40 Photography And Posing Tricks To Level Up Ordinary Selfies

By Abigail T

These days, it’s always useful to be Insta-ready. You’ll never know when you’re going to be taking photos, especially when you’re out with friends. It’s good to not only dress cute but also know how to pose to take the perfect Instagram-able photos. Many photographers and models have weighed in on how to take a good Instagram photo, even if you’re taking the photo with your phone’s camera. Bonnie Rodríguez Krzywicki shares how you can pose in front of the camera. These aren’t your standard poses, of course! One look through these posing tips, and we guarantee your Instagram feed is going to look like a legit influencer’s. Check out these tricks of the trade and learn a thing or two to upgrade your look on Insta.

All photos are courtesy of Instagram/@bonnierzm

Angle is everything

Taking a good OOTD photo takes two things – the photographer and the model. If your photographer doesn’t understand anything about angles, you’re probably going to end up with something like the photo on the left. High angles are rarely flattering.

In order to get the full effect of the outfit, lower angles are the way to go. If the camera is capturing you from bottom to top, it’s going to make your legs look longer and your overall figure taller.

The perfect beach photo

You’re on vacation. You’re by the beach. You just bought the cutest swimsuit. Of course, you’ll want to take photos to capture the moment! But how do you pose for an Insta model-adjacent photo if you’re no Kylie Jenner? Bonnie shows us how.

Instead of folding up your legs, which won’t flatter your figure, try kneeling. This elongates your torso and naturally sucks your belly in. And the flatter torso shows off your cute bathing suit, too! Look at something in the distance beyond the camera for a full model effect.

Another perfect beach photo

Another way to pose on the beach to show off your swimsuit and figure is to elongate your limbs. Don’t hide them away; instead, extend your legs in front of you and show your arms. This will make a big difference.

The second pose makes you look like you have long legs. This is done by folding one leg under the other. Lean a little further from the camera, too. Anything closer to the lens will seem larger, so think about the parts of you that you want to accent and bring them forward.

How to squat in style

Squatting in photos can actually be cool, but you just have to do it properly. The wrong way of squatting might end up making you look like you’re going to the bathroom! Here’s Bonnie’s tip for squatting tastefully in photos.

Play with angles and levels with your body. As you can see, she’s got one leg higher than the other. This gives a lot more dimension to the pose. She’s also leaning on one knee, giving us casual but still chic.

Show off the dress

Some clothes are just too good not to show off. Not only is the outfit on fire, but you look hot too, and you just want to immortalize the moment. But without the right pose, the photo will end up looking meh.

Take this outfit, for example. The dress has a sexy slit, so use it! Stick a leg out just the right amount so that you can show off some leg and the cute shoes you have on! Popping your hip will also give you that confident air.

Power pose

Still featuring the same dress, here’s a pose that will say, “I’m in charge.” See, the way you pose in the same outfit will give off a completely different vibe. What do you want your picture to say? Are you going for cute, or fierce?

This simple pose is widely known as the power pose, and it’s no mystery why that is. Legs shoulders’ width apart, hands on hips, chest puffed, head slightly tilted up. This pose makes you look confident and gives you that air of being in charge.


Sometimes, posed photos look too staged and unnatural, especially if you’re with someone else. What you can do is ask the photographer to just snap as many shots as possible while you and the other person just move around a bit.

This technique will give the illusion of “candid” shots and give your still photos some life. It can actually be cuter than your standard side-by-side photo. It shows off your personality, and if you’re posing with bae, it shows off your cute relationship dynamic, too!

Lighting is everything

The key to the perfect selfie is lighting. Sometimes, the room is lit perfectly, but you’re just situating yourself and the camera wrong. Finding your light is something that comes with practice, so take each selfie as a chance to learn.

You mostly want to take a photo facing the light and not against it. Otherwise, you’re going to get backlit selfies like the one on the left here. Also, give plenty of space between your face and the camera! Close-ups are not for selfies.

Criss cross legs

In most cases, standing up straight in a photo isn’t going to be flattering. If you’re someone who never knows what to do with their legs in pictures, crossing one leg in front of the other is always a failsafe trick.

