Hi my name is Jena, and I am the girl on Instagram with the silky smooth skin and the pearly bright white teeth. You probably remember seeing me in my perfect photos, where you never see a zit or a wrinkle because lets face it, I’m perfect. If you believe everything you just read, you are one gullible chick! THAT IS SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH! I have zits, wrinkles, brown spots, and everything else that is going wrong being in my 30’s. All of those other chicks with the smooth skin on Instagram, yeah they are normal too I promise. BUT, thankfully times have changed and there’s an app for that! It used to be that you snapped a picture and just posted the darn thing and you were done. Welcome to 2017, where you need 3-4 apps on average to strike that perfect pose. Now, when I say perfect I’m not saying you must look perfect in your pictures. What I mean is that there is an actual true “art” to Instagram, where photos that are filtered are seen as more appealing than those that are not (you can thank Pinterest for all of the extra work we all have now). If you are in the business of wanting to gain more followers, then you need to listen up and start filtering those photos! I have been asked probably more times than I can count how I take the “perfect selfie”. It’s honestly a process and in my opinion still not perfect! I am not afraid or ashamed to post a natural photo, again, this is about an art that helps you gain more followers! So lets dive right in, shall we?
Lighting & Background
This is the #1 most important tool to taking a quality selfie. In my bathroom, I open the blinds and climb up on my bathtub and stand against the wall that is closest to the window. The sun is rising on that side of my house so this is where I get the very best light. The photo above was taken around 9am. NOTE: the best time of day to take a selfie is early morning between 8am-10am. There is just something so soft and amazing about the light that peeks through your windows at this time! Another great time of day to selfie is later afternoon. MID afternoon is not the best time of day. I know this isn’t ideal, and trust me I selfie all day long (its my job, duh) so always make sure that you are near natural outdoor light for the BEST blank canvas to get started with. Stay out of the sun! Sun is not your friend when you are taking a selfie!! It can really hone in on all of your flaws, and no one wants that, right?! You also want to make sure that you have a clean, uncluttered background. You aren’t doing yourself any justice if you are standing against/near a cluttered background (the eye will wander to your background, and not the picture of your “object” you are showing off). This is why I stand near my window up against a neutral white wall. I also selfie outside on my front porch where it is shaded and letting in the perfect amount of soft natural light. The background there is brick (which isn’t my ideal as it is always best to go for lighter colored backgrounds) but the brick wall is clean, and clean is your friend!
I am a very symmetrical person so this concept was hard for me to grasp at first, but remember we are making art here. Don’t automatically place yourself or whatever image you are snapping in the middle. There is a “rule” if you will, called the rule of thirds. You can google this concept and literally find every single photographer or blogger discussing the importance. I will save you all of the copying & pasting & crediting about this rule, and let you google it here
(example of a selfie of mine that is more off centered following the rule of thirds)
Apps: the secret sauce
Now that you’ve taken your picture near natural light, followed the photo placement, it’s time to make them look pretty! Here comes the fun part! These are the top apps that you need to download to your phone! It’s best for organizational purposes to put all your photography apps in to a folder. Most of these are free apps! Here are my current faves:
- Picframe – used to collage pics, or frame them so you have a white border
- Facetune – here is where the magic flawless skin comes in; you can also brighten your jewels and pop your lip color etc.
- VSCO Cam – awesome magic to filtering your pics, #1 app used by bloggers you probably follow on IG -Tutorials found here
- BeautyPlus – this has a magical option called “beautify” that will perform magic right before your very eye. You can watch a video here and notice in the video how she is in natural light, applying the “rule of thirds”.
- YouCam Makeup – love this app for 2 reasons: eye lashes & teeth whitening #money
- PhotoMirror – when you see me twice in the pic, I’ve used this app
- Afterlight – pretty much the same thing as VSCO just another option
- PicTapGo – this is my “final” app I use before posting to IG. I typically use Facetune, followed by VSCO, then PicTapGo. Here I will add some crispness, crop, adjust contrast more and then *KEY* this is how you can get a white border around the pics. If you select “float” it will float your picture like this:
(Also note in this pic I used YouCamMakeup and whitened my teeth and darkened my mascara! DON’T FORGET to whiten your friends teeth too – show them some love would ya! Also, yours will stand out if you don’t even the playing field for everyone in the pic)
Here are some more before & after pics to show you the true “art”
Okay ladies, hope this helps you up your selfie game! If you have any questions leave me a comment here and I will get back to you!