How Not To Take A Group Selfie


This is it. You're teaching English abroad having the best time of your life. You're finally living your dream of teaching and traveling. Here you are, hanging out with your local friends exploring the spectacular limestone islands of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam,  walking down the beachfront of Puerto Vallerta in Mexico or having fun at this high-end tapas bar in Barcelona, Spain. "Let's take a selfie!", you think, as you want to immortalize the moment and get that little piece of souvenir to bring back home tease your friends back home on Instagram (who are we kidding?). Great! Although you might want to read this first if you don't want to make the same mistakes as we did.

We will never pretend to be selfie experts. We've taken enough bad group selfie pictures, however, (as you'll see in the examples below), that we can au contraire tell you what common mistakes to avoid so you don't ruin your shot like we did!*

*Any resemblance to actual selfie mistakes is purely coincidental ;).

1. Don't look at the screen, look at the camera lens

How to take the perfect selfie

I like impromptu photos but come on. What were we thinking? 

2. Don't be blurry (or too drunk)

How to take the perfect selfie

 #NoFilter needed.

3. Don't use your arm (unless it's 5 feet long)

How to take the perfect selfie

We can't emphasize on this enough when taking a group selfie: use a selfie stick! Your face is literally 3 times the size of everyone else's, John!

4. Don't close your eyes

5. Don't overdo it

How to take the perfect selfie

There's no need. Really.

6. Don't be too dark 

How to take the perfect selfie

Jessie must like her selfies like she likes her coffee roast... Dark.

7. Don't be too bright either

How to take the perfect selfie

Dark or bright, either way, beware of bad lighting. This photo was taken at historic Fenway Park in Boston, but you'd never know because half the photo is completely over-exposed. Yay, go... sports!

8. Don't pick the windiest spot

How to take the perfect selfie

Or do. That one's really funny!

9. Don't be in a rush

How to take the perfect selfie

Love the spirit. But take your time, Matt!

10. Don't create unnecessary chaos

How to take the perfect selfie

This is what happens when you're standing on a cliff with no coordination. 1 selfie stick, 1 photographer. That's all it takes.

11. Don't shoot vertically

How to take the perfect selfie

Yep, hard to fit 3 people - let alone a full group - in a vertical pic, Ian.

12. Don't get photobombed

ITA-Staff-Selfie-11How to take the perfect selfie

Getting photobombed does not make it a group pic, Matt!

13. Just don't


Just don't.

14. Don't give up!

We've received really cool pictures from ITA alumni who are teaching English around the world. Here are some great group selfie examples that they've taken while teaching abroad!

How to take the perfect selfie

ITA alumna Maia Martin & friends in South Korea.

How to take the perfect selfie

ITA alumna Christina Bates & friends in Madrid, Spain. 

How to take the perfect selfie

I teased her earlier but ITA alumna and now ITA advisor Jessie Smith is one of our greatest selfie takers!

Bottom line: What do you need to take a good group selfie?

  1. Some friends (can't take a group pic of yourself, can you?).
  2. A good selfie stick (or a really, really long arm).
  3. A good smartphone camera, or a GoPro camera.
  4. Your friends' attention.
  5. Shoot your selfie HORIZONTALLY.
  6. Get a good background! ("I really like that shady grey wall in the background"- said no one ever).
  7. Be in focus.
  8. Beware of the light.
  9. Take several shots in a row (to be sure to capture that one great photo).

Have fun taking great pics!


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