After this post about her fabulous Instagram account went viral, we decided it was only proper to officially name Shay Mitchell the Most Glamorous Woman On Instagram and give her a trophy. But no trophy should go without explanation, and as such, we grilled her on just how, exactly, her Instagram account is so, so fly.
What’s your go-to Instagram filter?
It's [the video filter] Dogpatch. I like the contrast. I like it vibrant more so than really muted. But I know people have themes... some people that I follow have all Vespa or all Valencia and I want to be all over the map. It depends on the mood, it depends on the picture!
Do you take photos first and import them later or take photos in the Instagram app?
Noooooo. I snap a bunch in a row because I'm a little bit weird when it comes to photos — like if it's not straight. And I can't do certain things all on Instagram so I will first take them — so that I know that I have the photo — and then I can work it out later.
Do you use any other apps?
I love Camera+. It just has that vibrancy.
How do you feel about hashtags on Instagram?
I'm pro, like, a normal amount of hashtags. I feel like no more than three — because then why not just put it into your comment underneath it? I like a couple of hashtags, especially when I'm looking for something. When it's helpful then I'm like OK, cool. You know? Or it has to be really funny. The Fat Jewish has a lot of really funny hashtags. If they make me laugh or if they're useful then I like them.
What are your most-used hashtags?
Outfit of the day. #OOTD. Outfit of the Shay.
What do you think about wedding hashtags?
I think those are cool. I do like wedding hashtags because I've had a couple friends who've been married and they actually had their own. So when you make a crazy hashtag you click it and see all the photos, so it makes it a lot easier to see everything. That is when hashtags are useful! Please use them.
Do you only you look at your friends' wedding hashtags or do you look at other wedding hashtags as well?
Oh no, I look at a lot of other people's weddings! I randomly find them and then am like, "Oh my god, look at her dress!" I feel like I was there, you know? We all do that, c'mon.
How do you feel about tagging?
Oh, I love tagging. I just did that for my first time the other day!
What makes you say, “I need to take a picture of this”?
Everything. No, no, honestly when I'm walking and I see something I'll say, "Oh, that's a cool photo." Or I'm at a shoot and the stylist has really good clothes, I'll wanna snap a photo of it. If it's something that's visually appealing to myself, hopefully there's one other person out there in the world that will find it visually appealing too.
What’s your rule on number of pics per day, and how many is too many?
Well I kind of try to stay in the three zone. So I can do one whole top layer [of photos] and call it a day. Especially if it's all the same genre. But I have been known to do six to nine in one day. There's no shame in anything!
What’s one thing that’s super annoying on Instagram?
Probably when people do those big squares. So you'll see cutout photos of nine [separate] Instagrams. I mean, I like the end product but I [don't like] scrolling through an arm, then an elbow... I just want to see the whole thing. So I guess it's mostly that.
How often do you read the comments on your photos?
I browse through them every once in a while.
Have you ever/do you ever respond to comments on photos?
Occasionally, yeah! I like to see the comments, I like to know where they're coming from. I think it's always so cool when I'm like, "Good night!" and someone says, "It's morning here in Australia!" I'm like, "Awesome!" I like knowing that I'm not the only person awake at 5 a.m. It's cool.
How many people is it acceptable to follow on Instagram?
OK so right now I have this thing where I don't wanna go over 800 because, this is my problem — and I'm really being honest with you guys — sometimes when I'm scrolling I have to go to the same point where I last finished. I can't talk to you [until then] so when someone's calling me or texting me about something important, I'm like, "One second... one second... one second... I'm almost done!" And because I follow a lot of people I feel like that extends the process. And I'm not going to allow myself to go over 800.
What if you see someone that's great who you want to follow?
I have to unfollow somebody. Sorry, not sorry!
Are the rules different than Twitter?
Oh yeah. I think with Twitter it's totally fine. I love seeing all the news and stuff like that. With Twitter I don't know how many people I follow on that but I'm always open to following on Twitter.
Do you post it to your Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. through the app?
I do. I sync it up to Twitter because sometimes I'm scrolling and I'm like, "Oh, what are they talking about?" and *boom* it shows me a photo. I don't do it on Facebook. It's mostly just Twitter and Instagram; they're best friends.
