With the proliferation of street style shots out there in the ether, you'd think it'd be simple to know how to look good in photos. But, when you come to trying to capture that #OOTD for yourself on a whim, it's not always as straightforward as one would imagine. I interviewed a social media pro/designer once, and he admitted to taking heaps of options before deciding on one. So even the most successful selfie-takers, with the most delightful cheekbones, know that there's more than a point-and-shoot process behind getting the frame.
As we have various girls on the inside of the industry, from those shooting street style all over the globe on a daily basis to us editors—the women who spend all day looking at these snaps in minute detail—it made sense to share some expert knowledge on the topic. Our female street style photographers have captured many an outfit or scene on their travels—some staged, some spontaneous, some with girls who are über-confident in posing up a storm for the camera, and others who take some coaxing and persuading, so they know the tricks of the trade inside and out.
Scroll down to see the key factors in taking a great photo to reach the street style stardom you deserve—and then keep going to shop a few of our favourite photogenic pieces that just landed in stores.
Style du Monde
"Front-on walking can be unflattering unless you're seven feet tall and built like Gisele, and side shots don't always show off an outfit to its best potential, so get on a 3/4 angle and go," explains Who What Wear's editorial director, Hannah Almassi.
"Unless you're some sort of superhero, you probably won't feel tip-top after a 12-hour day at work. So take our advice and either snap your look first thing or on the weekend when you're more likely to be relaxed," Almassi says.
"For me, lighting is important," says photographer Victoria Adamson. "Of course, using daylight isn't always easy, to do it well is a skill—so practice makes perfect. If you've got a camera, try different exposures and settings. If you're using a phone, experiment with filters and different crops to see what you can improve on from a raw shot."
Photographer Sandra Semburg is always drawn to something unexpected but not unrealistic—so don't feel like you have to wear the wackiest outfit, but if you're comfortable experimenting, go for it. "It might be a new designer piece, but it's most interesting when mixed up in an authentic way—when you get the feeling the person is really owning their clothes and actually going somewhere," she says.
"The more laid-back your shots can be, the better—life is not a catalogue," Almassi says. "Make sure you've got someone taking snaps who you trust, and can have a laugh with, and you won't feel so silly larking about while being photographed. Plus, you should always take a break every couple of frames to mess up your hair and fling your arms around to stay loose and not feel robotic."
Almassi says: "It's okay to screw up. In fact, sometimes getting your feet, face or body in the wrong place at the wrong time can help you work out what does make your pictures tick."
"If there is time, I will endeavour to and find a background that can enhance the look of the subject and their individual style," Adamson says. "So if you've got the time, go scouting for locations!"
"Tyra would be proud. If you don't feel comfortable baring all of your teeth in a wide grin (and those are always best captured naturally!), then smize your way to success," Almassi says. See our five ways to nail that photo-ready smile.
Style du Monde
Style du Monde's founder and photographer, Acielle, recommends looking for softer sunlight, as harsh sunlight creates "too many shadows on your face." So now you know.
"It doesn't even have to be all about the clothes they are wearing," Adamson says. "It can be a great hairstyle or fantastic freckles—I like the smallest details sometimes!" See Abbey Lee Kershaw's gap-tooth and ivory-white skin for starters.
"Big shapes, long layers and flat shoes can all be hard to pull off in pictures. Make sure there's always a flattering element in the mix that defines your silhouette in a picture—that can even be showing off your ankles, but for me, it's always my waist," Almassi says.
Almassi also swears by standing straight. "You may feel like you're pushing your boobs out, but honestly, this is the best thing you can do for looking svelte and confident in a snap."
There's a reason this pink shade is all over Instagram—it suits everyone.
Sweep your hair to one side and see your selfie skills step up a notch.
Where would any self-respecting social media guru be without mega shades?
Bold patterns against black backgrounds always photograph well.