Hopefully it’s safe to say the duck face phase is over, but looks like selfies are staying put for the foreseeable future. And since Snapchat is probably the number one source of selfies (I’m sure there’s some statistic somewhere that supports this claim), we want to help you take the best selfie and create the best darn Snapchat Profile Pic ever…until you change it…like the day after tomorrow.
“Wait! Snapchat has a profile picture option now? Whaaaaaaat?” you ask. Yes! In the July 2015 update, Snapchat introduced an option to have a profile pic show when you friend someone. Before this, just your username would appear. And, as we’ll explain, you can have some serious fun with this profile pic, including animating it! You can have a Snapchat GIF! Read on to find out how.
Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that! —Tyra Banks
Setting up Snapchat
Snapchat is a social media networking platform that is ALL about sharing pictures and videos with a group of people whom you deem worthy. You can do fun stuff like add text and drawings on said pictures and videos and hilarity ensues. The uniqueness Snapchat brings to the game is the ephemeral quality of what you share. You send a pic, your friend views it, and the app deletes it.
Snapchat is available for iOS and Android. Not on Snapchat, yet? Interested? Before we delve into your Guide to Selfies and the perfect Snapchat Profile Pic, let’s get you set up with an account! Go to your respective app store and download that app! Aw, Snap! Chat. Don’t judge me.
- So go to the Apple Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android and download the Snapchat app for free.
- Once the download is complete, open the app. You’ll see a screen which prompts you to create an account. All you need is an email, a password, and your birthdate (you must be over the age of 13 to create an account).
- The next screen is all about your username. Now, give this some serious consideration because you cannot change your username and it is how people will find and identify you on Snapchat. For some fun ideas, see our 3,400 Good Snapchat Usernames: Oh Snap!
- Next, you supply a phone number. Snapchat will let you know which contacts already have an account and get y’all hooked up. If you choose later that you no longer want to find friends this way, Snapchat has a protocol to opt out and unlink your phone number from the feature.
That’s it for setting up an account. Now let’s use it!
Take a Selfie with Snapchat!
First thing’s first: TAKE A SELFIE! Here’s our Selfies Guide. The following points come on good authority…ya know, 15 to 25 year-olds.
- Lighting Lighting Lighting! This should be your first concern. Natural lighting is best (stand near a window, face the light, use the camera to find the right highlights and shadows, snap!). Overcast or dark out? Okay, it doesn’t have to be natural light. Lamp light can be nice. Florescent light is harsh, avoid it. And word on the street (the virtual street that is Facebook) is don’t use your camera’s flash. Ever.
- Equally as important as lighting is ANGLE. Try tilting your head left then right. One of them is better than the other, unless you’re one of those perfectly symmetrical anomalies (you’re not, I don’t care what your mom says). Just play around with what makes you feel and look best. NEVER face straight on into the camera; it’ll look like a mugshot…or a driver’s license…they’re pretty much the same.
- Think about what feature(s) you love about yourself and highlight them. Not with a highlighter. Well, you can, but not a pink one. Have lovely eyes? Try making them a little bigger (I’m talking to you eyeliner and mascara) and frame the eyes. Photographers have this rule about the eyes being a third of the way down from the top of the frame and off center, either top left or right of the frame. It’s just more interesting.
- More flattering shots come from above; never put your camera lower than your nose or hello double chin.
- Just as you want to enhance your best features, you may want to diminish the parts of you you don’t enjoy so much. Not a fan of your forehead? You can choose a different angle and crop the photo to soften the look.
- This might come as a duh, but if you choose to take a selfie in a mirror, don’t look at the screen on the phone. Look at the lens in the mirror in the mirror. Or you don’t deserve a selfie. This is why you can’t have nice things.
- My friend really wanted to plead the case for banning the “self-depricating” wrinkled forehead look. Like, “oh dear, my phone just happened to take this photo of me looking like a sad puppy #someonehavesexwithme.” Counter to popular belief, it doesn’t make you look selfless or less vain; it makes you look like you’re desperate and is annoying.
- Going back to the angle thing: “Chin angle for the gods.” I had to put that in. Do with it what you will, but it made me laugh.
Here’s a nice little list of ideas for poses:
- You know what? It’s still a selfie if it’s not your face. Hey hey hey, mind out of the gutters! Whatever, you’re here for Snapchat, so you’ve probably already taken like, five pics just since starting this article. What I mean is, try taking an interesting pic of your feet. Or do the leg thing where they look like hotdogs. Point is, just try some different stuff and have fun.
- Do a two-handed selfie.
- Use a prop or add something new. Like a hat. A sock puppet. A Lisa Frank binder from 1996. The sky is the limit.
- Take a full-body shot in the mirror. Show ’em what you’re working with.
- Try a nice tight crop on your face. One way to do this is to actually use the zoom on the camera and hold the phone further away from your face (so it’s not an all-nose shot).
In the end, it’s about you celebrating you, so break the rules, do what makes your friends laugh and more importantly, what makes you feel good.
Snapchat Profile Pic
Now you are the queen of selfies and the duke of Snapchat (that’s not a thing). Let’s talk about that profile pic. Snapcode selfies, more specifically. We all know what Snapcodes are, and how they can help you add people to your Snapchat friends list more quickly. Well, that goofy little ghost icon in the middle of the QR code doesn’t have to be just a ghost — you can put your face there as a means of personalizing your Snapcode!
You can be sure that your friends can identify better if you’ve got a nice little animated selfie to greet them with your Snapcode. Setting it up is pretty simple:
Step 1) Find the Snapchat ghost on your camera screen.
Step 2) Tap that ghost (consensually).
Step 3) When your Snapcode comes up, tap it to bring up the Snapcode Selfie screen.
Step 4) Whenever you’re ready, tap the camera button. The camera will automatically take five pictures, and then stream them together in an animated gif.
You see, it’s pretty easy. There’s no coding that you have to do, you don’t have to download or install any add ons, you don’t have to pay extra, or hack and/or jailbreak your phone in order to get it to work. And the great thing is that, unlike the profile pics on most apps or social media outlets, this is animated. Which means it isn’t just a static photo of yourself, but can let you show off more of your personality. You don’t have to just smile; you can make faces, wink, the skies the limit!
Well, that and the presence of 13 year olds. Keep it classy, Snapchat.
So, that’s everything you need to know to set up a great selfie and to use it as your Snapchat profile picture. It’s pretty easy, and it’s a quick and great way to personalize your Snapchat presence even more, and make it into something that’s really you.
If you have any questions about anything that we’ve covered, or if you want to add something, please feel free to mention it in the comments. And feel free to send a link to this article to anybody you know who may need some advice on taking better selfies.
Because let’s face it; we all know somebody who needs a little help with their selfies.