7 Secrets to Taking the Perfect Summer Selfie or #OOTD Pic

Girls Taking Selfie
Photo: Getty Images

The art of the selfie and OOTD is no joke. It can take hundreds of photos to find the perfect picture, and we’ve all been there. Below we are seven easy tricks and tips to take your Instagram game to the next level. Ever wonder how the pros make a simple selfie or iPhone photo look bomb.com? The key tricks are with lighting, angles and even a filter or two.

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You guys already know that being authentic is one of my top priorities as a blogger, especially as a person of faith (and as someone who is still afraid of my momma beating me if she found out I was telling lies 😭 #africanparents) That’s why I’m super excited to be doing a workshop called “Instagramming with Integrity” at @Thebr8kthroughtour in a couple weeks! • In addition to the workshop, I’ll also be apart of the @Thebr8kthroughtour YouTube & Social Media Meet + Greet in New York on April 14th hosted by @laurinarochelle! Come say hi and meet other bloggers of faith in the NYC area with Workshops, Q/A Panel & More! • Use my Promo code (IjeomaKola) for $10 off your ticket! #Thebr8kthroughTour // Event Registration Link: https://thebr8kthroughtourny.eventbrite.com (direct link in my stories) • 📷: @jenna.sparks.photography

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Lighting is Key

Turn towards a window or light, or even go outside. Good lighting can make shadows and under-eye circles completely disappear. The best time of day to shoot is during “golden hour”—it’s during sunrise or sunset, when the light is low and looks almost golden.

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Monday, let’s do this! ☕️

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Sometimes, Consider Flash

Natural light should be your go-to when taking a good selfie, but when that’s not an option, you can use flash. Maybe you’re inside a dark room, poorly light-bathroom or it’s already nighttime, our flash hack is with Snapchat. You can use the front-facing camera flash feature. Save the photo to your camera roll and edit from there!

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I'm always cold 🤷🏻‍♀️💙 Confession time: Yesterday, some of my friends and I decided to do a social media fast for the day. Have you ever tried it? It was crazy and slightly embarrassing at how many times I caught myself naturally looking at my phone trying to click the IG app! I know myself too well so I switched the placement of the IG icon with the bible app icon on my home screen. So basically I checked into my bible app a few times yesterday LOL! I'm going to do it again next Sunday because it was actually kind of nice. Sometimes checking out is exactly what your mind needs before jumping into a new week. I challenge you guys to try it and take one day off from social media. It's harder than you think (even if you aren't a social media influencer).. just try it! 😂🙌🏼 #happymonday #ilovecroppedsweaters

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Find the Prime Background

Avoid photo-bombers, distracting backgrounds or harsh back-lighting. The best selfies or OOTD pics have interesting, yet simple backgrounds and the primary focus is all on you.

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Choose The Not-So-Obvious Reflection and Composition

Play around with dressing-room mirrors, take a seat, trying cropping the photo, etc. This will instantly elevate your picture and take your feed to the next level.

Know Your Angles

OOTD pictures is a time for you to ditch your “better side” and play up the angles and cut of the clothing. If your pants have a cool side seam detailing, shoot the picture as a profile, bend your arm or leg to play up a silhouette or pivot your shoulders to play up the back. The slightest movements and angles of the camera and your body can take your OOTD from standard bathroom mirror pic to your most liked insta photo.

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When in Doubt, Add a Filter

We love a classic Instagram filter as much the next person, but apps like VSCO, Facetune, Snapseed and Darkroom can completely transform a smartphone picture. You can also cool vintage effects with Afterlight or 8mm Vintage Camera.

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Don't hate, collaborate!! Recently, @kaitlyndespain reached out to me to see if I'd like to collab on some images for Instagram. She is a gorgeous human and brilliant soul and I love the fact that she takes photographs and applies another layer of creativity onto them. Here is a photo that @jzobphoto took of me in Costa Rica, and Kaitlyn drew these beautiful blooms by hand surrounding me. Sometimes I get so stuck thinking I'm alone in this crazy world of Instagram. It can get a little lonely working from home and staring at a screen… looking at image after image of people exploring the world and doing crazy things… but what I like to remind myself is I AM NOT ALONE. You are not alone. We are all connected. Instagram started as a COMMUNITY. No algorithm change can change the way we PERCEIVE that. Only our thoughts can change our perception. So visualize yourself with giant roots and leaves spreading in all directions… with life and energy flowing from you to connect you to other people, other artists, other souls. The only way you can GROW is through connection. 👊🏻 infinite LOVE, Quigley #weareone #youarenotalone #globallyquigley #andazpapagayo #kiwicollection #carewhereyoustay

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Practice Makes Perfect

We don’t know a single person who has taken just one selfie or OOTD and been okay with it. Try and try again. Try different locations, backgrounds, lighting, editing, etc. until you find your perfect photo.