How to Take the Perfect Thirst Trap

Ah, the thirst trap. The selfie’s hotter, bolder cousin. This phenomenon has been blessing our social media timelines for the last several years, offering us plenty of spicy pictures and a whole new flirtation trick in the process. But thirst traps can be tricky. Taking the perfect tt is an art form, and there’s still some debate over what a thirst trap even is. Well, we’re here to clear all that up. In this article, we’ll explain thirst traps once and for all, and offer you plenty of expert tips and poses to make your next pic a stunner.

Things You Should Know

  • Try an over-the-shoulder glance with the picture taken from the back or side for a high-fashion thirst trap.
  • Take a close-up selfie with soft lighting and a smize (smile with your eyes, not your mouth) for a cutesier thirst trap.
  • Arch your back and extend your legs to make your legs and butt appear fuller in your thirst traps.
  • Wear solid-colored clothes in front of a simple background when taking a thirst trap. You want the focus to be on you, not your outfit or location.

Ideas for Poses

Put one foot forward to highlight your legs
Put one foot forward to highlight your legs
  1. Put one foot forward to highlight your legs.Place your best foot forward (literally) and capture a full-body shot with one leg extended in front of you. This will flex your thighs to make your legs appear fuller and rounder. To make this pose feel more natural, arch your shoulders back slightly or support yourself against a wall or railing.
    • Great outfits for this pose include dresses with slits, skirts, and form-fitting athleisure like yoga shorts or leggings.

Glance over your shoulder
Glance over your shoulder

2.Glance over your shoulder.Face your back or side to the camera and twist your head with a pout to achieve a seductive, high-fashion aesthetic. This pose has been a staple of sexy album covers from Cheryl Cole to Donna Summers to Shakira.

Keep it simple with a close-up selfie
Keep it simple with a close-up selfie

3.Keep it simple with a close-up selfie.Cutesy can be just as powerful when it comes to thirst traps. Take a low-stakes selfie and let your facial expression do most of the flirting for you. Aim the camera slightly above you and angle your chin down with one raised eyebrow for a universally-flattering look.

  • You can also try extending your head to create a longer neck and sharper jawline.
Arch your back for a slim-thick look
Arch your back for a slim-thick look

4.Arch your back for a slim-thick look.To create the illusion of a tight waist and bigger butt (or accentuate both if you naturally have either), arch your back ever-so-slightly and take your picture from a side angle.

Get steamy with a bathtub photoshoot
Get steamy with a bathtub photoshoot

5.Get steamy with a bathtub photoshoot.For a sizzling thirst trap, get in a filled bathtub and shoot the picture from a high angle to enhance your silhouette. Use bubbles to hide parts you don’t want seen (or the fact that you’re clothed underneath).

Dress to the nines for a 10/10 picture
Dress to the nines for a 10/10 picture

6.Dress to the nines for a 10/10 picture.While most thirst traps emphasize minimalism and casualwear, snapping a fire picture while you’re in your Sunday best can provide you a sexy, elevated look (for men especially). Next time you have to dress up for a wedding, headshots, or another fancy event, take a full body shot to show off your new suit or dress (and how divinely it fits you).

  • To add more elegance, try a red-carpet pose. Put your hands together near your midsection, place a hand on your hip, or put your hands in your pockets (especially if you’re wearing a suit).
Stage a “plandid.”
Stage a “plandid.”

7.Stage a “plandid.”The perfect mix of aesthetic and nonchalant, the “planned candid” or “plandid” makes your strategically-posed photo seem accidental. To take a “plandid,” slowly perform a photogenic and expressive motion like flipping your hair back while looking away pensively, laughing, or walking towards the camera. Have a photographer take several pictures as you perform this motion and choose the snapshot that looks most authentic.

  • If you don’t have a photographer available, put your phone on shutter mode and set a timer. Then, take the slow-motion pictures yourself.
Flex with a post-workout pic
Flex with a post-workout pic

8.Flex with a post-workout pic.Right after your workout, your muscles are filled with fluid, making them seem bigger and more defined. Take advantage of this pump by snapping a few sexy thirst traps in your workout gear—or highlight those muscle groups further by losing some of your clothes altogether.

  • While workout selfies are hot, avoid taking them in the gym as they can come off as arrogant and disrespectful to your fellow gym-goers.
Show off your new swimsuit
Show off your new swimsuit

9.Show off your new swimsuit.Swimsuit selfies are a classic thirst trap. Get cheeky by snapping a mirror selfie before you go for a dip in the pool or asking a friend to take a picture of you posing in your bikini or swim trunks.

  • To add some playfulness, try incorporating a fun, aquatic prop like floaties or a beach ball into your thirst trap.

