7 Ways To Take A Better Instagram Photo

As I write this, there are nearly 70 million Instagram photos (69,536,840, to be exact) adorned with the #OOTD hashtag. From celebrities to bloggers to your average self-proclaimed fashionista, pretty much every fashion-loving human is sharing their outfit. So exactly how do you take a better #OOTD photo on Instagram? Yes, there is an actual science to this.

At the end of the day, what makes great #OOTD shots and selfies isn't that hard to understand. When we share something on social media, we are looking for people to react to it (that is, after all, where the whole "social" aspect comes into play), and there are apparently ways to control how these people are reacting (hence, my soon-to-come tips). According to a study conducted by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, there are things that are basically a guarantee to increase your Instagram likes. Hashtag use, filter choice, and even the dominant color in an Instagram photo all contribute to how people will respond to the photo. And here I was thinking that pictures of babies, kittens, and delicious looking food were bound to be my most popular posts. Keeping those factors in mind, there are plenty of tweaks you can make to take a better, more stylish #OOTD Instagram that is guaranteed to make your fashion-minded followers go crazy.

1. Know Your Best Angles And Lighting

Most of us learned about this when we had to figure out how to look good in a 7th grade class photo while rocking braces and a frizzy ponytail, but it's important to know what angles work best for your face and body. Keeping your shoulders back and chin tilted slightly down gives you good, confidence-oozing posture. Natural lighting is the best for pictures, so try to pose for your #OOTD outside, or at the very least open the blinds.

2. Strategically Place Your Cell Phone

One of the pitfalls of having to take picture of yourself in the mirror is that it’s pretty much impossible to do it without seeing the reflection of the camera. Embrace it. Hold the phone off to the side, in front of your face, over your head — basically, in a way that captures your best angles and makes the photo look unique to you. If you’re really dedicated to getting the camera out of the image (and happen to be a master in the art of Photoshop), try this crazy editing trick.

3. Have Someone Else Take The Picture

Another way to avoid having your phone show up in every photo is to "phone a friend," so to speak. Having someone else take a snapshot of your look gives you a wider range of possible angles, and shows that you're actually out doing something in the outfit you claim to be wearing that day. And not to kill your Insta-confidence, but people actually hate selfies.

4. Avoid Overdone Poses

After the release of Kim Kardashian's Selfish, the duck face has had it's time and place. A smile is so, so much better, and your followers are actually more likely to respond to a happy looking face. People have a strong mental response to the sight of a human face, so it can't hurt to consider adding your face to that #OOTD pic. However, it's important to remember one thing: If you like the duck face post, you should rock it. Don't let statistics or "science" keep you from feeling your best, no matter what that means for your favorite Instagram pose.

5. Pick An Interesting Background

Yes, you and your outfit are the main focus of the photo, but keep things interesting by posing in front of something bright, or at the very least scenic. If you're lucky enough to walk by a mural that's the exact same color scheme as your outfit? EMBRACE it! And, congratulate yourself. That qualifies as a win for the day if I've ever heard of one.

6. Be Selective

Another picture of you in a white T-shirt and jean shorts walking down the same New York City Street? Snooze. If you post your #OOTDs non-stop, you'll saturate your feed and your followers will inevitably get sick of you. Before you Instagram, ask yourself: Is there something about this outfit that's particularly special? If it's just one part of your ensemble that's so great, consider using a smaller scale "detail shot" to highlight the best part of your look. Add an adorable French Bulldog to maximize your likes.

7. Embrace Your Accessories

If your accessories are the coolest part of your outfit, let them be the star of your #OOTD and exclusively feature them in your photo. But don't forget: The rules of backgrounds, angles and selectivity still apply.