A lot goes into creating the perfect photo, but menswear/lifestyle blogger and Instagrammer Drew Scott says one of the most important things, without a doubt, is lighting.

“Lighting, lighting, lighting. Honestly, lighting is everything,” Drew (@iamdrewscott) says. “It can make or break a photograph.”

There’s a particular time of day, he adds, when the lighting is ideal for taking pictures.

“I like to shoot a lot during what’s called the ‘golden hour.’ This is typically during a sunrise or sunset,'” Drew explains. “This is because the harsh lighting is typically gone … and this is when the sun is a little bit hidden, but you still have that nice, natural glow.”

Tip #1 from Drew: Shoot during sunrise or sunset — the golden hour — to avoid the harsh lighting that occurs throughout the day.

Whenever possible, it’s best to avoid taking photos in direct sunlight, Drew adds. 

“It can definitely make you squint, it can make imperfections in your face pop out a lot more, it can make your hair look very piecey,” he says. “Overall, it’s not the best to take your photographs in. I, personally, highly suggest taking your pictures in overall shade.”

Tip #2 from Drew: Direct sunlight can highlight imperfections, so opt for locations with more overall shade.

Lighting is also essential in creating the most amazing selfie, Drew points out.

“[Make] sure you take your selfie in front of a well-lit window that doesn’t have harsh sunlight coming in,” he says. “It creates an overall glow.”

Tip #3 from Drew: Place your phone directly against a well-lit window and snap your selfie — this gives you a gorgeous glow, as seen on the right.

Typically, Drew follows a specific technique for getting the lighting just right.

“I actually put my phone directly against the window, where it’s touching the glass,” he says. “This is the closest you can get to the most perfect glow you can get on your skin, on your hair, on your clothing. It’s so, so pretty.”

Related: How to use angles to step up your Instagram game

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