News & Politics

How to Take a Selfie With a Celebrity Without Being Totally Awkward

Illustration by Jason Schneider.

Our expert: Carla Hall, the Washingtonian who’s a cohost of The Chew and was the “fan favorite” on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars.

1. Know how to use your camera—and have it ready. “I always wonder why their camera is on some sub-screen and they have to find it. The other mistake people make is they don’t wipe off the camera lens and the picture is fuzzy.”

2. “Get to the ask. There’s that awkward moment when they stand there—‘Hey, how are you? I love you on The Chew’—and I know they want a picture. They’ll be polite, but I’d prefer they just ask, especially if it’s on the street and I’m going somewhere.”

3. “If you commit to the selfie, take the selfie. If you’ve asked to take a selfie and then someone comes up and says, ‘I’ll take it,’ we have to set up all over again. So commit to the selfie.”

4. “Know what your shot is. Sometimes people say, ‘This is my best side.’ I don’t mind. And know where your light is. Don’t have the light behind you if it’s a sunny day. Scope all of that out before you ask so you can gently turn to the light.”

5. “Respect personal space. Everyone gets so close to your face. I have big hair, and that doesn’t work for me because you’re smooshing into me. You don’t have to be so close. People get lice from selfies—did you know that?”

6. Don’t be greedy. “It kills me when it’s a long line and someone says, ‘One more picture, one more picture.’ It’s so rude, because you’re not thinking about all the other people who want pictures. That is one of my pet peeves.”

7. If your arms are shorter, don’t be shy about asking the other person to take the picture. “I sometimes say, ‘Do you want me to take it?’ because I have long arms. I really don’t mind.”

Read more advice, tips, and tricks from Washington natives in our Secrets of the City package.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.