“You’re so selfie” By Steven Carver For Bello Mag Issue #60

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, a selfie is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Believed to have been coined in Australia, the term has been around since the early 00s, but its prevalence rose once sharing sites like Flickr – and later on, Instagram – began to take over the traditional medium of film. Whether if the term is beloved or berated, blame the power of social media for its current relevance.

With that said, snapping a good personal pic takes talent. This is where gender differences differ; women have the clear advantage of accessorizing their selfies (i.e. jewelry, shoes, bags), but men don’t have that option. They’re relegated to shooting photos of themselves, at arm’s length, posing in a way that would make Zoolander proud.

To help guys with their Kodak-like compositions, Bello asked Elite Model Management’s Julian Gabriel for a few tips. This model knows what he’s talking about, so pay attention. Not only does Gabriel have a dream face/body/hair combo that’s made to be photographed, but he also has a big social media following (check out his Instagram account @iJulian_). Knowing that he’s currently studying law (yes, there are some smart models out there) is just another reason to envy him… a little.


What is the ideal angle to use to look your best?
Always play around with different angles. I personally like to be as creative as possible so that my profile has a variety and your followers won’t get bored with the same angle/picture.

How about facial expressions?
Facial expressions always depend on what your caption is (ex: if your caption reads “bored at school” don’t smile and look happy in your picture; make a funny expression showing your current mood/feeling). Don’t be afraid to unleash your inner nerd and give your audience expressions so that they can get to know your personality.

Is grooming important?
Grooming is kind of important. Everyone is judging your picture, but it’s not always necessary. If your picture is of you rolling out of bed in the morning (which I have dozens!) don’t fix your hair so that it’s perfectly quaffed (unless you’re Beyoncé and you wake up flawless). No one looks perfect all the time.

Should we do a few sit-ups/crunches before a shirtless photo?
Unless you’re posting a picture of you at the gym working on your abs, there is no need workout if you’re posting a shirtless pic at the beach or pool. The more natural, the better.

Is there a preference of natural vs. artificial lighting (or filters)?
I don’t discriminate. Use whatever lighting will make your picture look good. Just don’t be that person (you know who I’m talking about) that abuses filters and lighting to the point that every picture looks fake.

How about location? Is it time to move past the bathroom mirror?
As a rule of thumb, people don’t want to see your bathroom or car selfie every morning. It’s fine once in a while but don’t make it a daily routine.

Any other tips selfie-takers should know of before snapping away?
To all the selfie-takers out there in the social media world, I have one thing to say: download a self -timer app on your phone and get more creative, no one wants to follow someone who only takes pictures of their faces. Make your Instagram profile more about your life and its quirky moments and less about a perfectly-taken selfie.

Finally, his three rules on Instagram etiquette:

1. Over-hashtagging. Please do not hashtag a million different words in the hope of getting more followers. It’s an eyesore and it comes off as desperate (ex: #likes4likes).
2. Selfie overloads. I am all about the selfies (trust me!), but avoid being that person who only uploads the same selfie (same pose or angle) over and over again.
3. Over-posting. Avoid posting an abundance of selfies within an hour’s time span. It’s unfair for your followers to have to scroll through your entire impromptu photo-shoot with yourself.


+ Download This Issue Wolrdwide on iTunes Newsstand
+ Follow Julian Gabriel on Instagram @ijulian_