We’ve all been there: you’re feeling cute and want to send an enticing pic to a love interest, or it’s simply time to update your selfie portfolio. But when you review the pics you’ve taken on your phone, somehow the visage of Shrek is staring back at you. How did this happen? In the words of Mulan, when will my reflection show who I am inside? Whether you have the desire to send nudes or just want to feel more sexy and confident, the ever-flowing font of knowledge that is TikTok has expert tips to take your selfie game from basic to boudoir.
Don’t Use a Timer, Take Screenshots from Video Instead
If there’s one thing professional boudoir photographers of TikTok seem to agree on, it’s that recording video then screenshotting your best pose and angles gives you a greater chance at sexy success than trying to get it right for a timer.
Sexy Selfies Are for Everyone
It’s normal to feel self-conscious about certain body parts, or the whole thing. Even the idea of posing “sexy” can feel a little silly or embarrassing. It involves a degree of taking yourself seriously or seeing yourself as a “sexy person” that not everyone feels ready for. But practicing and tuning in to that part of yourself can also be really affirming, even if you don’t send the final photos to anyone or delete them right away.
Pro tip: put your final selections in a folder on your phone or somewhere beyond the camera roll. There’s nothing worse than the anxiety that your proof of vaccination or a picture of your dog is one swipe away from revealing more to a stranger than you’d planned.
Many TikTok creators feature posing tips for different body types and ways to emphasize or de-emphasize certain areas to make you feel more confident. TikTok user @bodyscapeboudoir_kc features posing ideas for a range of body types and settings including plus-size, flat-chested, tummy-shy, and masculine.
Know Your Angles
Angling your body in certain ways, and where you place the camera can have a big impact on the end result. Generally speaking, boudoir photos look to emphasize curves and soft lines so even the slightest tilt of the body or angling of the hips and waist can make a big difference in the shapes you’re creating. You can also play with perspective, knowing that whatever is angled toward the camera will look larger. And of course, pay attention to what is or isn’t in frame — laying on the bed facing the camera directly with your legs crossed at the ankles behind you can create an unwanted “bunny ears” effect, but tilting your legs or the camera just slightly can fix that.
Try to relax as much as possible and put tension in the right places. Soften/relax your hands and fingers and point your toes. Unclench your jaw (breathing out while posing helps with this) and arch your back. Tyra didn’t coin “smize” and “booty tooch” for us to be taking bland, lifeless selfies in 2022.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Lighting is key, and you can use it strategically! As a general rule of thumb, make sure you’re facing the light so the focus is on you. You can also add softer ambient lighting with candles or lamps.
You can also play with lighting and backlighting to add a twist to your shot.
Make Your Bed/De-Clutter Your Background
Collectively we’ve been paying more attention to our backgrounds since Zoom entered the chat. And there are so many things to keep in mind when you’re taking a picture that it’s all too easy to forget the little details. Or maybe you’ve become so used to things in your room being where they are that you’ve sort of stopped seeing them (that bottle of lube on the nightstand, maybe?). Before you do your selfie session, take stock of what is in frame and tidy up (or leave a few strategically placed accessories/props in the background). Make your bed or at least arrange the pillows if you’re posing on a bed. Shut the door if you worry that pets (or other people!) might enter the shot. You want the focus to be on you and your sexy body, not the pile of laundry on the chair behind you (just move that pile out of frame, you may or may not get to it later).
Play with camera angles and where you’re taking pictures
Mix it up! Maybe you want to try some poses upside down or laying on the floor with your feet up on the bed. Maybe your bedroom has bad lighting or isn’t as cute as you’d like. Try the couch, posing with a chair, or posing on the floor.
If you’re feeling really daring, maybe a shower shot is the perfect surprising setting.