Professional Instagrammer Blake Steven Talks Style, Selfies And How To Elevate Your Social Media Game

“It’s 80 percent lighting and two percent location.”

Increasingly, there’s pressure on regular guys to upgrade their Instagram feed. Whether you’re dipping back into the dating world or applying for a new job, people are definitely checking you out on the ‘gram. Trust us on that.

London-bred, LA-based “Instagram influencer” Blake Steven has mastered the art of the selfie so well that the sun-soaked, Valencia-filtered account of his life has garnered more than 280,000 followers. That’s way more than even British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose inconsistent policies and filter usage have left her with just around 17,000. Sad!

Maxim caught up with Steven to find out how any guy can put his best foot forward on Instagram.

You went from about 10,000 Instagram followers in 2015 to more than 280,000 in 2017. How the hell did you blow up like that?

A couple years ago a photo of me went pretty viral on Tumblr, and I linked my Instagram to it. Overnight I jumped from 10,000 to 20,000. That was the the start. Since then it’s just been consistency with content. It’s been pretty crazy.

Got any tips on how to take the ultimate Instagram selfie? (Asking for a friend.)

It’s 80 percent lighting and two percent location. Great lighting is a must. You want everyone to see your best features right? Location can also be important. A well-lit selfie with a beautiful background is a killer combination. 

Good to know. What’s the one thing guys should do to become instantly more stylish?

Don’t try too hard. Make sure you have clothing staples you can throw together with ease. Skinny black jeans, white and black tees, and simple low top white sneakers. It’s easier than people think to have style. Just don’t overthink it.

What is your absolute favorite article of clothing that you own?

My favorite item is a black Saint Laurent print shirt that I just got before New York Fashion Week: Men’s a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted one for a long a time but was never in position to get one. So it definitely means more to me than just a shirt.

How about your favorite sneakers?

My favorite pair of sneakers are my Yeezys 350 V2. I had to wait to get them but they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I wear them almost daily now to get through meetings, flights and downtime.

Favorite watch?

My go-to watch is the Apple Watch. It’s sleek yet gives me the texts, calls and notifications that I need. It also allows me to track all my workouts and fitness activity that I’m trying to work on. I have the black aluminum model with the Hermès strap—a combination of luxury style and everyday use.

You sometimes rock a vintage Metallica Ride the Lightning shirt on Instagram. Do you have any other favorite music tees?

I actually just somehow lost my favorite tee. It was a Paul McCartney 2005 USA tour shirt that I got at a market in LA. Another fave tee of mine is a Lynyrd Skynyrd tour tee I just picked up in New York from a vintage tee store in Soho. It’s ripped a little but fits well and goes with so much stuff I already have. 

What’s the best date night meal and night out combo in LA? 

The best date night meal and night out combo is dinner at Catch LA—eating the “Catch Roll” followed by the “Hit Me Cake” before heading up to Griffith Observatory to watch the planetarium show. It’s the best. Guaranteed A+ date. 

Sounds solid. What’s your ultimate vacation destination?

My ultimate vacation destination would be Tulum, Mexico. It has everything from perfect beaches at Habitat to incredible Argentinian steak at Casa Banana. I love it there. 

Any last words for guys who wanna upgrade their social game?

Consistency and quality. Produce content you’d actually want to like, and do it more often. That’s the key.