Being a boyfriend requires many hats: friend, lover, confidant and occasional paparazzo. Tied down or not, there is going to be a day you are called upon to do the impossible: take a picture of your S/O that she might actually like. There exists an age-old disconnect between men and taking well-received photos of girls that has become all the more apparent in the modern age of camera phones. Although you can try to avoid this conundrum for as long as possible, the day will come. This task may seem daunting, challenging and maybe even unpleasant, but remember that the better you are, the quicker the photo shoot can be over. A girl-approved shot is easy and painless with the right methodology. It only takes a few quick tips, like these, to transform a second-rate shutterbug to the next Nigel Barker.
1. Long-way always. In the old hot dog vs. hamburger debate, hot dog is always the way to go when photographing women. A nice, fat and wide picture is great for a landscape shot—not so much for a girl. Think long and lean, not short and squat. Also, if we have made the sacrifice to suffer stylishly in heels for the evening, we probably want them captured in the shot. So fight that instinct to turn the camera phone sideways.
2. It’s all about the angles. More chins, more problems. It might seem like a good idea to kneel down and tilt the camera up to really get the sparkle of the sun in a shot, but this is quite possibly the worst idea since someone let Zach Snyder do another Superman reboot. The lower the position of the photographer, the higher the chin count, which although sometimes impressive, is never ideal for Instagram. A higher angle of photography is slimming for both the face and the figure. The camera can definitely add 10 pounds, but the right angle can also erase them.
3. The selfie joke is old. Pretending to take pictures of her when you are really snapping selfies to clog her camera roll gets old, fast. We all have that one guy friend who still thinks this is a hilarious prank and it’s time to cut this lame dad-jokish charade. Not only will this prolong the entire photo-taking fiasco, but it will make you look like a total tool. Take the picture, give the phone back, get on with the day.
4. Quality not quantity. “I took a million. One of them has to be good,” seems like a logical statement, but it's both incorrect and insulting. One unflattering picture is unfortunate, but 65 unflattering pictures left to haunt her on her camera roll is a tragedy. Even if one does miraculously turn out cover photo-worthy, the rest of the belly roll-inducing action shots will be enough to ruin her day. It’s much better to take a second for your muse to prepare herself and get one good shot than take a million candid shots that make her wonder if that’s really what her body looks like.
5. Focus the shot. Technology is amazing and nowadays most camera phones have the ability to focus a shot with just the touch of a finger. It only takes a second and makes a world of difference. Rather than ending up with a blurry shot that looks like it was taken by someone’s drunk uncle, you will get a clear, fixated shot every time. This is the easiest trick to make it look like you took your time and paid attention. Just make sure you focus on the woman and not the golden retriever to her back left (no matter how tempting).
6. Compliments over criticism. This one seems like a given but every once in a while the ~*artist*~ in you feels an intendedly helpful hint bubbling up. You need to lock it up and bury it deep down. Even if your tip seems completely innocent, there is the chance it will come off as offensive and it’s not worth the risk. Women are always their own worst critics and will immediately be able to tell if a pose isn’t working upon their own review. You are way better safe than sorry on this front.
7. Make her laugh. #Candid photos are all the rage. Nothing racks up more likes than a photo that looks natural and may or may not be posed, so use your comedic chops and get her laughing. This will make the impromptu photo shoot more fun for both of you and get a shot that is way more natural than something forced. If you are stuck taking pictures anyway, you might as well make the most of it and have a good time—it'll get you some.