Selca (셀카) or selfies, aren’t unique to Korea of course. But Koreans sure do have a knack of creating selca trends. Everyone, from idols to grandmas, seem to be snap-happy with their phones. There’s even a phrase for it: selca noli (selca play) is when a person holds an impromptu photo shoot with their phone pointing facewards, snapping billions of pictures of themselves either with or without friends. New phones in Korea often come equipped with selca-friendly technology, like shutters that will activate if you wink at the lens.

If you’re looking for advice on how to take Korean-style selcas, here’s a great blog with some ideas.

The number one rule, however, is do not forget the importance of angles. A selca taken from above will always make your face look smaller and cuter. One Korean girl’s video demonstrating the vast difference of angles went viral a few years ago, even making it into the British press. See why right here, and then here’s some more, similar importance of angles videos inspired by her – why are they so damn addictive?!

Instagram is a good place to spot new selca trends from Korea. Last year, there was a trend for styling your fringe into a heart before you took a selca, called 하트 앞머리 (hateu aapmuhri) see some examples right here.

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Idols are also trend-setters when it comes to selcas, using them to tease fans while backstage or keep fans’ interest during quieter public activities. Although, when it comes to a shirtless Siwon from SuJu, no reason is really needed at all.

And how about morajoogi? These are selcas where everyone else in the photo pulls a stupid face in order to make one person look good. SHINee did a great round of morajoogi (‘visual boost’) pics last year, and Jonghyun posted on twitter about it. Try it out with friends the next time you’re taking group pics.

Which leads me to a final point on selfie sticks. There’s no denying they’re useful for taking group pics, but be aware that many tourist spots are now banning the use of them for safety reasons. The Korean government also tightened up rules for retailers on the kinds of selfie sticks they sell, due to the bluetooth technology some use.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.