So you think the Internet is a fine, great, very good thing–except that it needs more of your pretty face.
Fortunately, scientists at MIT invented the “selfie,” an abbreviation for “self-photographie.” Now at last you can take as many pictures of yourself and send them down the information superhighway as your little heart desires. But with that great power comes the great responsibility of making yourself look super hot.
So we checked in with one of Queerty’s top photographers, Matt Baume, who offered up tips for taking the perfect self-portrait, based on tips ripped from the following Instagram accounts.
Read on for top tips to up your self-photographie game:
1. Invite animal friends by any means necessary
Take a note from Jon Kortajarena: You can take a perfectly adorable animal picture without actually subjecting any live animals to your camera. Just grab a cute stuffed friend, whether made out of textiles or the taxidermied remains of a former companion.
2. Celebrate the vigor of youth
A little gesture can add a lot. Matthew Noszka gives us a little behind-the-scenes peek at the male-modeling lifestyle with a carefree gesture of rocking on, or possibly hooking horns. He also reassures our concerns about his strenuous workload by revealing that he has palm trees & sun in his future, and beyond that the physical deterioration of the body that will one day claim us all.
3. Trust in imagination
Sometimes you must maintain a little mystery; other occasions call for a confession of your woes. In this short video, model Chris Garafola wordlessly transfixes by revealing that he has at least one nipple. But is this perhaps too much? Fix not your eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal.
4. Run away from home
Nothing like a trip to the great outdoors, and in this shot Kevin Wei shows off his fancy yachting lifestyle and fancy tatted yachting friend. Not pictured: mermaids, talking sea turtle.
5. Make the viewer feel like a baby
Actor Michael B. Jordan is getting back to work in this selfie. A perfect angle for showing off a bicep, the camera’s low angle positions the viewer at chest-height as though we are but tiny babies cradled against his chest, cooing and helpless and in need of protection from a world we never asked to enter.
6. Show off hobbies — yours and others
Dogs automatically increase the appeal of a selfie, as do hints of hobbies. Nick Bateman here shows that he likes to play videogames by gently pinching the edge of his controller while his sweats slip down his hip. He has cleverly placed a dog in his armpit, an excellent technique for prompting viewers to imagine the rippling contours of his pecs and whether his armpit hair is as soft and downy as a dog’s coat.
7. You don’t have to hold the camera
The perfect selfie may require unusual positioning of your camera. Justin and Nick were kind enough to post this picture of themselves sleeping in an adorable pose, the camera hovering precariously above them through unknown, possibly spectral, means. There are some who say that life is defined as a continuity of consciousness and that sleep’s breaking of consciousness every night constitutes a form of death.
8. Explore new places
Kit Williams from EastSiders dons professorial glasses for his selfies, reminding us not to underestimate the value of a small accessory, particularly if it’s the only article of clothing you own. But do not be concerned: Kit has cleverly revealed in the background that he does, in fact, have clothes. Or perhaps he’s broken into someone else’s house, nude, to take this photograph. Please call the police.
9. Consider your impact on the world
It’s important for your selfies to convey something to the audience about the content of your character, and in this image Duane Wells, a “luxury lifestyle curator,” reveals that he disdains making physical contact with nature when he can fill it with noise and exhaust.
10. Cast Matra Magic
DJ gives us an eye-catching pose in this image. Leaping is a great way to make a selfie memorable, but watch out for puddles: cactuar is weak against water.
11. Yield to the viewer’s gaze
Male model River Viiperi is a master of the almost-totally-revealing technique, here wrapping a towel around his waist at a level that would make it impossible to comfortably walk around whoever’s bathroom (or hotel bathroom) he’s in. When taking a selfie, don’t worry about practical considerations like mobility. Just worry about the perfect line between the hips and the belly button. A self-deprecating question never hurts, either. You exist purely for the gratification of every desire but your own.
Related: River Viiperi Keeps The Camera Rolling In The Shower