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I Got A Professional Photographer To Help Me Get All The Likes

In the quest for social media #perfection, everyone could use a little help.

Being a social media star ain't easy.

All my life (aka for the past year), I've dreamed of making it big on social media. Watching "influencers" get handed the keys to the social kingdom, only for what seems to be a gratuitous amount of gym selfies or poorly lit dinner photos, has driven me insane.

So, instead of letting my jealousy push me to rage, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...or, if you can't join 'em, hire a professional to help you fake it.

Enter: professional photographer.

I somehow coerced BuzzFeed photographer Sarah Stone to help me take over the social media world. She agreed to use her mad photo and styling skills to capture me doing things worth "liking."

I had some coffee.

First up was breakfast. The art of styling food isn't as complicated as you might think. Sarah says always to shoot under natural light and keep your photo as simple and uncluttered as possible. We complemented the natural vibrance of our ameezing tangerines with colorful dishes. Balanced meals = balanced photos.

I got a lil' sweaty.

Instead of posting another mirror selfie, I wanted to show my followers something new. The real magic happens when you actually break a sweat and get those gainz. And if you happen to work out in an aesthetically pleasing gym (like I do...#sorrynotsorry), why not take advantage and milk it for all it's worth?

I got dressed.

Mise-en-scène is an expression primarily used in filmmaking to describe the arrangement of everything you see onscreen and how it helps to tell the film's overall story. Use your favorite things to tell your story on social media. I added personal touches to my "outfit of the day" pic, like my favorite fragrance and this particularly photogenic comb.

I found a friend.

Tbh, social media is really just the modern version of our grandparents stuffing family photos in their wallets and dying to show anyone willing to look. The only thing that's changed now is it seems like everyone's willing to take a peek, but it's more important than ever to find ways to differentiate your photos.

And I had a little dinner.

This is perhaps where people have the most trouble capturing photos worth sharing. No matter how delicious your food looks IRL, dim restaurant lighting rarely makes for appetizing pics. Since natural light was out of the question, we brought a candle as close to the plate as possible for some warm amber tones.

I'm not a terrible person, I swear.

Excelling on social media maybe isn't the most admirable thing one could obsess over, but it turns out it requires a lot more skill and cultural knowledge than I thought. Beyond what Sarah taught me about upping my photo game, the most valuable thing I took away was finding ways to reframe typical photo situations and use trending and niche hashtags to help the uploads get noticed.

The one piece of advice I'd give would be to choose a theme — whether it's food, fitness, or general lifestyle — and stick with it to gain a loyal following. Practice some of these ~tips~ to see what a little obsession could do for your page...or, if all else fails, hire a professional like I did and have them do it for you. ;)

All images by Sarah Stone / BuzzFeed.

Ready to get started?

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