Here, Let Us Help You With That Sexy Selfie

·7 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

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Thirst traps (and their 100+ outtakes) are essential to your phone's camera roll. It honestly doesn't matter who your intended audience is (an ex? A new flame? The recipient options are endless!). Whether you're self-shooting to remind your current boo of just how lucky they are, or if you're snapping away to document a good brow day, facts are facts: Sexy selfies are a healthy part of your confidence-boosting journey.

Don't get me wrong, a *lot* of work goes into securing that final, perfectly lit photo. If you've ever contorted your back for insufferable amounts of time in the name of landing an unforgettable pose, then you understand the v real struggle of sexy selfies.

No matter how well-versed you are in turning that front camera around, we consulted with some Instagram influencers to share their top thirst trap tips. Trust, you’re beautiful without photographic evidence, but if you're looking for the pointers on how to memorialize that gorgeousness, or if you need some assistance accentuating your curves and getting to know your ~angles~, then look no further. For the sake of your social feed (and your spine health), you'll want to peep these photo pointers and sexy selfie ideas before your next solo photoshoot.

First, let’s start with some selfie inspo:

Now, for some thirst trap tips:

1. Clean that front camera.

First things first: A blurry pic is the exact opposite of what you want. Make sure that there's no dust or grime getting in the way of your perfect shot. A microfiber cloth will do the trick, and to avoid issues, try not to touch your front cam with your fingertips.

2. Utilize the focus tool.

Fun fact: Smartphones are pretty, well, smart. That's why the camera app features dozens of ways to fiddle around with lighting and focus. Play around with these options by simply tapping the center of the screen before you snap a pic. After all, *you* should be focus, not your unmade bed.

3. Don't overthink things.

Hesitation is only going to hold you back. Take as many shots at once and asses the best later, rather than stopping and checking to make sure you hit the pose after each one. Plus, if you have an IG husband taking your pics, this will ensure that they stay committed to their photography duties.

4. Shoot from an angle.

Instagram influencer Stephanie Yeboah recommends taking photos at an angle as opposed to face-on to create a sense of intimacy. “I prefer a high-above angle, as it’s easier to fit in the silhouette of your body,” she says.

5. Your legs are way more powerful than you’d think.

Jessica Wu, a stylist, producer, and model, explains that alternating your leg stance in a few different shots can help your odds of finding the ~perfect~ snap in your camera roll upon review. “I tend to alternate my leg stances a few different times to get multiple angles—having a wider stance, putting one leg out to the side or in front of the other, and standing with your feet together are usually flattering,” she explains.

6. Arch! That! Back!

This simple move makes your booty pop while accentuating your waist, explains Sam Feher, Cosmopolitan’s own editorial assistant (and an Instagram influencer in her own right). “In this photo, I’m angling my upper body away from the camera too, so it makes my butt/thighs look thicker than my waist, which is fuay [ed note: this means hot].”

7. Utilize windows and mirrors.

Windows and mirrors are your best friends! Says Yeboah, “I find posing in front of—or on the side of—a window with the sun streaming in creates an almost ethereal glow that promotes an innocent-yet-sexy aesthetic. Investing in an oversize white shirt helps too.”

8. Stand on your tiptoes.

“It makes your legs look ridiculously long,” says Feher. Another way of elongating your gams? Tilt the photo forward from the bottom. Wearing shoes that are the same color as your legs or pants also helps with the illusion that your legs are 30 percent longer.

9. Shoot from below.

Seriously: It makes you look taller! While common sense might seem like it’s better to shoot from above, Feher says that photos angled above can turn out wonky. Yeboah agrees, saying that she prefers to shoot from below to give the illusion of added height.

10. Take selfies from under your face to accentuate your jawline.

While this might’ve previously been thought of as a double-chin angle, if you jut your chin out dramatically, it makes your jawline look ridiculously sharp. How 'bout them angles?

11. Natural lighting is always best.

The only thing that compares is a quality ring light, says Feher. If you don’t feel like traveling with a whole other tech accessory, natural lighting is your BFF.

12. Golden-hour shots are a lot easier when you plan ahead.

Photo credit: App Store
Photo credit: App Store

Download Golden Hour One for iOS and Golden Hour Calculator for Android.

Explains influencer Shaunda Necole, the best lighting is just as the sun is rising or during “golden hour” right before the sun sets. She recommends the Golden Hour app, which allows you to input your location to find the exact window of time for optimal photo-taking.

13. Put one hand in your pocket.

If you're unsure of what to do with your hands, Wu recommends placing one on your waist or in your pocket. Still stumped? Run your fingers lightly through your hair (after all, these are *sexy* selfies we're talking about here!) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

14. Posture is everything.

Sorry to sound like a school marm for a hot sec, but you’re here for a crash course in thirst-trap photography, so bear with me. Stick your collarbones out for any photos so your spine is aligned as straight as possible for the best pic.

15. When it comes to sexy poses, it’s all about the hip tilt.

Putting one foot in front of the other makes your hips tilt and can make you look curvier while also elongating your legs, says Feher. “That’s my go-to because it’s fast, looks natural, and you can pull it off in public places without getting anyone else in your photo.”

16. Always hype up your photographer, especially if you’re feeling any insecurity or embarrassment for asking them to take 30 bajillion photos.

“My tip for getting over the embarrassment is to ALWAYS hype up my friend first and be like, ‘You look like sex, lemme get a pic,’ and then they’re so embarrassed that they make me do it, even if that was my original goal all along,” says Feher. You get to boost someone else’s self-esteem, take cool photos of your friends, and get the photos you wanted all along. It costs literally nothing. Adds Wu, “If you focus on the person taking your photo and don’t get distracted by people walking by, you’ll definitely get better photos! I usually ignore people who snoop or take photos and just focus on the camera.”

17. For brighter colors, go with C1 on VSCO.

Photo credit: Carina Hsieh
Photo credit: Carina Hsieh

Download VSCO for iOS and Android.

For the trendy orangey one that’s in right now, Feher suggests Lightroom presets from your favorite influencers. What better way to skip right to the finish line than by using an influencer-approved filter?

18. Don’t bother importing your DSLR pics into your phone just to edit with VSCO.

“Lightroom is better for camera/DSLR photos,” says Feher, whereas she prefers editing in VSCO for iPhone photos.

Try Lightroom desktop for free here.

Download Lightroom for iOS and Android.

19. Chipped mani?

No problem. There’s no need to spend money getting a new manicure or taking the time to remove all your polish when there’s an easy, free fix. Feher says to use the color picker/airbrush tool on Facetune to fill in the spots where you’re missing color.

Download Facetune for iOS and Android.

20. Find the right framing.

Feher says one of her rules for photos is that she won’t zoom or crop. “It makes the picture look weird and f*cks with the quality,” she explains. So it’s worth taking the time to figure out the perfect framing before shooting, so you don’t have to do too much work fixing/editing/cropping afterward.

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