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The Art of Selfies

So lately my INSTAGRAM reached over 30,000 followers – many of which enjoy my gallery for its interesting photos regarding my hobbies and outfits. Today I’ll give you pointers on how to have a great looking gallery to help you gain more followers on Instagram as well…

1. This Isn’t Twitter and You’re Not That Famous

Well Fuck You Too...

Well Fuck You Too…

Harsh words, but hear me out. When I first joined Instagram, I immediately noticed the difference between accounts that posted beautiful HD images of environments, animals, clothing, etc versus the fuzzy photos of Starbucks coffee, random half-eaten food items and the occasional selfies in the dark. When I first started my Instagram, my goal was for it to be an extension of my site’s personality – a geeky anime fan that makes graphics… And happens to be an Asian female. So I started it off posting my geeky toys and collectibles, my face showing very sparingly. I did not post daily and took great care to position my action figures in the right lighting and snap at an interesting angle. The point is, no one cares what you’re eating, when you’re eating and where you’re eating – unless you want to be found via GeoTagging. (We can find you…) Perhaps three of your friends might reply how they want food or recently had diarrhea as a result of such food, but the point is if you’re not a food blogger/Instagrammer, you should probably stick to themes. If it’s merely a way to document your everyday life, then consider deleting/trimming down on spontaneous posts shortly after posting them. Once in a while I’ll post the result of my gaming stream and advertise a stream with an image, but I eventually take down those posts to preserve the look and theme of my Instagram. Basically you want to keep the pretty/unique stuff and remove the brain farts.


2. The Light is Your Friend and Front-Facing Cameras Can Suck It

TIP: Your computer monitor's WHITE screen can be an excellent source of light when taking a webcam photo.

TIP: Your computer monitor’s WHITE screen can be an excellent source of light when taking a webcam photo. Open Notepad/TextEdit or something to create a white screen.

Let’s face it. The sun may not be shining brightly when you are taking your photo or you may not have studio lighting environment readily available. Who does? (Not all of us…) We look best in natural lighting but unless we’re taking a photo outside, we can’t exactly have that look at all times. Try to find a window if you’re taking a selfie and have the light HITTING YOUR FACE. Unless you are doing some creative shot where the light is behind you and looking mysterious, your face will always look dark, shadowy and blurry. If the sun isn’t up, turn on all the lights in the room and find the right angle. Try to use the rear-facing camera if you’re going to set up a shot, because the quality of the photo is always better. Yes, it may be awkward holding the phone away from you and backwards, but at least you’re guaranteed a less pixelated image in a higher resolution. Especially in lower lighting environments.


3. Some Useful Tools and Apps

People have asked what apps I use to edit my photos. Those of you that know what I do should know this already. I use Photoshop, not phone apps. However I know not a lot of people have access to Photoshop so here are some lesser alternatives:

afterlight Afterlight $0.99 on iTunes
I have to say this app is pretty sweet. It can do many filters similar to Instagram’s PLUS A LOT MORE. More filters, more controls on contrast, opacity and hue, etc. It even has textures you can overlay. You can export the results to your phone or immediately upload them to your social medias/email.
picframe PicFrame $0.99 on iTunes
This app allows you to place multiple photos in one image via frames. It’s great for showing off outfits or different angles of something. You can choose border widths, color, amount of frames, add minor filters and even add text.
textgram Textgram FREE on iTunes
A free app that allows you to place images in borders and throw text and funny stickers on them. It’s got ads and stuff, but the plentiful fonts and backgrounds are worth it, I guess.
timercam TimerCam FREE on iTunes
This is a MUST HAVE for your phone. It allows from 5-30 seconds wait before snapping a picture. If you’re trying to show off clothes and tired of taking them in front of a mirror, this is the app for you. Can take front or rear-camera shots.
Sony_Tripod_Main Mini Tripods (Varies)
Get a tripod for your phone. Along with the TimerCam app, it’s a great way to take fashion photos. Heck, if you don’t have a tripod, ghetto rig your camera to a wall/box/whatever with tape or something.


4. Your Face Gets Boring

This is another way of saying to take different types of photos. Five consecutive images of slightly different angles of your face with different filters doesn’t cut it. Unless you’re showing off different makeup, you generally want to switch things up a bit. I like to change between full-length body shots, to face, to no head showing, to random toys, etc just to keep things interesting.

It should also be mentioned that one should know the best angles of their face, but to keep things interesting, show all angles. A lot of people like to do the camera from above shot to make one’s eyes appear larger and jaw look slimmer. Either that or a three quarter face shot. To switch things up a bit, try not to look at the camera all the time. Have you tried having your body in only a third of the photo? Bring your arm further from you so that we can see more than just your head? Things can get interesting.


5. What Makes You Interesting?

We all know what makes the world go round and what sells. If boobs make you interesting and you're confident enough to show them off (in a PG fashion), then more power to you. Haters gonna hate. As for the rest of us boobless people, we'll continue to post other stuff to compensate...

We all know what makes the world go round and what sells. If boobs make you interesting and you’re confident enough to show them off (in a PG fashion), then more power to you. Haters gonna hate. As for the rest of us boobless people, we’ll continue to post other stuff to compensate…

I considered myself a pretty boring person. Anyone who grew up with me knows that I’m a quiet introvert that didn’t hang out often, due to overbearing Asian parents… But even so, people found me interesting in ways I never thought of. Besides my Anime toy collection, my graphic hobbies, etc I’ve also displayed my love for Paintball, firearms, my dog, my random cosplays and the fact that although 95% of my closet is black clothing, I somehow have different styles. There’s always something that makes you slightly different than even your twin. Show these differences off! What do you collect? What are some interesting finds you’ve discovered? If you’re going to show off a clothing item your dog ripped up, WEAR IT! Make your gallery fun to look at and full of life. Remember you want to catch the eye of NEWs viewers, not followers you already have.

So have fun and next time you take a photo, think of an interesting way to make it interesting!

You can follow me on INSTAGRAM @ tfldesign

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