Simply Smile

My #1 best photography trick revealed!

There are countless photography hacks that are going around, and that have been going around for ages now, promising us all how to ‘best’ pose in pictures.

It’s nothing new, and it’s not inherently negative either.

Heck, they can be really, genuinely helpful. You could look this way, turn that way, stand taller, shoulders back, etc. Useful information to keep in mind, especially for the more camera shy among us.

This concept is by no means revolutionary, as we’ve all been wanting to look our best in photos for decades now. Most people have at least one photo where they instantly cringe upon even seeing it for a second; it’s perfectly normal to try to avoid recreating that in the future.

However, and the reason why I placed ‘best’ in quotes, is because it has now become ridiculous.

It’s not about truly looking our best, because we no longer are our genuine selves anymore.

With Instagram being the biggest thing, and everyone suddenly self-labeling as a #model (that hurt me to type…), it’s now of the upmost importance that we all appear our ‘best’ in photos. And what that unfortunately means is more or less adhering to certain ‘rules’ or trends that the platform has made popular, because Instagram has placed a filter on what ‘best’ now looks like.

Social media has done wonders for our world, without doubt. Information availability, opportunities to connect like never before. It’s a beautiful thing in a lot of ways. But with it comes a whole lot of ugliness. We live in a culture where genuinely smiling into the camera is no longer the norm, or at least what is sought after or ‘cool.’

Seemingly gone are the days where genuine, carefree happiness was recorded. Now there’s all the theatrics and pre-planning that goes behind it. At the forefront of everyone’s mind is how many likes and what will people’s reactions be when they see this photo.

And particularly when it comes to traveling, photography should be about capturing the genuine emotions that we feel instead of creating these fake scenarios of happiness.

It’s absurd how Instagram culture is so prevalent. It rears its ugly head everywhere.

Selfie sticks rudely flailing in the air in the most inappropriate times. Climbing on monuments where it’s disrespectful to. Disregarding the rules in order to get an especially sought after shot. Bringing pointless props around – hats that you don’t actually wear for anything more than a specific, pre-planned photo opp.

More duck faces, lip pouts, smiling at the ground, laughing at the air than ever before.

Sure, some of these (the latter two, not the first!) are sometimes cute photos.

But when they constitute the MAJORITY of your camera reel, we have a problem.

It’s this ‘too cool to care, too busy to look in the camera’ lifestyle where we attempt to put up this fake, disingenuous, inaccessible and distant front, appearing to be too full of ourselves to be bothered to just truly smile and be yourself.

Hey, I’m saying it: the best photos are where you look in the camera.

No, not face away and pretend to be candid.

No, not smile at a super cute invisible bunny that apparently seems to always follow you and never leave your feet, therefore causing you to burst into endless fits of giggles.

No, not ‘casually’ fix your hair as you’re laughing up a storm looking at the air.

No pout.

No duck lips.

Please. Spare us.

Stop trying to look sexy. Or serious.

Start trying to be you.

Because that is seriously sexy.

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