Picture this: Your friend whips out a smartphone and yells, “Smile!” You freeze like a deer caught in headlights, plaster a fake smile on your face and strike a pose, pulling out all your old faves from your bag of tricks. You said “prunes” instead of “cheese” (thank you, Olsen twins). You pressed your tongue to the roof of your mouth and arched your back, all in an effort to serve up some couture realness. Yet you still failed to channel that perfect mix of natural and sexy. Don’t beat yourself up — looking flawless in photos is hard. Luckily, we can consult the pros (AKA our fave pose-happy celebs). Check out these tips on how to nail your next selfie just in time for end-of-summer shenanigans.
1. Bend your knee. Let’s start with the easy ones. When someone pulls out an iPhone, face the camera and slightly bend one leg, putting your weight on the straight leg like Alessandra Ambrosio does here. This pose shows off your curves if you’ve got ’em — and creates them if you don’t.
2. Become the teapot. Follow Jourdan Dunn’s lead and put your hand on your hip, relax your shoulders and shift your weight to one side. This pose defines your waist and creates a long, statuesque line that’s anything but short and stout. Position your hand with your fingers toward the camera to show off your accessories and nail art.
3. Never shoot from below. Never, ever, ever let someone take your picture with the camera below your eye line. Trust us (and Natasha Poly) — there are very few instances where holding the camera or phone below your eyes will result in anything but weird shadows or a disappearing chin. Keep the lens above your head to catch all of your best angles and elongate your swan-like neck.
4. Turn your head. Very few of us were born with a perfectly symmetrical face. Maybe you’ve got one eye that’s a smidge bigger than the other, or a lopsided smile — there’s an easy fix for that. Just turn your head a bit when you snap a pic, making sure to angle your chin down and focus your eyes ahead. Soon you’ll be a pro like Doutzen Kroes, who manages to hit the perfect tilt even while lying in bed.
5. Cross your ankles. There’s nothing worse than trying to strike a casual pose in a photo but instead coming off unnatural and awkward. Avoid this misstep by crossing your legs at the ankles and placing your weight on your back leg, like top model Liu Wen.
6. Create curves. Killer curves don’t always come easy. Luckily, there’s a pose that can help create that hourglass figure without plastic surgery or a thousand squats a day. Turn your good side toward the camera, putting one foot in front of the other while bending your front knee. Then, arch your back and tilt your head forward a bit. Place the hand closest to the camera on your hip (always put the hand closest to the camera on your hip), et voila — insta-curvaceousness.
7. Kick it back. How do you fake playful and confident without looking, well, crazy? Easy peasy! Just do a little kick like Hilary Rhoda. Turn your side to the camera, kick your leg back and lean back a smidge. Your booty will get a little lift while you create the illusion of ease.
8. Stick your hip out. Hello, Sassafras! If the powers that be forgot to give you the hips you crave and the waist you desire, then just fake ’em by posing in an exaggerated S-shape. Make sure to keep your arms slightly away from your body to allow light to shine through. If you’re feeling extra confident, pull a Bar Rafaeli and put both of your hands on your hips for a pose that is equal parts playful and flattering.
9. Look back at the camera. Once you’ve mastered the previous poses, you’re ready to move to the master of all signature stances: the peek over the shoulders. Break out this less-than-subtle pose when you’re ready to be noticed. Take a page out of Selita’s playbook and “casually” look over your shoulder and back at the camera. Keep your hands in front of you, slightly hunch your shoulders and don’t forget to smize. Reserve this look for group photos or next-level outfits with interesting back details.
10. Stand up straight. We know, we know. This is all a lot to take in. But if you’re going to remember one thing, let it be this classic piece of advice: Stand up straight. When in doubt, put your best foot forward, fix your posture, look straight at the camera and flash those pearly whites. You got this, girl.
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