Why You’re Not Getting Instagram Likes: Tips For Taking the Perfect Picture

Rachel Nussbaum

kylie jenner

There are few things that make us feel as good as a well-executed Instagram picture. Say what you will about the trend and millenials, but it’s a universally acknowledged truth: On those off days, there’s nothing like snapping a few good selfies to get us back in that self-esteem groove. But beware, because nowhere is the “quality over quantity” rule more important, not even in clothes. That’s right. This is serious business. Excessive selfies are the fastest way to lose followers for us normals (models and celebrities are an entirely different matter, not being real and all), and mediocre selfies, well, it’s like having every opportunity in the world and just throwing it all away. So unnecessary, especially because anyone in the world can take a good selfie, given the right tips. And thus, we’ve rounded up our best tricks for a good take every time— because believe us, there’s nothing more identity-crisising than not one “like” in sight.

The Most Flattering Filters

We’re big fans of warm-tinted filters like Rise and Hefe, which make you look like you’re basking in the sun everywhere you go (the dream). For your classic selfie, we generally avoid the filters with cold, harsh tones or frames, like Hudson or Kelvin. Unless you’re trying to look like you’re from the ’90s, in which case, go right ahead, you’re on trend! But on the other hand, if you’re really feeling confident, a simple frame can be the good kind of quirky.

MORE: How to Take a Selfie: 10 Lessons We Learned From Amanda Bynes

Find Your Light

Selfies are a shadow game, and it’s all about playing it. The best are usually a little backlit, which casts the most flattering shadows (light from your computer monitor can be good, but has kind of a sad undertone). Try not to take any outside on cloudy days, or in fluorescent lighting–the lack of shadows isn’t flattering, and fluorescents are the quickest way to look washed out.

How To Find Your Angle

Everyone has their own favorite angle, but a good rule of thumb is to shoot from around chin level and gently angle up. Too much of a below chin, angled up shot and you could wind up looking like you have a double chin. But whatever you do, don’t angle from above–it doesn’t get more Myspace than that…

Avoid: Duckface

…Or does it! The duck face (otherwise known as pursed, slightly stuck out lips) was a classic of the Myspace era, and it’s in all of our best interests for it to stay there. We’re all in favor of #ThrowbackThursday, but there’s a limit.

MORE: How to Take the Perfect Prom Picture, As Told By GIFs

Smile, Don’t Scowl

The corners-upturned smile is our go-to expression, because obviously, we’re taking a selfie, how serious can it be? We always giggle at the selfie-ers with moody, broody expressions, even if it’s a flattering pose. A small smile is the best way to show that you’re in on the joke.

Eye Contact is Everything

Likewise, the  “eyes up and away” face may make your eyes look bigger, but at what cost? Looking a little silly, even, we dare say, grade school-ish (shudder). Definitely not what we’re going for. Eye contact is pure confidence in real life, and does as well virtually. Just try not to stare intensely into the camera–try for second date level eye-contact, not marriage proposal.

Image via Instagram

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