A picture is worth a million words…or something like that. And with our social dependency on sites like Facebook and others I'm guilty of caring about during high school (*cough* MySpace, HotorNot) it's essential to have a punch-in-the-face impressive profile photo to impress your e-stalkers and any former classmates who are checking to see if you got fat.
But how does one take said photo when there's no tripod, light diffuser or – for that matter – camera at hand? Most of us rely on our fancy smartphones equipped with high-resolution lenses and terrible flashbulbs, and when attempting one of those semi-angled self-shots failure is more often than not guaranteed.
Inspired (not the first time) by exotic sex educator Midori, we'd like to get a little more specific about how to take a sexy cellphone self-portrait that'll make people want to know what it's like to fuck you.
1. Composition: It ain't easy sizing yourself up and hoping that, at arm's length, you've fit your face, shoulders and cleavage/pectorals into the frame. Got a mirror handy? Hold your phone out at arm's length in front of the looking glass so you can see how things check out from the other side of the shot. Take some practice pics and soon you'll know exactly how far from your face, how much to the left, and how high you should hold your cellphone to take a photo that makes you look skinny, sexy and totally casual. (No one needs to know about your test shots but us.)
2. Lighting: Bright sunlight on the beach is great for a tan but terrible for a bikini photo. Whether you're sleek and svelt or have a little extra in the middle, direct sunlight can highlight even the tiniest dimple – so use caution.
The requisite torso-to-toes point-of-view pic (you know, the one that shows the beautiful beach shoreline with the hip, crotch and legs in the foreground) is played out but effective, so experiment while sunning yourself. Try twisting your torso ever so slightly to show off any abdominal muscles that might exist.
And keep the flash OFF, even at night – especially if you've got an iPhone. The colors will be distorted and that bluish foggy haze around your head looks as though you're being abducted by aliens.
3. Wardrobe: Guys – Try to avoid the shirtless photo, as it now carries the connotation of uber-douche. (Thanks MTV.) T-shirts can subtly show off muscles, and a solid color goes a long way. We're sure your intentionally stained vintage Fruit Loops T-shirt is wicked cool but only part of the pattern will likely show up in the pic. People will think you must like Toucans a whole lot and that, my friend, won't get you laid.
Girls – Cleavage is great but be aware of other parts of your body that might be smooshed as a result of your favorite double-punch push-up bra. And while strapless tops show off sexy collarbones, they also can cause what's sophisticatedly called “armpit fat.” Be sure to strike the red carpet hand-on-hip pose, which not only stretches out any floppy skin, but also accentuates any bicep/tricep tone you've got going on.
4. Facial Expressions: Please, for the love of Pete, stop pursing your lips. You don't look badass or sexy – the duck look will only get you laid by fellow alums of HotChicksWithDoucheBags.com and everyone knows they don't swallow.
Smiling is never a bad thing. Looking happy, as though you (GASP!) enjoy life, can be just as sexy as Blue Steel. But if you must stare with sexy anger into the camera, keep your brows relaxed and your jaw slack or else you'll just look pissed off and/or confused.
The key to a striking facial photo are your peepers: make strong and direct eye contact with the camera lens. Ladies, stare as though you're looking at the biggest calorie-free ice cream sundae you've ever seen. Gents (the straight ones), gaze and imagine you're watching two of your favorite models/porn stars/neighbors scissoring.
Your eyes will be intense and wide and imagining something so wonderful will remove any harshness to your stare – and that's what Tyra Banks so fondly refers to as “smizing.” (Barf.)
5. Angles: There's a self-portrait technique that's been utilized by chunkier chicks and heftier dudes for years, something that's so rampant it's been deemed the “MySpace” method by many of us. Instantly melt 10 pounds from your torso, remove any extra chins you might have and – if applicable – direct everyone's eyes to your svelte-looking face and whatever's going on down your shirt.
Hold your cellphone above your head and extend it about a foot from you. This downward-facing angle is slimming and flattering simply because it highlights whatever's closest to the lens (your face, neck and cleavage/pecs) and whatever's going on down south is simply an afterthought in the image.
You're welcome. Now start snapping.
And if you're going to ignore our advice about sending boner photos with your cellphone, might as well follow these tips from our main ho in Denver, who'll show you how to make your Anthony Weiner/John Boehner look its best.