Photography and Staging Techniques

Utilize soft lighting and shadows
Utilize soft lighting and shadows
  1. Utilize soft lighting and shadows.Stand outside or in front of a window to use natural light when taking thirst traps, since it’s generally softer and less showy. Plus, it will make your skin look fuller and smoother. Face the sun and roll up blinds to keep unflattering shadows to a minimum, unless you intentionally want to add drama or make your photo feel edgier.
    • The best time of day, when it comes to photo lighting, is 1 hour before sunset. Commonly referred to as “golden hour,” the light at this time leaves you looking healthy and refreshed in your pictures. Check your area’s sunset time and plan your photoshoot accordingly.
Take some practice pics to determine your most flattering frames
Take some practice pics to determine your most flattering frames

2.Take some practice pics to determine your most flattering frames.Experiment with some trial photos to get an understanding of what angles and poses make you feel sexy and confident. For close-ups selfies, tilt your head up and down and side-to-side and take multiple pictures. Then, determine which angle looks most interesting. For wide shots, try multiple postures and hand poses (on hips, in pockets) and pick the ones that feel most natural.

  • Photographers generally suggest angling the camera slightly above your forehead for a more flattering shot.
Wear an outfit that compliments your favorite body parts
Wear an outfit that compliments your favorite body parts

3.Wear an outfit that compliments your favorite body parts.Choose an outfit that you look good in, but still feels comfortable. High-waisted pants support your stomach to make your waist more snatched while bodysuits are suggestive without being too revealing. Or, try a tight v-neck to show off your shoulders and chest, and don’t be afraid to emphasize your legs with short shorts (or just underwear if you’re comfortable).

  • Keep jewelry and statement pieces to a minimum. You want the focus to be on you, not what you’re wearing.
Doll up with some make-up
Doll up with some make-up

4.Doll up with some make-up.Thirst traps are all about capturing attention, so you want to look and feel your best. Highlight your favorite features: your eyes, your jawline, your legs, your skin, whatever makes you feel most confident! 

  • For a simple, understated look, just apply a basic concealer and tinted moisturizer.
  • For a natural-looking blush, try putting on a tinted cheek cream.
  • Use an eyebrow pencil for sharper, bouncier brows.
  • Add some liquid highlighter for a more glamorous look (but make sure your outfit is equally vibrant).
  • Use lip gloss or lip balm for a juicier pout.
  • Apply a body highlighter for fuller, more shapely skin.
Use different camera resolutions for different platforms
Use different camera resolutions for different platforms

5.Use different camera resolutions for different platforms.Decide where you’ll be posting your thirst trap and choose your camera accordingly. If you plan on uploading the photo directly to your Instagram or Facebook feed, you may want to take your picture on something higher-quality (a professional camera or iPhone X or later) since people will be able to view it for longer. If you’re just uploading your thirst trap to a Snapchat story (24 hours or less), opt for a lower resolution since it’s quicker and more casual. 

Practice your facial expressions before taking the picture
Practice your facial expressions before taking the picture

6.Practice your facial expressions before taking the picture.Make a face that feels flattering for you. Arch your eyebrows to highlight your eyes. Make a pouty or duck face to feel effortless and flirty. Or tilt your head and open your mouth ever-so-slightly for a sensual, high-fashion gaze.

  • One of the most common facial expression tips for thirst trapping is to “smize.” Smile with your eyes, but keep your mouth neutral to appear sweet and sultry all at once.
Use a simple background.
Use a simple background.

7.Use a simple background.Opt for a minimalist background when taking thirst traps: a solid-colored bedroom, a plain wall, a pool, etc. Remove or reposition any background objects that may be distracting like loud posters or busy/cluttered desks. Your picture should be about you and only you.

  • If your thirst trap is taken in front of a complicated background that you can’t simplify manually, blur the background during your photo editing.
Touch up your thirst traps, but keep editing minimal
Touch up your thirst traps, but keep editing minimal

8.Touch up your thirst traps, but keep editing minimal.Use a photo-editing app like VSCO or FaceTune to add some saturation and remove any blemishes you’re insecure about. Just don’t go overboard. You want your thirst traps to look simple and low-stakes.

  • When editing, prioritize skin tone, focus, and exposure. Try not to change any of these more than 35% and any other photo features more than 20%.
Put effort into writing a unique caption.
Put effort into writing a unique caption.
  1. 9Put effort into writing a unique caption.While showing your abs and biting your lip can be hot, it’s even sexier when you’re confident and emotionally aware. The mental is just as important as the visual, so, rather than posting your thirst trap with a generic series of emojis, get creative. Spout off a joke, a recent accomplishment you’re proud of, or a cause you’re passionate about.

What’s a thirst trap?

  1. A thirst trap is a sexy or flattering photo of yourself that you post online.Often accompanied by a flirty caption, thirst traps are pictures where you flaunt your best features. While they can be suggestive or even NSFW, they don’t have to be. What makes a thirst trap a thirst trap is that the photo is shared entirely to demonstrate how good you look. No career achievements. No inspiring stories. Just you being a smokeshow.
    • Thirst traps are sometimes posted to seek attention from friends and followers (they’re a common tactic to get your crush to slide into your DM’s), but they can also be a self-esteem boost made entirely for you. Empower yourself and others by sharing an image online that makes you look and feel good!

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