This gives you some movement, and also makes your legs seem longer. If you’re not sure where to put your hands, you can pretend you’re calling someone on the phone or play with your hair. This makes the photo more interesting than just a photo of a person standing.

The fitting room selfie

Just because it’s a fitting room selfie doesn’t mean it can’t still make you look fantastic! Elevate your regular fitting room selfie with this easy trick. It’s just a simple pose to take you from zero to a hundred real quick.

If you never know what to do with your other arm while one hand is holding the phone, simply place it on your hip. Turn your body to the side a little, and pop your hip. This instantly makes the outfit look better.

Casual chic

Who says you can’t look fabulous in just sweats? Athleisure is totally in! Just because it could be classified as more casual and “lazy” doesn’t mean you can’t still work that fit. Here’s Bonnie showing us how to look picture perfect in our comfy sweats.

Sometimes, depending on the angle, the hand-on-hip pose isn’t really flattering. When you’re out and about, and you have structures such as railings or walls, use those to your advantage! Lean on a railing, make an angle with your leg, and look away from the camera.

The big scarf

Taking pictures in the snow can be cute, but if you’re someone who gets cold easily, you’d still want to stay wrapped up, even for photos. That giant scarf you have might be warm and fuzzy, but it also gets in the way of the shot.

This is how you pose with your big scarf. Make sure the camera can still see your face! Toss one end of the scarf so it’s draped over your shoulder. This gives the photo some movement. And we know it’s cold, but don’t forget to still smile!

Confident curves

Layers are a cool look, but sometimes they hide your gorgeous curves. The way you pose in layers can also make or break the picture. This is how you can wear layers like coats and blazers and still show off your curves.

Placing your arms in front of you is a big no. It closes you off and also makes your outer layer cover you up. Show one side of your outfit by putting a hand on your hip inside the layer, instead of outside. This opens you up and shows off the curves under the jacket.

The smize

When you’re in a stylin’ outfit, sporting fantastic hair and makeup, the last thing you want to do is smile at the camera. Sorry girls, but save those pearly whites for another day. Sometimes sexy means a hot smoldering smize and looking away from the camera.

See how much of a difference the smize and the pose make? The first photo says, “I’m a sweet girl,” while the other picture says, “I’m a tough gal, and I came to break hearts.” Just add bold red lipstick to accompany your little black dress, and a smolder to complete the look.

Crop it up

It’s not all about the full-body photos. Don’t be afraid to get closer to the camera for a picture that only shows you from the torso up. While this won’t show your entire outfit, you can still look cute in the picture!

A closer photo draws attention to your face. This is how you can practice smizing! Also, if you’re wearing sunglasses, it’s always good to tilt it down or set it a little lower on your face so the camera can still catch your gorgeous eyes.

More ways to squat

Here’s another angle you can try out when you’re posing in a squat. The first tip would probably be to wear heeled shoe, as it makes you look taller. But your pose can also elongate your body depending on how you do it.

Instead of leaning back on your heels, lean up so that your behind isn’t close to the floor. Rest your arm on your knees and create some levels in your height. Lastly, don’t forget to put on that fierce smolder!

Wine o’clock

How do you pose with your glass of wine when it’s wine o’clock, and you’re just lounging on your balcony in cute pajamas? Let loose and have fun! Sitting down looking pretty isn’t the only pose for pictures of yourself lounging.

You can use the chair and the wine glass as a prop. Try out different sitting positions. Lift your legs up, put them over the arm of the chair. Lift up the wine glass or take a sip from it. Or pretend you’re clinking the glass with the camera.

Better mirror selfies

Time to step up your mirror selfie game with the following pointers. All you need to do is notice the subtle differences between these two photos. They’re both mirror selfies, but the second photo exudes a lot more confidence and aesthetics.

Firstly, don’t look down at your phone! It makes you look like you’re closing your eyes. Hunching over is also unflattering. Instead, sit up a little straighter. You can also lean towards the camera, creating an angle with your body.

Floor photos

If you want a shot from the floor, there are more options than a simple squat. There are ways to do this that will still flatter your figure. As we’ve seen in previous examples, the angles you make with your body matter as much as the angle of the lens.

Having one leg folded and one leg crossed not only creates height, but it also allows you to show off the details of your shoes. You can see that this pose draws attention to Bonnie’s figure, while the first pose closes her off from the camera.

