Scrolling through my co-workers Instagram feeds I realized a few things. First, they all know how to take a great selfie. The other is that they all have easily identifiable signature poses. As someone who has trouble taking her own selfies, it struck me as interesting. It certainly makes sense—we go through life with the same face, learning how to hold it, contort it, and angle it so it photographs how we want. Somehow, though, I missed that class.
In the ever-elusive quest to be more photogenic, I decided to hit my co-workers up for a little experiment. We'd each choose someone's signature pose to re-create, and, afterward, discuss the experience. Perhaps we'll all come out with new selfie faces (or, more likely, a lot of hilarious outtakes). Keep reading to find out what happened.
On her signature pose: "I feel wildly uncomfortable taking selfies—I'll take 20 before realizing I've made a bizarre face in every single one. I'm much more confident when there's an actual person behind the camera, but still, I have to be doing something.
"After many failed attempts, I finally learned a few tricks to taking a good picture: Either I look down (to show off particularly good makeup), do something 'candid' (smile, laugh, fix my hair, or move around), or turn a bit to the right, and angle my eyes so they look as big as possible. It's not exactly an art, as much as it's a happy accident or a complete disaster."
Victoria's thoughts: "Hallie's Instagram game is seriously on point—she's very good at looking candidly cool in all of her photos. (It's her not-so-secret way of being super photogenic). I knew this would be a challenge for me, since when I go for 'candid,' it typically looks very, very not candid.
"Nonetheless, I was feeling my look one day, so it seemed as apt a time as any: I dragged Katie (what a trooper) outside to our office's patio and instructed her to take bursts of photos while I fidgeted, looked down and played with my hair. Surprise, surprise: The big winner was a moment when I actually was caught completely off guard, in the middle of laughing about how stupid I felt. So really, I can smile on camera—it just has to be kind of genuine. Lesson learned!"
On her signature pose: "I'd like to think that I don't have a selfie face, but a quick scroll through my Instagram makes the contrary quite clear. For some reason, the minute I hold a camera directly in front of my face and my eyes see that front-facing screen, my lips slightly part and my eyes widen to a strange expression that's a mix of 'model face' and feigned surprise. Maybe I'm subconsciously trying to imply this selfie was an accident; like, 'oops how embarrassing, my finger slipped and I took a selfie of myself, but I look pretty good, so guess I'll post.' The hundreds of similar-looking photos in my camera prove otherwise."
Katie's thoughts: "Being that I prefer candid selfies to directly looking at the camera, emulating Faith's signature 'selfie face' proved rather difficult. Nevertheless, after about a hundred photos, I finally captured a selfie similar to that of Faith's—mouth slightly open and eyes wide. And, while I don't think I've found my new 'selfie face,' I actually like this photo. Kudos to Faith for a good pose!"
On her signature pose: "I'm ashamed to say I've been practicing my selfie face since before selfies were selfies. For me, it's all about a slight head tilt, a parted pouty mouth, maybe a hand in the hair, and bored glazed over expression in the eyes that almost says, yes I know what I'm doing is shameless… your point?"
Lindsey's thoughts: "After excitedly requesting to do Amanda's signature selfie face, I slowly felt the regret, and then the panic kick in. The slightly open-mouthed, sexy/concerned face is cool when she does it, but on me, I imagined each picture turning out like Gollum. I'm just not a selfie girl—not even a 'just me' picture girl. I like to have reinforcements with me in the photo so I don't feel as weird about posting it.
"About a hundred snaps later and a change of scenery and hairstyle, here's what I came up with. Keeping my mouth open was incredibly hard (I always do a close-mouthed smile), as was Amanda's perfect come-hither eye look, which translated on me to 'maybe stay a few feet away.' Doing this experiment reinforced that the face I'm most comfortable making in photos is what looks best, so while I appreciate Amanda's insane selfie-taking abilities, I think I'll stick with what I know works."
On her signature pose: "Before this experiment, I never thought much about my selfie face. In fact, I didn't think I had one. But, man, was I wrong. After scrolling through my Instagram, I started noticing a trend: all my self-portraits (most of which were taken by someone else) involved me eating some sort of food. And, as for the pose I strike. My head is usually tilted downward as if to pretend the moment was candid. Which let's be honest, it probably isn't."
Faith's thoughts: "I love food more than most things in life, but did I really want the extreme lust I feel for a chocolate chip cookie documented in photo form? No. But at Hallie's bequest, I begrudgingly attempted to copy Katie's signature pose, which involves eating something and taking the photo from above. She looks cute while doing so; I had a feeling I would not. As Amanda snapped photos of me in various poses trying to look natural and coy with a cookie in my mouth, I questioned my life decisions and what had led me to this point (kidding, it was fun, and I got to steal a cookie from a co-worker and say it was for a story).
"Things I learned: It's probably much easier to look like you're caught off guard in the middle of eating something when, you know, you're actually caught off guard while eating something. I was surprised to find that the taken from above angle was more flattering than I thought. The most important thing I learned, however, is that I have no self-control: I promptly devoured the entire cookie right after Amanda took her last snap. Such a shame she wasn't around to document me wiping the crumbs from my mouth."
On her signature pose: "I always keep my mouth closed, turn toward the right, chin up a bit, and left eyebrow raised slightly. I can't explain it… "
Amanda's thoughts: "Well, that was much harder than I thought. Apparently, I am unable to take a selfie without parting my lips. Like how you automatically close your eyes when you sneeze, it's a reflex. I see a front-facing camera, and I instantly open my mouth like a baby bird. I don't know what that says about me. But what I do know, thanks to this assignment, is that a signature selfie face is like the outfit you feel most comfortable in. If someone makes you put on a certain style shirt you're not used to, you all the sudden feel totally discombobulated. I never realized how grateful I am that for 99.9% of my life I get to control how I take my own selfies."
On her signature pose: "I'm big on the side-eye selfie—I like angling my face a certain way and looking back at the camera. (Bone structure!) I'm not big on smiling in photos (I always feel derpy), so more often than not, tilting my head this way really plays up my resting bitch face. Is a vaguely judgmental scowl really the most appealing of selfie options? Probably not, but it kind of works for me."
Hallie's thoughts: "I was perhaps overconfident when it came to re-creating Victoria's go-to pose. Our Instagram feeds have a similar style—less posey, more casual—so, admittedly, I thought it was going to be a breeze. Wrong. This experiment has made me realize just how difficult it is to pose in a position you're not familiar with, even if it's just a slight deviation. I use my angles, but I very rarely turn my face completely to the side, like Victoria. I was having so much trouble turning away while still making eye contact with the camera. The lesson? Victoria is certainly more competent with a front-facing camera and well-placed side-eye than your's truly."
Who do you think nailed it? Let us know in the comments below.