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How To Take Killer Swimsuit Photos For Instagram

| Skylar Black

How To Take Killer Swimsuit Photos For Instagram

Top Tips for Taking the Best Swimsuit Photos for Your Instagram Feed

As spring moves into summer, it’s time to start planning out your beachy Instagram posts. Whether you’re going on a tropical vacation, hanging out by the pool, or just want to add some summertime flair to your feed, a swimsuit photo shoot is super on-trend.

We’re going into our top tips for taking the best swimsuit photos for your Instagram feed! Whether you’re trying to take better selfies or frame the waves on your next beach getaway just right, these tips will help you become a better photographer and create the Instagram feed of your dreams.


Lighting is one of the most important elements of photography, and good lighting can make or break your photos. Photos taken in dimly lit areas lack highlights and lose the richness in colours, while harsh artificial light washes out skin and flattens your features.

Take photos outdoors in natural light whenever possible. Midday light can be a bit harsh, so early morning, late afternoon, and overcast days are perfect times for shooting. If you’re taking photos on a beach, the hour just before sunset can provide some of the best lighting around!

Best Lighting For Selfies:

  • Partial shade under trees or in alleyways.
  • In doorways, under archways or bridges.
  • Indoors in front of or beside windows.
  • Soft, diffuse light bounced off of a white wall or sheet.
  • For an extra beachy vibe, set up your shot so that the sun is behind you, creating a chic silhouette!

Best Lighting For Subjects:

  • Play with unexpected light sources - phone camera lenses absorb light differently than traditional cameras do, so it offers a great opportunity to play with light that comes from above or behind your subject.
  • If you move around a subject while looking through your phone lens, you’ll be able to see the rays of light on your lens and create a magical effect.
  • Don’t use flash! Flash can warp shadows and make your subjects washed out and alien-looking.


Finding the best pose for your Instagram photos isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair - the poses that work for you will vary depending on your body shape, style, and the energy you want your photos to reflect. Start by practising different poses in the mirror and taking pictures from different angles, testing to see what features you want to highlight and what vibe you tend to give off.

Posing Tips For Selfies:

  • Make triangles with your body - bend arms or legs to create space and ensure that you don’t look stiff.
  • Create length - put one leg in front of the other, or raise your arms to stretch yourself out and create interest.
  • Opt for poses that feel natural - sitting in a chair with crossed legs, leaning against a wall or railing, and even walking can add a lot of flow to your pose.
  • Add movement! Swishing your skirt, flipping your hair, and walking or running add a lot of dynamic lines to your photos.

Posing Tips For Subjects:

  • Play with interesting angles and framing - ordinary things can become novel when you photograph them from a new angle.
  • Take advantage of panoramas for wide, flat landscapes like beaches.
  • Choose a focal point for the photos - whether it’s a person, animal, or object in the foreground or simply interesting lines that draw the viewer into the image.

Best Poses For Swimsuit Photos:

  • One Leg Forward: Flattering on anyone in any outfit, this pose helps you look more dynamic while standing still and accentuates your curves while conveying a sleek, high- fashion vibe.
  • Playing With Your Hair: Swimsuit photos show a lot more skin than you might be used to, and it might be tempting to cross your arms in front of you. But that won’t show off your cute swimsuit! Play with your hair to keep your arms out of the way and convey a fun, natural vibe.
  • Arms Above Your Head: Much like playing with your hair, this pose keeps your hands away from your bathing suit, and it helps elongate your body and make your silhouette look smooth and gorgeous! It’s also a very trendy, high-fashion pose that makes us think of models in magazines.
  • Lounging: You’re going to the beach to relax, and your Instagram feed should reflect that! Lounging pics can be sexy, casual, or high-fashion, depending on the angle - for a super unique and flattering shot, try lying on your back and looking up at the camera!
  • Walking Away: This pose is great for shy gals who get nervous when looking at the camera or for making a photo look effortless! It’s also an excellent opportunity for showing off any cute details your swimsuit might have on the back.


Composition refers to the positioning of the elements in your images. It’s what makes the difference between a photo that’s OK and a photo that’s spectacular. It can take a lot of practice to be able to compose a great image, but it’s worth the time!

One of the main composition tips that professional photographers and artists use is the “Rule of Thirds.” Essentially, this means that if you divide your photo into three equal sections, horizontally and vertically, your subject will be centred within those lines. The grid feature of most phone cameras is excellent for learning how to use this concept to your advantage. Still, we also encourage learning how to place your subject manually so that you can work with interesting poses and angles!

Instagram Photo Tips

Composition Tips For Selfies:

  • Centre yourself within the frame and ensure that the space around you is balanced.
  • Don’t include too many objects in the background that can distract from you! Make yourself the focal point.
  • Take photos in front of clean, white walls or objects for a modern, chic feel.

Composition Tips For Subjects:

  • Take photos that have clear points of interest - this can be a person or object placed in the foreground or a landscape shot that features lines that lead the viewer’s eye into the image (e.g. an angled shot along the beach where the shoreline can draw the viewer’s eye).
  • Identify your points of interest and play them up - Great photos have multiple points of interest, but they aren’t cluttered or disorganised. Play with angles and perspectives to give each point of interest some breathing space.
  • Look for moments - points where a subject is content, juxtaposed with another, or emotional make for really interesting photos.
  • Don’t use digital zoom - it reduces the quality of your images and makes them appear pixelated. Instead, physically move your phone the way you want to frame the image.


Whether you're an influencer or just want to take better photos of your life and experiences, investing in a little bit of equipment can go a long way! Whether it's a few props to liven up your feed or an app that will make your photos look professionally edited, the right equipment can make all the difference.

Must-Have Equipments For Instagram Photos:

  • A tripod - Tripods can help you play with more poses and get better perspectives, especially when you're taking selfies. Tripods are fairly affordable - you can find plenty of them on Amazon.
  • Props - a photo prop can be as simple as a hat or a drink, but you can also invest in interesting items like plants, seashells, mirrors, and other decors to add interest to your feed. Try to find objects that invoke feelings of summer, like fruit, palm fronds, and umbrellas. Here's an article with some cool tips about props if you're out of ideas!
  • Portrait mode - if you don't have access to a DSLR camera, you can achieve the same professional perspective by using portrait mode when you take your photos! Most modern smartphones come with some kind of portrait mode, but plenty of apps offer the same effect.
  • Editing apps - very few of us will ever take the perfect photo, but there are tons of apps out there that help us highlight our features and hide our flaws. Most Instagram professionals recommend investing in and getting familiar with one specific editing app so that you can hone your skills and create better photos. Here's a list of the best editing apps in the market today.

Happy Posting!

We hope this guide helps you create beautiful memories, no matter what you’re photographing. If you take your best photo yet with these tips, don’t forget to tag us at #SawItOnSandDollar!

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Beach Notes

Follow Lucy Gibson on the Sand Dollar Blog to find out about her lifestyle, this seasons latest trends and all things beach related. A hub for people who love to chase the sun, sea and sand way of life, whilst looking and feeling their best. We have all the tips to feel just that!