How to Take the Perfect Instagram Selfie

Some helpful tips for politicians, because as May and Macron's self portrait showed, they need them.

Nana Baah

Last night, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron hung out at London's V&A Museum after discussing a whole bunch of Brexit-related stuff.

They were there, said May, celebrating "the extraordinary values and the talented people who link" the UK and France. But that’s not what matters. What matters is that they commemorated the moment with a selfie. This selfie. This deeply questionable selfie.

As the Guardian points out today, politicians seem to have only recently discovered the concept of posting selfies to social media. Perhaps they're hoping that candid shots will help the electorate think of them more as "regular people" or "actual human beings" than aloof automatons. Perhaps they've realised photos get more faves than announcements about marine management policy. Perhaps there are no ulterior motives, and they – like many of us – just like to share their happy moments with families and friends.

Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: they're not very good at it. Take the Macron x May photo: it's blurry, the lighting's bad, bits of people's faces are being cut off and the caption is rubbish.

To lend a helping hand, we asked some Instagram models – selfie connoisseurs – for their thoughts.


VICE: First impressions?
Vanessa: You probably never see Theresa take selfies, so it’s funny and rare. But the selfie itself is no billion-dollar selfie. It’s blurry and the lighting isn't that great.

How would you make it better?
They could definitely choose a different location, where there's better light, or they could have someone use their phone flash to make the selfie brighter.

Talk to me about angles.
I would have had someone with the longest arms be at the front to take it. I would get them to take it from the top side; you'd easily be able to get everyone in the picture.

Would you post this selfie?
Probably not. But there are some big faces on there, so I’d probably just post it on my story.


Kristian: They’re all smiling and seem to be in very high spirits, but the camera is shaky. I don’t think Macron is the best photographer in the world.

Does that make it a good selfie?
I think the happier you seem in a selfie, the more attractive you are to others.

What about the lighting?
It’s got a red tint, so either everyone’s a little sunburnt or it was taken inside or in the evening.

Did they pick the right angle?
Well, it’s only taken from that angle to fit as many people in as possible. Unfortunately, Macron’s arms aren’t long enough, but he’s done a great job.

Any advice for them?
Maybe Macron should get one of his bodyguards to always have a selfie stick at hand.

Would you post this selfie or not?
I try to keep my Instagram quite bright and colourful, so judging on the quality of the photo, my answer would be a no.


First impressions?
Chanelly Girl: Blurry. High quality selfies should always be the aim.

Is it a bad selfie?
Quality wise, yes, but I think it captured the atmosphere well.

What about the lighting and angle?
The selfie-taker seems quite inexperienced with taking selfies.

What advice would you give to Macron, the inexperienced selfie-taker?
Well, lighting is very important, preferably natural lighting, and focusing the camera on the parts of your face that you want to brighten.

Would you post this selfie?
Only if it was with a famous person. Sometimes blurry photos indicate how much fun you had.