in the past, you may have taken at least 20 or so naked selfies before finding a photo that captured exactly the image you wanted to save or send. But have no fear — there are plenty of ways to make your experience taking nudes much more satisfying. Check out the handy list below for nine tried-and-tested tips that will have your naked selfies looking gorgeous from the very first shot.

1. Before you begin, remember that confidence is key.

"Confidence is the most important factor in getting good photographs," says pinup photographer Sophie Spinelle of Shameless Photo in San Francisco and New York. "Before a shoot, I always tell my models to look in the mirror and find things that they admire about their body. People don't stand naked in front of a mirror focusing on acceptance very often. Doing it is a game changer." While you're in front of the mirror, practice posing to see what your body looks like in different positions and take that knowledge with you when you start snapping selfies.

2. Always set the scene.

There's nothing funnier than a naked selfie that's dead sexy in the forefront with a big pile of dirty laundry in the background, and you probably don't want your nude to be funny. That's why there are a few rules when it comes to setting the perfect scene. For instance, a visible bathtub is okay, while a visible toilet, on the other hand, is not.

Children's toys and diaper bags are a no, but a glass of wine may help set the mood. As for an unmade bed? Only if it's a sexy, just-rolled-around sort of unmade and not the "I was running late this morning — did I leave a wet towel on my duvet again?" unmade. And for the love of animal rights, no pets in the room for this photo shoot.

3. Lighting is everything, so snap your selfies during the day.

As counterintuitive as it seems, you want to take your sexy pics during the day. "Overhead yellow household lights are unflattering," says Spinelle. "Shoot in the room of your home that is most flooded with natural daylight. Also, side light from windows is great at emphasizing cleavage."

4. Find an angle that feels good to you.

It sounds like overkill, but you can buy a tripod for a digital camera or phone for under $15 and you'll be able to shoot your full body from a distance and have more angle options. "A tripod and a remote will allow you to shoot from really high — that can be flattering," says Spinelle. "But shooting from the ground can also make a person look much longer and taller. It's the kind of effect that you see in dressing-room mirrors when you look at yourself and you're like, 'My God!'" Experimenting with different angles will help you figure out what makes you feel the most comfortable, sexy, and excited about your own appearance.

5. Highlight your favorite feature.

"The best pose depends on what you want to emphasize," says Spinelle. If you want to show off your bust, you have options — for example, you could highlight your breasts by wearing a favorite lace bra. You could also try a straight-on shot of you grasping your boobs with gorgeously manicured nails, like a Marilyn Minter model.

Another boob-centric option: "You could be lying down on your belly and prop yourself up on your elbows," instructs Spinelle. "You can shoot from the front or shoot from the side to show the shape of your breast."

For the best butt shot, there are plenty of options, too. "It's all about arching the back — throwing your shoulders back, and popping out your booty." If you're shy about your tummy but love your curves, maybe try a silhouette from behind. "Or you could shoot high and have your bust line actually cover your belly, use different types of props, or lie on your belly," says Spinelle.

6. Don't be too self-critical — appreciate your own body instead.

Don't overthink it or be too critical about your appearance. "Bellies are beautiful," says Spinelle. In fact, she adds, "Renaissance paintings were all about the belly." The thing is, chances are high that the person you're sending this photo to has seen you naked before and was into it enough to want a nude photo of you exactly as you are, not some airbrushed version of you.

7. Consider the Kanye rule: when in doubt, hide your face.

If you're sending these to someone else, you may want to make the image a bit harder to trace back to you, should the receiver get hacked or prove to be one of those revenge-porn jerks]( Though it's true that Kanye West has had some iffy judgment calls in the past, he wisely raps in the song "Digital Girl" by Jamie Foxx, "When you take the picture cut off your face / And cover up the tattoo by the waist." Plausible deniability, friends.

8. Put your best face forward.

"Nudes express something about the subject's sensuality," says Spinelle. "You might want a powerful, sultry expression or something a little bit more cute, depending on your personality." If you are going to ignore the Kanye rule, don't be too serious with your facial expression. You can be expressive, express your playful side with a sassy smirk, or own that you're trying to look hot by giving the viewer a little eyebrow raise.

9. Send and save all your photos securely.

Don't send nude pics as Twitter DMs or Facebook messages. It's too hackable, and you're also too likely to accidentally stay logged in on the iPad you left on your parents' couch. Text messages are better, and a private Dropbox is better than that. You and your partner should both be saving these in a password-protected app.

Private Photo Vaults and KeepSafe are popular options; there's also KYMS, which has an icon that looks like a calculator so it doesn't scream "Hey, naked photos over here!" The app functions as a working calculator until you've entered your numeric password. Having difficult-to-crack phone and computer passwords are key, too, and if you're the type of person who loses your phone every five seconds, consider remote swipe software so you can delete anything that's on MIA tech. And if you're deleting images right after sending, make sure you've actually deleted them and they're not in your recently deleted folder on the cloud.

Happy shooting, you sexy thing.

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