Whether you’re shy or a total ham, you deserve to feel beautiful in pictures. That’s why my friend Jocelyn Lai and I dedicated a day to what we called, “selfie-less.” We’re not anti-selfie, we’re promoting a group of friends coming together, capturing the essence of each other, with each person walking away feeling they have a great image for the ages.
We gathered at Chambers Eat + Drink at The Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco and took all photos with our iPhone.
Here’s how we went in:
Each person got to pick what they wanted to wear and how it represents how they feel that day. Feel sad? Own it. There’s great beauty in raw emotion. Loving life? Show it off.
The How-To Of Mastering A Photo That Pops:
Tip #1: Like they say in the movies, “Location, location, location, baby.” The lighting and your surroundings are a big part of what makes a photo interesting. If you can’t gain access to a mountain range or the vintage couches at 5 star hotels, so what? Look around. Come together as a group to find beauty in your high school cafeteria or the frozen food aisle of your local Target. Be bold. Be daring. Experiment. That’s the challenge.
Kourtney (above) masters using the space for her shot. She was fun to take pictures of and also empowering, divulging she took many years and struggled to grow the confidence she now has.
Tip #2: Like they say in baseball, “There is NO crying.” No one is permitted to insult their own body, face, or clothes. You are permitted to style each other and help one and other look their best. You can bring pieces from your own closet to make someone else’s picture pop. It’s key to take a ton of photos of each person and do not be shy in directing them to pose or act a certain way. It’s okay that people need direction and encouragement in photos.
Tip #3: Allowing yourself to take direction from friends will benefit you, but it’s also good to go in in knowing your angles. How? Take a ton of selfies in the privacy of your own home. Have fun while no one’s watching. Only you know what makes you feel best.
Jocelyn (pictured above) has softer, rounded features and prefers to be shot from straight ahead. I’m sharp-featured and demand to be shot from a high angle, with a profile. I took this picture in the blazing sunlight and couldn’t see much. As she went through them, she said, “I like this shot, take one where you don’t cut off my head.”
Regina (above) took direction like a pro. This is my favorite shot of her. She’s like an ice cream sundae with 8 cherries on top and this photo captures her bubbly, happy nature.
Nick (above) worked in vintage clothing before switching to a job working with a high-end department store. He came with tons of treasures from his vintage days, including a bow tie. We all liked how his outfit played off the multi-colored doors.
It was a long, cold winter in New York City. So happy to be in California.