Nothing on this planet gives me a mini anxiety attack faster than the “[NAME] added photos of you” Facebook notification. The feeling of “YES FINALLY, I’ve needed a new prof pic for so long!” quickly turns into “Wait…fuck…” when I remember I haven’t taken a sober picture since I got my driver’s permit back in 10th grade. And I would wager my future husband’s salary that I’m not the only one that’s ridden this “fear of public humiliation” boat before.
Even though pictures do a great job of piecing together the puzzle that is last night, most girls end up succumbing to a familiar “trend” that closely resembles the following:
*Repeat seven times*
Now, because I’ve grown so accustomed to the scenario above, I know firsthand how it takes a toll on one’s self-esteem. I mean, I may or may not have vowed not to take another photo until I completed a three-week liquid cleanse consisting solely of kale juice and chicken broth…but that’s neither here, nor there.
Recently, though, I had an epiphany. It’s not you, IT’S THEM. And by “them” I mean those twats (NOTE: sisters) who couldn’t take a flattering picture of someone else if their littles’ lives depended on it. Honestly, ladies, I’m not asking you to snap the next cover of National Geographic—it’s really not that hard. There are a few basic Laws of Picture-Taking, and if we abide by them, our photos will all be safe for social media.
Law #1: Always Hold The Camera High UP And Angle DOWN
Knowing how to physically hold the camera in your hand is arguably the most important skill to have when it comes to picture taking. According to the extensive Wikipedia research I did to write this column, “Where the camera is placed in relation to the subject can affect the way the viewer perceives the subject.” This translates to: the angle from which the picture is taken means the difference in looking like Adriana Lima and the weekly feature on “My 600-lb Life.” Now, I’m not saying you have to go all Tyra-Banks-ANTM-Photographer style here and twist yourself into a pretzel or climb 90-foot trees to get the perfect angle—just hold the camera above your head and aim it down toward your subjects. This minimizes the chances for double chins and enhances everyone’s cheekbone structure.
Law #2: Include Everyone In The Picture
I’ve never taken a photography class in my life, but if there’s one thing I know to do, it’s include everyone in the goddamn picture. There is nothing that sucks more than being the end person in a picture—except when you’re the end person in a picture and your face and body are only three fourths in the frame. The person who’s cropping is in an awkward position: do I act like a bitch, crop the person out, and risk them commenting “nice crop.” when I post it? Or do I keep them in there and leave picture frustratingly asymmetrical? Do us all a favor and just tell someone if they’re not in the frame. I know it’s, like, really difficult to put the words “move” and “in” together, but we’re all intelligent women here, so I think we can conjure up the brainpower to do it.
Law #3: Don’t Fucking Move
Obviously, I was saving the one that irritates me the most for last. When you’re taking the picture, DON’T MOVE. If there is one thing in this world that annoys me more than bad pictures, it’s blurry pictures that could’ve actually been good if it weren’t for a drunkenly swaying photographer. Seeing as though it literally takes a half hour to round up a group of girls for a picture, the least a photographer can do is put down their drink to snap a few. Even if you don’t abide by laws #1 and #2, a photo can at least be salvageable thanks to an afternoon of Instagramming, FaceTuning, and iPhoto-ing. Not so much with a blurry pic. Don’t be a douche. Just stand fucking still.
1. Take the picture in square mode. It’s most likely going to be Instagrammed anyway.
2. Never take a picture with an iPhone filter unless you purposefully want to piss off your subjects. Shit’s wack.
3. If you know someone will hate the picture because they actually look really bad in it, offer to take it again. Wouldn’t you want someone to do that for you?
4. iPhone 5 > iPhone 4
5. Kodaks > iPhone 5