Labor Day is dawning and just as likely as it is that you’ll be chillin’ with friends in some outdoor paradise, it’s even more likely that you’ll be inspired to immortalize the moment by snapping 20 consecutive pictures of yourself in the hunt for the perfect selfie. Let’s admit it, selfie culture is here to stay. How do we know? ‘Cause even our moms are sneaking in selfies. It’s time to embrace the shameless movement and love our “selfies” even more. Here are some do’s and don’ts that’ll help you put your best face forward.
DON’T over-selfie it. Save your selfies for special occasions: A new haircut, a great outfit, the private moment before your walk down the aisle; you know, the moments worth sharing. By adding context to your post, your photo becomes more of a story. It creates an opportunity for specific feedback from your friends as opposed to the random streaming feed of your face that only seems to say, “Hey, how about some compliments today?”
DO find your good side. The art of a great selfie starts with choosing the right angle.Tilt the most symmetrical side of your face slightly towards the camera. Hold the camera a little above your head, angling the lens downward. This will make your nose appear more slender and your eyes larger. Prepare to have your prettily-posed post blasted with insta-love.
DON’T do duck face. You have not fooled us. We don’t think your lips are that plump. You just look a little bit like a duck now.
DO find the perfect lighting. The best selfies are always sourced in natural light and front lit. The bright light smoothes out the skin tone while providing a natural beauty filter. You’ll be able to post the photo with the ever-enviable awe-inducing hashtag #nofilter (and you’ll actually be telling the truth).
DON’T take selfies in insensitive environments. Perhaps this one is obvious, but many people have made the embarrassing mistake of snapping selfies at the worst time. Things to avoid: Funerals, natural disasters, and any form of human suffering. Posing while operating a moving vehicle is also not advised. If the perfect light strikes while you’re in the driver’s seat, pull over and hashtag your photo #thiscarwasparked.
DO pose in front of beautiful backdrops. A vibrant wall paper, the textured bark of a tree, your head tossed back in a field of electric-green grass, a richly colored bookcase—all of these are inspired backdrops. Look to build a vibe that has a bit more to say than, “Look at me!” After all, photography is an art so explore the depths of your inner artist.
DON’T pose half-naked in your underwear. Um… we’re hoping this one is self-explanatory.
DO invest in a selfie stick. One of the quickest ways to look a little less selfie is to widen the frame. Using a selfie stick allows you to make the image about the sweeping panorama behind you or the loving huddle of friends wrapped in your arms. Grab that innovative stick and wave it proud as you capture the bigger picture.
DO experiment with different looks. Selfies seem to tap into that early childlike part of ourselves—like when we played dress-up in front of the mirror while applying our mother’s lipstick. Go ahead and have fun! Strike a pose with a new lip shade, dramatic liner, false eyelashes, or a hat you’ve always wanted to secretly wear. Express all of your many sides while also testing your new looks before you brave the real world.
DON’T take yourself too seriously. Putting your best face forward does not always mean your most perfect face. Dare to post a picture of your natural makeup-free face, make silly faces, or share a post-workout messy ponytail glow. Show the world that you have a sense of humor, that you’re fearless, that you, in fact, don’t need to be perfect. There’s nothing prettier than your truth. So selfie that!