There has been a lot of talk about how to not only take an Instagram pic, but also how to look über fab in it, thank you Tyra Banks. There are even articles out there describing what the filters we choose say about us. :::Sigh::: really? Come now, people. Back in the day, I highly doubt folks sat at their typewriters writing about how to not only take a Polaroid pic, but how to make yourself resemble Farrah Fawcett.
I suffer from a pretty severe Instagram addiction, like most Americans. When the phrase, “throw a filter on that shit,” resonates with people from the baby boom era … you know it is a viral disease. And it doesn’t help following people gifted with great photog skills, because it only makes you want to step up your Insta-game. For people with an unexciting life, Instagram makes you feel like you’ve traveled the world with filters and focuses … when it reality, it’s just your average day at the van down by the river.
A part of me misses the disposable camera and film that you had to insert into an actual camera. Why? Because then you wouldn’t take the picture, have five girls dart for the camera, review the picture, freak out about how they resemble a gargoyle and make you retake the photo 1,200 different times with numerous different “hand on hip” poses. Sigh … the good ol’ days.
But instead of giving you tips like popping your hip or angling the camera 35 degrees north of your eye brow for a fantastic photo … I’m going to give you some pointers on what not to do. And just so we are clear, I’ve pretty much done all of them, so no judgement if you partake in these activities, ahem:
1. Don’t. Take. Selfies. Seriously.: I think each person in the world should be awarded a “one selfie a year” card. Because at least once a year you probably look ridiculously fierce and maybe someone isn’t around to help you capture that moment. Then, go ‘head, extend that arm and use your “one selfie a year” card. Then you are done. Until the ball drops next year, you are to not take any more selfies. Promise? Okay everyone take some rubbers (points and my eternal love if you can reference where that quote came from). Listen, I’m going to go ahead and make a big assumption here that the rest of the year I BET someone is around to help you make some photographic memories. You know I’m right.
2. Don’t Ask Drunk People To Take Your Photo: I literally did this this past weekend because I happened to be slightly intoxicated myself and it went a little something like this, ahem: Drunk Me: “hey you, here’s my phone, will you take our photo :::throws phone at drunk kid:::.” Drunk Kid: Umm I don’t know how to work one of these :::laughs:::. Drunk Me: What?! Who doesn’t know how to work an iPhone … photo now!” You know what I ended up with? A bad, dark photo … turns out the idiot had never heard of a concept known as flash. And also, giving a stranger your phone … really bad idea. Strangers plus handing over a really expensive phone plus intoxication equals your phone dropping in a mug of beer or said stranger running away with it. Or maybe I’m just paranoid, either or.
3. Don’t. Duckface: I’m not even elaborating on this. I know you are thinking it makes your face look so fantastically thin and chic … but wrong. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. You look like a fool. As an ex-duckfacer, except back in my day we called it “Blue Steel” … I’m telling you, you will look back at these photos of yourself 10 years for now and be like “wwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhy,” and then try to delete them off the Interwebs and realize, OMG I can’t because it is on here forever … I’m screwed. History will forever have photographic evidence that I am indeed an imbecile. So from me to you … stop it. Don’t make me tell you twice.
4. Don’t Act Natural If You Are Clearly Posing: It makes no sense. Why in Jesus Christ’s name would you be acting like you didn’t know someone was taking your photo when we can all clearly see your arm extended, desperately trying to hit the camera icon to take the photo. Psst, just between you and me, people know the paps aren’t following you. We know you aren’t famous (unless you are, then still, you probably would have some minion taking this photo for you). Hate to break this to you but, the gig is up, bro. Don’t worry, you’ll get ‘em next time.
5. Don’t Fixate On A Pose: “OH, EM, GEE … Lisa’s best friend Stephanie told my best friend Rachel’s best friend’s best friend’s dog walker that if you put your hand on your hip and tilt your head to the side, you’ll totes look one hundo percent better in pics.” That rumor got spread so fast to every single female on this planet, until it crossed my ears and I went, “huh?” So I, of course, tried it, and I, of course, ended up looking a hawt awkward mess. Listen, I’m not saying don’t do this, I’m saying be sparingly with it. Photo with your grandma? Maybe wrap your arms around her instead of hip popping, just saying. I swear, your arm won’t look fat in that one photo with your Mom Mom. On the red carpet? Hand on hip, my friend. Tilt that head until the cows come home. Know your audience, know what kind of photo you are taking, and know that the “hand on hip” pose wasn’t sent down from Jesus.
Instagramming is about self-expression, fun, and creativity. Stop giving in to this false sense of celebrity and just be yourself. Here is a song to remind you of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUMmNB58Zig. In advance, you are welcome.
Now back to my regularly scheduled addiction … deciding between Toaster or Lo-Fi.