Though celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Kim Kardashian make it look easy, taking the perfect bikini Instagram (or bikinigram) is anything but.
Not only do you have to consider things like lighting (the blinding sun can really blow out a photo) and scenery (no one wants a random family in the background of their bikini shot), but you also have to figure out how to perfect a model-worthy pose and nail an effortlessly cool facial expression.
Trust me when I say: Taking the perfect bikini Instagram is both an art and a science, and it’s pretty damn hard to master.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up on ever taking a stunning swimsuit shot; I’m sure even the Kardashian-Jenner clan didn’t transform into bikinigram pros overnight. We all have dreams, and nailing the bikinigram can be one of yours.
Just remember, practice makes perfect. But how do I practice taking bikinigrams? Well, you take them, of course! Recruit a very patient photographer friend and pose, then pose again, then pose again—keep posing your ass off until you figure out what angles work for you.
If trial and error doesn’t sound super appealing, you can always start with a little research. Myriad celebrities have found a bikinigram formula that works for them, so you can study their Instagrams to see what they’re trying and get a little introductory inspo.
We went ahead and took the liberty of compiling some of our favorite celebrity bikini Instagram shots to get you started. Consider these 23 photographs an intro to perfecting the bikinigram—Bikinigram 101, if you will.
With a little time (and practice), you’ll be producing photos that rival (or even outdo) some of the shots in the slideshow. Happy ‘gramming.
Stretch out in the sand to showcase your surroundings (and your swimsuit).
If a sultry expression feels too awkward and a smile feels too goofy, slide your hand into your hair and look away from the camera. Perfectly curated candidness.
Smile, jump around, laugh—have fun. Don't be afraid to get silly. Sometimes the best photos come out of the funniest moments.
Opt for a close-up instead of a wide-angle shot—especially if your swimsuit's as fun as Demi's.
Don't underestimate the magic of a mirror selfie.
If you're super committed to the shot, lie in the water—legs nonchalantly crossed, arms stretched above you—until your photographer snaps the perfect pic.
If you come across a dog, pose with it. This is non-negotiable.
Throw on a breezy shawl and walk around until you get a candid shot you love.
If your modeling efforts are going awry—or, you know, if you're thirsty—grab a tropical drink to enjoy (and pose with).
If you can't figure out how to pose, try facing your body away from the camera and looking back over your shoulder. It's an easy way to look great without doing a ton.
Find a prop to pose with. Extra points if it matches your bikini.
Can't get your face to cooperate? Hop on an Instagram-worthy pool float and look away from the camera.
If the sun is blinding you, step inside to get showcase your look in a lower-lit area.
Kim and Kourtney Kardashian
Find a friend and get them in on your bikinigram action.
Experiment with funny faces until you end up with a photo that's as cute as it is fun. (Plus, if you go the silly route, your bikinigram is sure to stand out among the more serious swimsuit shots in your feed.)
Cozy up on a lounge chair and cross your fingers someone catches you looking great.
Play around with different angles. Your photographer doesn't always have to shoot you from above—or from far away.
Find some really cool scenery and post up in front of it. An idyllic setting can always carry a shot.
Even something as simple as playing with your hair can turn into a killer photo.
Another non-negotiable: If you're with an adorable small child, recruit them. They'll probably have more fun modeling than you will.
Grab a bannister, point your toes, and stretch your body until you feel like a ballerina. Then, look off in the distance. You'll end up with a dramatic shot that looks surprisingly effortless.
Again, a simple mirror selfie can really do the trick.
Go all out: Assemble a full-on outfit, find a super dynamic setting, and pose like there's no tomorrow.