7 tips for taking better selfies

Updated 3:20 PM EST, Thu December 12, 2013

Story highlights

2013 has been the year of the selfie, but taking the best self-portrait takes work

Be aware of your surroundings and avoid taking photos in controversial settings

Don't be afraid to include strangers or play along with trending hashtags

CNN —  

There is no wrong way to take a selfie. The medium has grown into its own form of self-expression, and the artistic choices people make are as varied as the faces themselves.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama was photographed taking a selfie with Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela. The incident has attracted attention and criticism, but one thing is clear: It has helped cement 2013’s status as the year of the selfie.

“Selfie” was named word of the year for 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary, which defines it as a self-portrait that is typically taken with a smartphone camera and posted to social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to get in on the trend, here are some tips on taking the best possible selfie.

Compose yourself

Smartphone cameras are not the best cameras, but they have one major advantage that has helped them kill the point and shoot market: convenience. People always have their phones with them.