Lighting is everything

Let’s get one thing straight — Bonnie looks great in both photos. But the first one could use some work; it doesn’t show her in the best light (no pun intended). For starters, the picture is backlit; the camera is facing the light, making Bonnie’s features and clothes look darker.

In every photo, you should be the one facing the light, not the camera, especially with a white background. See how much better the second photo is? You can see the cute turtleneck she’s wearing and can even appreciate the balayage of her hair.

Exude confidence

You’d be surprised what posture can do to your photo. You can easily go from a shy, reserved person in front of the camera to someone who is holding their own. All you need to do is just sit up straight.

Notice how Bonnie is slouching in the first photo. With this pose, she looks a little frumpy, and her outfit isn’t shown off very well. When she sits up straight, she instantly exudes a sureness that wasn’t there before. Add in a little lift to the legs and arms folded inwards, and you have a model-worthy image.

Home photos

Who says that you can’t take Instagram-perfect photos from the comfort of your own home? You can take even editorial-worthy photos from home! All you need is good lighting, a camera, and a rockin’ pose. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

Consider this shower photo. We know you would think, “Who on earth would look good in the shower?” Well, Bonnie shows us that you can! Take the photo from outside the glass door as a stylistic choice. Pose sensually, and voilà!

Picking outfits

When going to an event, it’s useful to look up the venue because then you can make an informed decision about your outfit. One piece of advice is to match your fit with the surroundings of the place. You’d be surprised how much the setting will enhance your outfit.

Notice how wearing all black against this backdrop actually washes Bonnie out. You would think that matching with the background’s color scheme would camouflage you, but if you add a pop of a different color like the deep red vest here, you can actually stand out!

Use the wall

If you’re posing by a wall, there are so many ways to spice up your photo other than just leaning on it. Especially when it’s a particularly cool wall like this one, you still want to stand out from the loud design.

Follow Bonnie’s lead here. Instead of standing straight with arms folded and looking like a butler awaiting instructions, put a hand on the wall. Lean on one hip, cross your legs, and put your hand in your jean pocket for total confidence.

Throw a side profile

You don’t always need to be facing the camera in photos. Your body can face the other way. Side profiles are actually chic if you can find your good side! Experiment in the mirror to see which side you think is your “good side.”

Showing your side profile to the camera can often be the more flattering option. It gives the photo much more depth and gives you a little air of mystery about yourself. This trick is perfect for dating profiles! Thanks, Bonnie!

Partner poses

When posing with your significant other, there are many ways to upgrade the photo from a simple side-by-side pose. We’ve shown you how to take “candids” to get a bit of movement in the frame. This next one is also a useful tip for duos.

Try a pose where one of you is sitting down, and the other is standing. This creates levels to the photo and can also show off more of your outfits. When sitting down, apply the other tips too – try to elongate your body by sitting up straight and putting one leg out.

Pop that foot

No, foot popping is not just for kisses with that special someone. It’s also for posing in front of the camera! If you’ve run out of ideas to pose, just pop a foot and flash a giant smile. This gives off a playful vibe.

By doing this, you’re also showing off your shoe! Look at the star on the side of those kicks. The camera wouldn’t have caught the star if she was just standing straight. This is a chance to show some movement and show off your outfit, too.

Toilet pose

No matter what people say, you can make posing on a toilet look chic. You just need to know how to angle your body and make the right face. While the concept of posing on a toilet seems odd, Bonnie hasn’t led us astray so far…

Firstly, as always, sit up straight and extend one leg out. This will make the pose look more elegant even though, yes, you’re still on a toilet. You can also opt to look away from the camera and channel your inner RBF.

Waist illusion

Everyone has folds and rolls. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a natural part of the body. This next trick shows that what you see on Instagram is truly a staged illusion. You can go from sloth to snatched in just one simple move.

Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of sitting up straight. The only difference between the two photos is her posture! It also helps to hold your hair up. This exposes your neck and makes you look taller and slimmer.

Snowy candid

Most of the time, walking around in the snow is not a cute affair. You’re freezing your toes off, you’re trying not to slip, and you’re worried about your mascara running. But somehow, Bonnie manages to still look cute. And thankfully, she’s willing to share her secret.