Do you geotag places?
Noooo. What if I'm at the gym but I'm not really at the gym? You know? I don't want people to know. It's for that reason.
Have you ever been in a situation where you said you were somewhere and then people showed up?
Yes. I did do that one time when I was just starting out with Instagram. I was like, "Awesome! I'm at the sushi place on 4th!" And then I walked outside and was like, "Hey!" But for restaurant people who take pictures of food, I wanna know what restaurant you're eating at so please geotag for me where you are so that I can go there.
Have you ever met someone IRL that you met on Instagram?
No, but I did drive by The Fat Jewish one time and I was like, "OH MY GOD! THAT'S CRAZY!" But that's about it.
Do you use the DM feature?
No — I don't know! Kinda? If I like, don't have your number I'll do that? I don't know. I don't tweet personal messages. I like a text, you know? A little bit more secure.
What are your feelings about selfies?
I hate them. (laughs) Look, I think it's cool. I think they're fine! If your whole feed is selfies then you gotta see a psychiatrist. But if they're spaced out a little bit... Or if you're a makeup artist and you're showing different makeup [looks] I always love those — and those are all selfies. But yeah, I think if as long as you're not in the same position doing the exact same thing it's different. You look different, you change... go for it!
How do *you* take the best selfie?
You always wanna look for your light source. I like a little tilt, as people have noticed. They're always like, "You make the same face!" and I'm like, "Thank you! Yup, I do. And what?" Higher up is better. This degree angle (see below). Something like that! Selfie lessons 101.
Selfie sticks: yay or nay?
OK, YES. And let me explain why. If I'm in my bedroom and I have a selfie stick then that's not the right time. But if you go to the Grand Canyon and no one else is around me how am I supposed to get the landscape behind me, proving to people I was there? Pull that thing out and you have the entire background right there! Make sure to drop your elbow down a little bit so no one knows it's a selfie stick.
Have you ever used one?
What do you think about Beyoncé’s "7/11" video?
It's everything. Everything. OK, that video I watched a million times and it was so genius because she's taking everything we're already doing — we're all taking photos on our phone, we're all taking selfies — and she made her own video that was so with the times and edited it to perfection. I mean it was amazing.
Instagram videos: yay or nay?
Yay! I do like Instagram videos because they're short and sweet, they don't go on forever, so you only have that certain amount of time and sometimes I wanna see more than just a photo.
How long will you wait for a video to load before scrolling on?
These are reeeeally good questions. It's getting reeeeal personal! OK, it depends. Sometimes if they take a long time I'll try and refresh it. And if it doesn't then I scroll on by. I'll try to remember and think, Oh I'll go back and look at that. Suuuure you will.
Do you ever look at the explore page?
Yes, I do! And I always find it really interesting. Sometimes I'll see really cool people from Japan that I never would have heard of. A lot of times it's random — but I'll see a lot of cast photos and that's interesting. Or I'll see interesting photos of myself on there and say, "Whoa." But yeah, I think the explore page is cool.
Have you ever accidentally liked someone’s photo?
If yes, what do you do: unlike or keep?
Oh, F that, I'm like *boop* [unlike]! It never happened!!! Never happened. Then I like 500 other people's so that hopefully you can't see that I unliked it, like maybe there's a limited time where you can see that you liked something.
What about if it’s from years ago?
Yup. Because I get tired by the end and my finger gets heavy. That is like, really creepy, you know? Who doesn't do that though? If I meet you I'm gonna see the first photo you ever posted.
Do you ever stalk other people’s profiles?
Yeah. There's this woman, Mimi Thorisson, and she's a chef in Paris. She has the most beautiful photos and her life just looks so... just really beautiful photos to look at. I'm always like, "What is she doing [right now]?" She lives in Paris with three kids and a dog and everything seems like perfection. I love Humans Of New York — such a great Instagram feed. National Geographic too.
How do you feel about emojis in comments?
I love it. I love emojis. It's just a funny little add-on.
What’s your favorite emoji?
Get even more Shay Mitchell in your life by tuning into Pretty Little Liars every Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC Family.