I’m not a person who posts selfies often, so when I do, I try to put in a little extra effort. I want my hair and makeup on point, and I want the photo to look like it was taken with a better camera than the one on my iPhone 5.
Over the years, I’ve developed a technique to ensure my picture comes out looking high quality, and as flawless as possible — while still looking like me. A lot of people have trouble finding a balance when trying to present their best self and still look natural. Sometimes, if you wear too much makeup or overuse a filter, you end up looking like an alien.
So here’s my tips to creating a natural looking, but attractive photo:
People are most attracted to photos that demonstrate movement. For those of you who don’t study visual art, this simply means you want objects and lines in the photo to look as if they’re moving. That’s why photos of waterfalls tend to get more likes than photos of a stagnant lake. To emphasize movement in you photo, use a hair straightener to add bends or waves to your hair. Then, right before you take the shot, tousle your hair with your hands and allow it to fall over your shoulders. The movement of the hair makes the photo more visually interesting even though you’re standing still.
When doing your makeup for a photo, you want to choose one thing to highlight, either lips or eyes. You don’t want to look like you’re dolling yourself up for some Kardashian-esque photo shoot. For the above look, I wanted to feature my lips with a pigmented, wine colored lipstick, so I kept my eye makeup simple. I like for my eyes to look large, and usually I use eyeliner to make them pop, but in this case, I decided to tone it all down by just using mascara. I layered three coats of mascara down at the roots of my lashes so they would still show up on camera without looking like a put a ton of product on.
I use VSCO Cam to edit my photos. On VSCO, I start by upping the contrast on my photo so my hair appears fully black. I usually sit in the sun to take my photos so that my skin will glow, but the trade-off is faded looking hair. Contrast is the antidote. Next, I increase the temperature on the photo to emphasize the glow in my skin. Lastly, I sharpen the photo to make the shot appear as if it were taken with a higher quality camera that can capture better detail. If I’m still not satisfied with the shot, I might lower the exposure to further darken my hair and brighten my skin/eyes simultaneously.