In instances like this, canids are the way to go. Move around and let your photographer take multiple photos of you. There’s bound to be one or two good ones in the end. The “burst” feature on the iPhone is a great tool for taking these kinds of pictures.

All in

Social media has the ability to make us all feel conscious about posting photos of ourselves. But it’s also important to remember that these influencers you follow put a lot of effort into their photos. You can achieve the same aesthetics if you go all in, too.

Self-confidence is easier said than done, and we understand that it’s not that simple. But whenever you’re ready, throw on a fabulous outfit, do your hair and makeup, and head out to find pretty places in your area. Use all these tips we’ve shown you and snap some sick shots for yourself!

Walk back and forth

In order to show off every aspect of your outfit, you gotta take a bit of a walk. It only takes a little walk in front of the camera. Step forward and backward to make it look like you were snapped in the middle of a casual stroll.

This technique adds movement to the photo, so it’s not just a shot of you standing still. It also gives a lot more dimension to your body. Especially if you’re wearing a coat like Bonnie here, it can give the coat a bit of movement, too.

Get comfy

Here’s another way to pose with bae. When taking pictures, you want people to know that you’re in a happy relationship, that you’re able to be fully yourselves with each other. The photo on the left doesn’t represent that at all.

The trick is to get comfy! You don’t have to be standing up; try having the photographer snap some pictures of you as you chill together on the couch. But of course, still try to create angles with your body, too, so that you still look chic.

Make use of glass

You would think that taking a photo behind glass wouldn’t be a good idea; the photographer might be caught in the reflection. There might be other unwanted objects in the reflection, too. But just look at this photo of Bonnie.

When done right, posing behind glass can actually look really cool. It gives a sort of natural filter to the photo. Of course, if you do find yourself looking at a fantastic photo with some unwanted reflections, some photoshopping would be required to fix that.

Coat tricks

Some coats are oversized, and others are meant to fit and frame your figure. When you’re wearing the latter, you can experiment with different poses incorporating a closed or open coat. However, Bonnie’s trick is to close the top at the front.

By tying up the coat, Bonnie is showing off more of her figure. You can see her curves, and she’s now snatched at the waist. Not only does this flatter her more, but it also allows every aspect of the coat to be shown off.

More poses with bae

Instagram is all about the #relationshipgoals. It’s definitely not a competition to post cute photos with your significant other, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a few of those on your feed! Here’s another trick to take photos with your boo.

Having one person sit down not only gives a little more variety to the photo but also creates more of a height difference! There’s something you never thought about. Yup, it’s possible to make it seem like there’s more of a height difference than there actually is.

Find your light

There is a perfect balance of the amount of light you should find in order to take the perfect photo. Too much light and you’re overexposed; not enough light, and you’re not showing off enough of your face and outfit.

The difference between the first and second photos here is just the light. See how the first photo was taken when the sky was overcast? As opposed to the second photo, when it was clearer? This trick might take some practice, though.

Fancy schmancy

Looking especially cute in your outfit today? You should immortalize the moment! A good OOTD photo doesn’t have to be you standing up. You can also sit down and show off your outfit. This is how Bonnie teaches us to do it.

If you’re wearing layers, don’t cover yourself up. Instead, find opportunities to show more of your body. Here, she drapes the lower part of her coat open so that her legs are exposed. We can see her cute stockings and shoes a lot better!


We’re always saying to create angles with your body as you pose, and this is another way to do it. In addition to the angle created by putting a hand on your hip, you can also turn slightly sideways towards the camera.

Not only does this give you a more powerful pose, but it can also make you look thinner! The closer some parts of your body are to the camera, the larger they will seem. By angling yourself away from the camera, you’re creating the illusion of being smaller.

Home set

Don’t underestimate the power of taking photos from the comfort of your own home. You can still take Insta-worthy photos even if you’re at home. Take Bonnie’s example of posing on her balcony. The obvious difference here is that she made an effort for the second pic.

Yes, you will need to put more effort into these ones. You’ll need to do more than just pose in your pajamas when you roll out of bed! But the results will be totally worth it. And you won’t even have to spend any money on these shots.