You might have seen the Expedia blog post going around lately tracing a timeline of photography trends over the past 15 years. Ah what a trip through memory lane! Like, remember when planking was a thing? And playing dead in photos? And the duck face?
Though there were a few trends on the timeline that I seem to have missed. When was “owling” a thing? (Apparently in 2011.) As for “catbreading,” ha I’m sad I missed that one!
In fact I seem to have missed most of the trends after 2010, which just so happens to be the year I moved to Japan. And having spent 2 years living in Japan, 2 years in Thailand, and another year traveling through the rest of Asia, I guess I managed to avoid getting sucked into these Internet photo trends.
At least that’s what I told my friend when I showed her the timeline. To which she said “Yeah. But you know you pose for photos like you think you’re Asian, right?”
Okay, maybe way. I’m pretty sure she’s just jealous though, because all that time in Asia taught me some killer modeling skills. Now, this comes mostly from my time in Japan and Southeast Asia instead of the continent as a whole, but I’d say the basic rules go something like this:
Find something to pose with. The more random, the cuter it will look!
And don’t forget the peace sign. It’s always a winner.
In fact, a well executed peace sign will save even the most disastrous photo. Promise!
Sunset = Photoshoot. Always.
I learned this in Boracay. Oh Boracay, an island that taught me so much that I wrote an entire blog post about its photography lessons. And the most important lesson occurred each evening when everyone on the island would flock to the beach to take photos in front of the sunset.
Now, this works best if you jump in front of the sunset or do something clever like hold the sun in your hands. But if you’re standing on a slippery snowbank then you can probably get away with just sticking one leg up in the air.
Can you? Maybe my Scandinavianness is holding me back here.
But if the sun is still high in the sky,
Shadow photos are always super fun and cute. Extra points if you can get an animal in there!
And if you can’t find a monkey, a moose will probably work.
But whatever you do, make sure you point your toes inward.
Ugh, this one actually drives me a bit crazy. In Japan it’s considered feminine to stand and walk with your toes pointing inwards – even women walking in towering high heels will do it! But the feminist in me hated the idea of making myself look twee like that. And yet there must be something in the sushi there, because willingly or not, each month I stayed in Japan my legs seemed to rotate further inward and even now, years after leaving, I find myself standing like this all the time. Ahhhh.
At least it looks super cool in photos. Plus if you really exaggerate it you might be able to give yourself a thigh gap, whoop!
But if you want to make a really good picture great:
Write something happy on it. Like “happy.”
This works best in sand, but snow will do as well!
If all else fails, Purikura it.
Because is there anything better than instant makeup, enormous eyes, cartoon crowns, and expressive text? I think we all know the answer to that is no.
I’m planning on printing this out as a poster and giving it to Dan to hang in his locker at work. Is he going to love it, or is he going to love it? Japan, you genius.
Have you learned any super effective photo habits on your travels?