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How to pose confidently or less awkwardly on Instagram photos

Do you feel too self-conscious when taking solo pictures? Tried your best but it just looked awkward? Read a bunch of tips who promised it will be "easy" but it just won't work? I can relate with you 100%! That is why I end up posting fewer photos than I would have wanted.

It's time to ask for some pro tips from someone who has successfully done it. Never mind the celebrities, they do it for a living it should be effortless for them.  I interviewed my cousin Shara to find out how she always manages to post celebrity-like photos on her Instagram. I will share those 5 TIPS with you and the result when I tried doing them myself.

First, let's imagine...

You're in a beautiful place with wonderful scenery, and you want to have a photo to remember it.  

You asked your friend to take your picture.

You stand and face the camera. 

Suddenly... you feel awkward. 

You don't know where to put your hands. 

You don't know whether to show your teeth or not.

Ready? 1... 2... 3...
You got conscious about what you are wearing and there, all your insecurities just in time for the shot.


You got your phone back and looked at it. 

It showed. You were so conscious! It's not even worth posting on Instagram.

Can you relate?  I certainly can!  Here are the things I learned from the interview. The first thing I thought was that it's not effortless at all! In fact, I thought it was a lot of work. For a mother like me, who just have more pressing priorities, I modified the tips a little bit to make it work. Here it goes...

How to pose confidently an less awkwardly on Instagram photos


  • Know your angle. The best way is to PRACTICE.  I've heard this a million times but I've never really done it. I'm not used to taking selfies so I don't know which side of my face looks best.  Don't celebrities also always mention this too? Anyway, I realized as well that I guess it doesn't matter what other people think about your photo. If you're not satisfied with the way you look, nothing they say can make you feel good about it. MY TRIAL RESULT: I found out I like it when my face is a little bit sideways and tilted. My eyes should also smile and that I should not smile too much because it stretches my nose. I don't like that because my insecurity is about 40% due to my nose, 20% due to my height, and the other 40% let's award it to my big arms and thighs. LOL!
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Portrait shot @sharaurellana

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
This is me playing around and trying to discover which angle I look best

  • Look good to feel good. If you are not born with a pretty face. Let's face it, okay? Some people were. You need to work on it. Put on some make-up. Too lazy? Me too! I always skip this part and my excuse is that I have no time. The truth is, if you make it one of your priorities, time is not a concern at all. MY TRIAL RESULT: If we need to go out, I prepare our stuff the night before. I learned that by simply fixing your eyebrows and putting lipstick makes a big difference.  If I have more time, I put on some anti-blemish cream and eyeliner.
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
I don't know how to properly put on make-up. Sometimes I just put on lipstick or apply it when we are outside. I started fixing my eyebrows when we came to Japan because I've discovered what a huge difference having one does. 

  • Think about Fashion. Sure. You want to pack light during travels. However, you may want to think about matching your clothes with your shoes and/or hat. It's also important to wear clothes that will make you feel good. If your love handles are showing and you are conscious about it. Better bring clothes that will hide them. A fashionable jacket may also be a good trick. If you can pull it off with just jeans and a white shirt. Sometimes less looks better too.  MY TRIAL RESULT: I guess I better just show you.

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Look good to feel good. Make it simple | Taiwan @sharaurellana

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
I think my trial was a success except for that Don Quijote plastic | Tsutaya Naka-Meguro @chasingfatima

  • Download & Learn a Photo Editing App. I honestly never thought about it. I thought people just shoot and upload. It turns out that's not the case. Photos look better when you edit them. Whether it's an iPhone or an android, you may need to edit your photos before uploading them. I haven't tried this one yet but just using Instagram crop and filter features makes a dull photo professional looking.

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Editing those bamboos made her stand-out | Kyoto @sharaurellana

TIP #2: MEMORIZE YOUR POSES (Just basic suggestions)

  • Standing Pose. Always one foot forward with hips slightly bending.
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Looks good especially when wearing dress or shorts| Secret Garden Resort @sharaurellana
  • Sitting. If you found a nice chair to sit on why not?
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
If you have belly insecurities, it's easy to hide them | Kyoto @sharaurellana

  • Candid Pose. Walking, Shopping, Waiting, Staring ahead, Thinking, Eating, Playing, Reading

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Feeding the deers of Nara @sharaurellana


  • Street view.  Oh right! I see this a lot. I agree it does look good.
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Stand out in old streets like these | Taiwan @sharaurellana

  • Wall. Celebrities always took photos with just a wall at their back and yet somehow we know that they're in Europe or in a really good place!
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Also while looking at herself in the camera while someone else is hitting click | @sharaurellana

  • Majestic Backgrounds. You want to show the view yet you want to be in the photo too? The best way can be to just show half of your body or your back walking towards the place. Otherwise, you will be too far that it's pointless to even be included in the photo. Some people also just blur the background and focus on the person.  If they want to have a clear photo of the background, then they will just take it separately.
How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
This one is a wide building | @sharaurellana

  • Take a video then get a snapshot. This is especially useful if you are alone. You can do various poses while the camera is rolling. I know, it's embarrassing. I tried it in a place where there were no people around.
  • See yourself like in a mirror. Use a tripod and a clicker or if you don't have a tripod, have someone hold the camera for you and have them click it multiple times while you change your poses. I tried this one and I was able to pose more confidently since I can immediately see if I look good or not. 


  • Remember the app you downloaded in Tip #1? If you have no time to edit and you want to upload photos right away, you can use Instagram filters to improve the quality of your photos.


It takes some effort to pull it through when you're starting. However, it's just like any other skill. Once you learn it, it should be yours forever so the effort will be worth it. Hey, it's better rather than cringing every time you see bad photos, right? Or waste the opportunity of having the best photo in your dream travel destination!


Are you arguing that Shara is slim so she will look good no matter what?

Well, here are some photos to spark some inspiration:

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Not long legged? Use a camera trick and yes! One foot forward | Under the coconut trees @plateroeden

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Happy look + Nature and a paddleboard | At the Lake @plateroeden

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Shoes + Jacket + A nice view for an instant celebrity look | Kyoto @iamronzamora

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Simple but memorable. Black works! | Singapore @iamronzamora

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Simple but fashionable. Oh and one foot forward! | Bataan @callmepaipai

How to pose confidently on Instagram photos
Big thighs? No problem! Just flash that cute smile | wooden bench @callmepaipai

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