Instagram 101.2

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset
The ‘From Where I Stand’ selfie
Of course Instagram has become about showcasing the things you like to photograph best – still live, flowers, landscapes, people – but it’s also a place to share little insights into your life and style. The selfie. The word that took over C21st social media lexicon…

With all its tacky, duck-face connotations. But there are selfies and there are selfies, I like to think. And one of my favourites has long been the From Where I Stand outfit picture (#fwis). Sympathetically and quirkily defined by the fact you’re taking it yourself, most definitely on your iPhone, in a quick minute before you rush out the house or jump onto your train.

The normal way this type of photo is taken is to hold your iPhone to your chest and view downwards. You can often get quite a lot of yourself in if you hold it high enough. Just remember to tap the focus onto your feet as these pictures don’t really work if your feet are blurry. But the shot I posted above is taken in a different way and always goes down well. Why? Well, *I think* this technique (if you could call it that!) – iPhone held above at an angle – gets more of the outfit in, has a nice white background and my much-loved distressed stairs (thanks for all the insta-love on these, really, they were kind of an unfinished DIY job that I fell in love with!) providing an interesting but not overwhelming backdrop. So how did I take this shot?

“Sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it? It can be, especially as I often take numerous shots…”

There’s a reason I’m on the stairs. I am facing a full-length mirror on the wall. So first I hold my iPhone as if I was taking a regular outfit looking down shot, I focus on the feet and then I raise my arm above my head until my whole body is in shot. The key here is that I can see what’s in shot because my screen is reflected in the mirror. That way I can see if my feet are in and get an idea if I need to rearrange a bulky jumper or reposition my feet. And key tip, I hold the phone sideways, set to square format and press one of the volume buttons with my forefinger for the shutter release, holding the phone with the same hand. Sometimes I lean my arm against the wall to keep my head steady… Sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it? It can be, especially as I often take numerous shots to get my necklace in which is hard to do without straining my shoulder. I hope I’ve explained it properly, but I think you need to try it to see how it works!

For editing, I lighten & brighten and desaturate a bit in VSCO and then choose a filter. I’m quite liking the A series filers at the moment and I use the same one, A5 dialled down a bit, on all these shots. It just works quite well amping up the whiteness… So that’s it really, I hope I explained it clearly! Any tips on how you take your outfit selfies?


Btw, Test & Wow…

I should mention that this is one of the rare shots on my Instagram feed not taken with my Olympus Pen and I won’t lie, the fuzzy quality does bother me. But as you probably know, the bulk of my feed is shot on the Olympus Pen E-PL7 (connects to my phone) which is now available to test out for a few days as part of a new loan project called Test & Wow – you book online and go and pick up at a local store. Go check it out – from what I understand the cameras will be loaned out with the 45mm lens which is tops for maximum blur & bokeh… Any questions, give me a shout!

Find me on Instagram @stylonylon