It wasn't all that long ago that the word selfie entered our lexicon. But in the Instagram era, it's hard to scroll through your feed without a close-up shot of someone's face or outfit.
These shots may seem especially spur-of-the-moment, but nailing the details (selfie lighting, background, and pose) are all crucial parts of creating the perfect photo. And while there's no wrong way to snap yourself, technically speaking, there are always those technical elements to keep in mind.
So what are the mistakes we often make? I tapped the ever-inspiring and cool photographer Tory Rust to offer up some tips. While Rust admittedly doesn't "personally take many selfies," she has an eye for what makes a photo pop.
Below, Rust took a look at a few of my personal selfies (no shame in playing guinea pig here) and offered up a few tips that we can all apply to our next selfie endeavoring.
Read on for Tory's three tips for upping your selfie game, and then shop items begging for a feature on your Instagram!
#1: Get Outdoors, but Know Your Angles
Location: A+ Love the contrast between the sunny day and the gritty wall!
Lighting: B- Here's a pro tip: Tilt your head up more toward the sun to decrease or eliminate the shadows from your sunglasses.
#2: Find Sneaky Ways to Clean Up the Background
Location: A- You get a great sense of where you are and what you're up to! Great storytelling!
Lighting/Composition: B+ That glow in the upper left hand is not ideal. Try taking the picture at a diagonal from the mirror and see if you can crop out that light! Also, that lady's head is kind of distracting. See if you can find a moment when she's not there!
#3: Find Ways to Add Intrigue
Lighting: A- Sometimes it can be hard to find even, soft lighting indoors. Yay, you did it!
Composition: B- I love that you chopped part of your head off—it definitely draws more attention to the track pants! But that chair… It's pointless. It doesn't really give us any new information. Here's a pro tip: You have two options: 1) eliminate the chair by centering yourself, or 2) use that chair! Throw your bag, your dog, your pizza on it! Extra points if it is red, tying into those track pants!
Shop Chic Pieces for Your Next Selfie
The sophisticated way to wear a denim skirt.
Pair with sneakers for a mellow Saturday or strappy heels for a summer wedding.
A linen tee would look so pretty with this.
These are bound to make your selfie shine.
You could wear these with literally everything.
This gingham tote is to die for.
This crop top is oh so pretty.
A straw bag would look so cute with this.
Your everyday denim.
White, wide-leg denim would go perfectly with this one-shoulder top.
A little black bag is a closet necessity.
We love the subtle pinstripes.
Pair these with crisp, wide-leg trousers for a day at the office.
You've got to wear this on your next summer date night.
All these details are so pretty.
Wear this over vintage denim for a casual-cool look.