How To Selfie Like A Supermodel

Photo: Via @JosephineSkriver.
By Chelsey Burnside

When it comes to the weird, wonderful world of selfies (we know — the word still sends a shiver down the spine, doesn’t it?), the snaps tend to fall into a few different camps. There’s the Purposeful Selfie: a shot used to show off your surroundings/new haircut/the fact that yes, you have dragged yourself out of bed and are en route to brunch. There’s the Sneaky Selfie: the one meant to look as though a friend snapped it when it’s actually the handiwork of a discreetly angled selfie stick. (Note: scan room for reflective surfaces to avoid a “Bae caught me slippin’” fiasco.)

And, then there’s The Model Selfie: a meticulously art-directed, unapologetically hashtagged portrait of the sort perfected by the likes of Anna Speckhart, Alena Blohm, and Ashley Smith. These may be the hardest to perfect, firstly because, well, we're not models. But, after asking these ladies school us on lighting, angles, and filtering 101, we consider ourselves ready for a selfie session redolent of Kim K’s Super Bowl commercial. Warning: Use of such portraiture could result in an onslaught of Tinder dates, coffee-table book deals, and unsolicited messages from James Franco. Snap at your own risk.

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Photo: Via @TheRealAshSmith.
Ashley Smith

On the selfie as an ever evolving mode of expression...
“I just take it picture by picture. It depends what I'm trying to highlight: a choker, a braid, a cute butt shot…”

On the best group-selfie accessory...
“Get a selfie stick!”

On her filter- and app-secrets to success...
“I just use X-Pro II and bump up the contrast. I like using two apps for mostly being silly with my pics and putting fun stickers and words on them — DECOPIC and Pic Collage. I also use VSCO Cam, which has a lot of amazing filters, and the app itself is just really cool.”

On her go-to selfie beauty products...
“Makeup look for a selfie? Lip gloss and mascara are all you really need! I love Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm and the Clump Crusher by Covergirl (super cheap)! For a fancier option, my favorite is Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara because of its hourglass-shaped brush, which is so cool.”

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On her selfie spot...
“Natural daylight is the best selfie light I've found, but mostly it depends on the time of day and where it's coming from. I shoot a lot of selfies by my window in my apartment!"
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Photo: Via @AnnaSpeckhart.
Anna Speckhart

On the elusive “perfect selfie angle”...
“I don’t think there is a universal ‘perfect selfie angle,’ but once you start playing around, you will find out quickly what looks good and what does not. What works best for me is chin slightly down and a little head tilt, with the camera above eye line and pointed down. There is a universally unflattering angle, which is chin down with the camera low and pointed automatically look like you have a double chin! If you want a good laugh, send these to your girlfriends.”

On going #nofilter (kind of)...
“I hardly ever use the preset filters and have no specific app. I adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., for each photo via Instagram.”

On being Brooke Shields beautiful for her selfies...
“I think natural is the way to go, mostly because I am hopeless when it comes to doing my own makeup. I love Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer, Tom Ford Contour and Highlight, and the Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Kit. Basically, I want to look like Brooke Shields circa 1980 all the time.”

On the perfect selfie time of day...
“I love natural front light — mornings seem to be the optimal selfie time. The lighting is soft and not too harsh, which makes #IWokeUpLikeThis a little easier on the eyes”

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Photo: Via @allakostromichova.
Alla Kostromichova

On knowing your angles...
“Models know their perfect angles from their own experience; for me it is my three-quarters to the left profile. I would recommend taking pictures from different angles and picking the best one among them. I hold my phone as far away as my hand allows; even if I zoom in later, it helps to avoid slight changes that the iPhone camera makes when you get too close.”

On the secret to maxing out your "like" potential...
“It is all about mood. I believe that the more positive energy you give, the more likes you get.”

On the best filter and “mini photoshop”...
“I am sure a lot of people will agree with me that Valencia is one of the best. It gives you a soft, warm mood and gives the illusion of perfect skin. I like the black-and-white option on the iPhone — it always saves any kind of picture and makes it more artistic. There is a great app called Facetune that is like mini photoshop. You can clean up anything you want: pimples, wrinkles, skin shade, anything”

On the ideal selfie beauty look...
“Beautiful skin and some mascara is more than enough. Sometimes I like red lips. Jungle Red from Nars is my fave lip color.”

On finding your light...
“Natural light falling straight is perfect: light from the window or professional makeup-table light. It shouldn’t be too sunny, otherwise, you get a lot of shadows.”

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Photo: Via @AlenaBlohm.
Alena Blohm

On finding that sweet-spot angle...
“I think I like my head turned a little bit to the side, but I wish I would have figured this one out already!”

On her secret weapon app...
“I really like the app Pictastic to put my photos together.”

On the many ways going natural is better...
“I like it natural, just a bit of concealer and that's it. My favorite products are from RMS (especially their concealer)! The best lighting is always natural light — standing in front of a window always makes for a good selfie”
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Photo: Via @JosephineSkriver.
Josephine Skriver

On the merits of different angles...
"The from-above angle makes your face more slender and your eyes bigger; that's a standard go-to. Tilting your head to the side also helps to show off your cheekbones. But, using an angle from below to take the picture gives you a sleepier look, so here it's easy to get the sexy bed-head vibe. It's also a great angle for showcasing eyeshadow if you have amazing makeup on."

On "happy and positive" filters...
"I use filters that fit my Instagram vibe. I tend to want bright, vibrant, and high contrast so that the subject matter really pops. My pictures have mostly happy and positive vibes since I'm a happy girl! I also rarely use the preset filters, because I love adjusting the color and shadow tones with Instagram's own tools such as brightness, contrast, vignette, etc. It makes it more fun, and allows me to let some creativity out."

On experimenting and owning it...
"I'm so lucky with my job: I get to try on so many different kinds of makeup looks every day. Makeup (and trying new things with it) always makes taking a selfie more fun, because it can create a uniqueness to every shot and look. Don't be afraid to experiment and take risks! To be honest, though, most often I love going with an all-natural look. Every girl is beautiful in her own way. She just has to be confident and not afraid to show it. Own it!"

On knowing the difference between good and bad lighting...
"Lighting is so important — it's everything in pictures and it creates the whole mood. If it's a close-up, I prefer straight on my face to catch the side shadows of my cheekbones, or for a more dreamy, beachy look, straight sun from behind to showcase a silhouette. The most important thing is to make sure there is a lot of light, no matter the angle! I'm not a fan of grainy pictures you get from low lighting, because our phones aren't good enough yet to capture them without the flash. Also, NEVER have the light come from under you. That's a big no."

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