words Al Woods
Spend less than five minutes on social media and you’ll see them: the good, the bad and the ugly of photos.
From selfies that make your BFF look like a fashion model to dark and blurry shots from friends’ vacations and everything in between, the photos that appear on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites definitely run the gamut.
Since you want to fall into the “good” category—or heck, even the “great” or “amazing” photographic category on social media—you are ready to learn what it takes to capture the perfect selfie, travel pic and more. So with that in mind, check out the following suggestions:
1. Figure Out Your Best Side
There is a reason actors often ask to be photographed from a certain angle—it makes for a much more attractive picture. Take a bunch of selfies with your head tilting to the left, then the right, then with your chin up and down to discover your best side. Once you find the ideal angle, strive to pose in this way for as many pics as you can. For instance, if you want to appear a bit slimmer in your face, shooting a selfie from above is a great option; avoiding the straight-on camera shot is also less intense and makes for a more relaxed look.
2. Strive for Symmetry
When taking photos during your family vacation, try to find opportunities for symmetry in your shots. Try to follow the rule of thirds. We are naturally drawn to things that are symmetrical, so instead of positioning your smart phone to the left and getting your family on one side with some gorgeous flowering bushes on the right, frame everyone in the middle and have the bright red and pink flowers peeking out from either side of your family.
3. Go for Natural Lighting
No matter if you are taking an adorable photo of your dog, a selfie of you and your bestie or a nature shot, try for the “golden hour” of photos, which is the hour before sunset or after sunrise. This is when the natural light outside is low and most gorgeous and brings out the best in everyone and everything. No matter what, try to avoid looking directly into the sun; the harsh light will not only cause you to squint, but it will accentuate things in your face that you’d rather not showcase. If you notice that you have a few more wrinkles than you’d like or your eyes are not as noticeable, experiment with new makeup or a new skincare regime. For example, if you’re trying to figure out how to get beautiful natural-looking eyelashes, consider a lash conditioning serum to boost your lashes without having to pile on the mascara. If your pores look huge, try a primer under your normal foundation.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Flash
While natural lighting typically looks best, there will be occasions late at night when you, your friends and/or family are doing something so fun and social media-worthy, you simply have to get a picture. Take several pics both with the front camera flash on and off and then see which ones look the best—you may be pleasantly surprised to see that your flash doesn’t wash out everyone’s coloring at all, and instead allows you to see all of your friends playing an amazing Uno game or enjoying pizza and soda together. For the best results, fiddle around with the manual flash feature on your phone or camera to get that desired result.
Practice Makes Perfect
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about wasting tons of film to master the art of taking great pictures. You can use your digital camera or smartphone to see which angles suit you the best, and find the best lighting with and without the flash. All of these tips together will help ensure that the photos you post on social media will make a great impression on the people who see them.