Crafting the Perfect Celebrity Group Instagram in Four Easy Steps

What ingredients do you need to design a perfect celebrity group photo for Instagram? Let Taylor Swift and Amy Schumer be your guides.

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What did celebrities do before the invention of Instagram? Did they speak to each other? Drink wine together? Attend parties together? Who knows! Before Instagram, we had no window into these famous figures' private lives.

But lo, how Instagram has saved us! Now, we get rare peeks into celebrities' worlds through their Instagram accounts. The Internet goes wild over a celebrity Instagram photo, as they did today over a new Chelsea Handler Instagram post. And how could they not? Such access to these totally staged ultra-candid moments is unprecedented in our culture!

If you're a celebrity, you may be wondering how you can replicate the success of these other famous Instagram users and become a viral sensation. Let us guide you through an easy, four-step recipe for the perfect celebrity Instagram photo.

Step 1: Include No Less Than Three Notable Stars

You may think all your friends equal, but for Internet success, you must make sure at least three of the faces in your photograph are notable and recognizable. In the photo above, note how comedian and actress Amy Schumer has chosen to include director Judd Apatow, a very recognizable face. The other two notables, Ira Glass and Danny Strong, may not have as high a profile, but they happen to be very popular among Internet types for their work on NPR and being on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, respectively. (Bonus points if one of the photographed parties stirs up a Twitter imbroglio the next day, thus preserving your photo in history.)

2. Coordinate Participants to the Best of Your Ability

You may not have total control over the other celebrities attending your event. (We're not all Beyoncé, after all.) That said, the more coordinated your efforts, the better. This can be as simple as matching clothing – a good prompt is "dress as if you're in a Nancy Meyers movie" – to hair color and skin tone. Note that everyone in Gwyneth Paltrow's Instagram post from last April's "#girlsnight" is at least partially blonde, with the exception of Stella McCartney. (McCartney was pushed to the middle of the photo in an unflattering position, likely as a form of punishment for failing to follow Paltrow's carefully worded pre-party memo.)

3. Focus on Your Own Look

Your goal in curating your group Instagram post is to make sure it spreads to the far corners of the World Wide Web. But if you don't look fierce and flawless in the photo, then why are you bothering? Take a page from Taylor Swift, who looks like the definition of grace and poise in her Fourth of July party photo. Yes, people may giggle at Lena Dunham shooting the bird, or wonder why Emma Stone looks like she just arrived at the party. But at the end of the day, they look at Swift and know that she is beautiful. You can be beautiful, too. Focus on you. Let the others' chips fall where they may.

4. Don't Fear Being Silly

If you've failed to coordinate your guests, and you don't really care about looking the most glamorous, you can never go wrong getting a bit silly. Perhaps allow one of your guests to moon the camera (not you, though, heavens no), or have them do strange poses that remind you of a hobbled crane. Everyone will have a hearty laugh and share your photo. You may not be fabulous, but you are funny, and everyone loves a funny celebrity. Just ask noted Chelsea Handler friend Sandra Bullock.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.