10 simple steps to nail that perfect picture for Instagram

Look at Instagram and you’d think everyone woke up perfectly imperfect. Fashion, beauty, social media, pop culture, all cultivate a myth of effortlessness. In this package, ELLE.com acknowledges, dissects, and celebrates the effort. Because effortlessness is a privilege that not everyone can afford. And there’s no shame in admitting you actually love putting in the work.

Confession: I am shameless when it comes to getting the perfect photo. Once, when presented with the fanciest hotel tub I’d ever seen, I did the only reasonable thing: create a makeshift tripod by stacking an upside-down garbage can and a makeup pouch atop a hotel night stand, set a ten second timer, risk slipping in the half-filled tub — faucet still running for aesthetics — and rushed to get the ideal “looking-away” candid pose. It took about 10 tries.

A post shared by Kristina Rodulfo (@kristinarodulfo) on Jun 12, 2018 at 7:12am PDT

The final result? A plandid. A meticulously planned, not-at-all candid photo that captures surroundings, moods, and how just good one looks without acknowledging the camera. I’m not the first (or only!) one to do these (how do you think pro-Bloggers make all that money?), but I do love them.

A plandid shaves off just a teeeeny bit of the narcisissm involved in stunting for the ‘gram and feels more natural. Like you just happened to walk in on me enjoying my life versus screaming LOOK AT HOW GREAT MY LIFE IS. It’s second-tier extra, just short of hiring an actual Instagram husband…which for the record I’ve also done.

Call it Building a Personal Brand, call it being a Leo, call it FOMO — whatever the motivation is, I’m not afraid to say I care. And like many others, I have individual and group texts with friends where we send multiple options asking for feedback on which photo to post.

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So since I’m an expert at the art of the plandid, I’ll share some pearls of wisdom on nailing the shot. Presenting my very serious, very important 10-step guide.

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