Janelle Tee has been up and about since she was crowned Miss Philippines Earth on July 10, 2019.
The beauty queen has been busy promoting ecotourism in the country, plus fulfilling her roles as United Nations Ambassador for Sustainable Development and USAID Philippines Tuberculosis Champion.
Many of the duties, she said, are labor-intensive.
Planting trees under the scorching sun and trekking up a mountain are just two on her long list of responsibilities she has been taking on since last year's pageant.
Janelle Tee stated, "When you become Miss Philippines Earth, you have to be proactive, versatile.
"Kailangan puwede ka kahit saan—puwede ka maging spokesperson, puwede ka maging judge, puwede ka magtanim, puwede ka mag-hiking."
Through it all, the 28-year-old environmental advocate has managed to stay selfie-ready day in and day out.
She said, "You have to be glamorous also kasi aside from tree-planting, magvi-visit kayo ng sponsors, so talagang draining.
"At the end of the day, di ba, it's still a beauty pageant."
And although she has learned to master this skill by necessity, the former Wowowin co-host thinks that anyone can achieve it with some goof-proof tips.
In this interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on Feb 26, 2020, Janelle shared her checklist on taking great selfies.
JANELLE TEE'S TIPS ON TAKING FLATTERING SELFIES
TIP #1: KNOW YOUR BEST ANGLE
An easy way to know your best angle is by turning your head from side to side and lifting your chin up and down in front of your camera.
See which side makes the photo more captivating, and use that every time you would snap a selfie.
"For me, my best angle is always on my left," Janelle said.
"If you notice all my photos, most of them are angled on the left side because through my experiences with how many selfies I got na, I realized, ito talaga iyong best angle ko."
Janelle also suggests play down the parts of your face that you don't want to be noticed.
She continued, "I have chubby cheeks. Usually, if I have frontal shots, I always tilt konti pataas so your chubby cheeks are not that halata on the camera."
TIP #2: PUT ON A COMPOSED SMILE
Match your best camera angle with what Janelle calls a composed smile.
This is done in two ways: one is by pressing your lips together and curving them upward, and another is by showing your teeth through partially parted lips.
She detailed, "When pinatawa mo ako ng halakhak, magilagid ako.
"So, I really have a composed smile lang or iyong smile ko sa teeth na very composed, very reserved."
Remember to squint your eyes or raise your eyebrows so that your smile would look more genuine.
Now, to make your smile look relaxed—especially if you're holding it for a long time—Janelle recommends doing facial exercises.
She went on, "But of course, with beauty pageants kasi, nakakangalay iyong palagi ka lang nakangiti, stiff na siya tingnan.
"So, I do a facial exercise to loosen up the muscle on your face... to loosen up lang rin kasi makikita sa photos kapag matigas na iyong smile mo."
TIP #3: PUT A GAP BETWEEN YOUR ARMS AND BODY
With the camera positioned just a few inches away from your face, some people tend to look bigger than their actual size in selfies.
Because, according to Janelle, "Kahit selfie iyan, nasasali iyong arms."
Here's her tip on getting around it: "So in my case, if I do like this sa arms ko, iyong nakadikit lang siya sa katawan, it looks fat.
"I make it to a point na medyo may space sa gitna ng body ko and my arms."
Janelle added, "Hindi naman puwedeng laging nakalagay yung arms sa waist mo, so you have to do mga artsy na shots.
"I do a variety of creative and stylish na awra-awra lang on the camera."
TIP #4: CONSIDER YOUR BACKGROUND
Taking selfies is more than just you looking flawless, it's also about having a tidy—if not Instagrammable—background.
Janelle detailed, "You also have to consider your background.
"Depende sa shot na gusto mong ipakita sa audience mo or sa followers mo."
She said it's a must to ask yourself, "O, malinis ba sa likod?"
"For my case, Miss Philippines Earth ka, 'So meron bang mga plastic sa likod?'
"Because what you're advocating for, your photos, your shots, speaks a lot.
"Dapat kapag nag-selfie ka, ang intention mo ba mag-selfie sa sarili mo o ang intention mo mag-selfie sa basura, kasama iyong plastic?"
If you're not in an Instagrammable location, but still want to take a selfie, Janelle said just be creative with how you take the shot.
"Kahit magulo iyong background, it's okay for as long as artsy siya tingnan pag-post mo on social media," she advised.
TIP #5: opt for natural light
Flattering selfies are also based on how the light falls on your face—the more light there is, the brighter and livelier your face will be.
To achieve this, Janelle said the trick is to walk to a spot with natural light before taking a selfie.
"The best talaga kung maghanap ka ng natural light para hindi na masyadong maraming filter," she remarked.
She added, "Kung hindi maganda iyong lighting, minsan ino-on ko iyong flash."
In some cases, she would just use editing tools to enhance her photos.
"Kung walang magandang lighting, try your best to edit it sa apps to increase iyong brightness.
"Pero don't put too much filter kasi makikita naman iyon sa photo na, 'Ay, masyado siyang filtered. Totoo ba ito?'"
BONUS TIP: BE AUTHENTIC
Photos radiate your inner vibe. Janelle remarked on this in an Instagram post on June 21, 2018.
Her caption read: "Selfies are not about being vain. It’s about self-love and having that 'I make no apologies this is me' impression to the world.
"With or without make-up, take that selfie, know your best angle, and just be the best version of yourself."
It's a mindset Janelle has been practicing on and off cam, especially when fulfilling her duties as Miss Philippines Earth 2019.
She said, "Minsan meron tayong stereotypes sa beauty queens—kailangan prim and proper lang, kailangan mahinhin.
"So iyon ang gusto ko ipakita sa tao na hindi naman kailangan lagi tayong naka-high heels.
"Mag-flats ka kung kumportable ka... you don't have to lose yourself as a person dahil lang naging beauty queen ka.
"Ipakita mo. Kumbaga it's one way of relating and connecting to people."
This year's Miss Philippines Earth competition began with the screening of candidates on January 28.
Pre-judging of Fitness, Form, and Poise was aired on the pageant's Facebook page at 8 p.m. on June 6.
Janelle is set to turn over her crown on the coronation night scheduled on July 5.
Stay tuned to Miss Philippines Earth Facebook page for more updates.