Thirst Traps

I feel a “thirst trap” can be more about expressing how sexy you are on your terms, not trying to impress a crush. A lot of celebrities do the occasional thirst trap on their Instagram. Moderation is key; make sure your feed doesn’t look like an “Only Fans.” I actually prefer to do selfies if my makeup looks perfect or I walked out of a salon. It does not have to be provocative to get attention. As a freelance photographer, I dabbled in boudoir photography. I have some tips to keep things creative and fun…..

What exactly is a “thirst trap”?…..

According to Urban Dictionary the formal definition of a thirst trap is: “A sexy photograph or flirty message posted on social media for the intent of causing others to publicly profess their attraction….”

Where do you post a thirst trap?….

Try your best to not post them on your Instagram grid. Nothing wrong with the occasional cute selfie on your personal Instagram, but if every photos is a, “look how hot I am!” pic, it’s a little try-hard. I personally like my thirst traps to be temporary as a story on Snapchat. It’s up to 24 hours, you get the attention, then poof, it’s gone. I feel Snapchat is more of the platform for it, rather than Instagram. However, post where you will get immediate heart and fire emojis, or else what’s the point?

What are your assets?…..

Some of you have long legs or abs that you worked hard to get–bring that to the focus. You don’t have to be nude. It’s actually better to wear lingerie or even a tee-shirt. Again, it doesn’t have to be a full-body shot; it can be a well-crafted selfie.

Full-length mirror….

Speaking of the full-length mirror, it’s the best way to get a full-body shot that you can control. It can help to know what angles are working before you click the button. If you don’t have a full-length mirror, you can use the program “photo booth” on a Mac. It counts down so you can hold the pose.


Shadows and light give the photograph that artsy element. You are not showing all the goods and it’s a way to cover what does not need to be seen. Play around with what lights you have. A bendy desk lamp works great to give that dark noir lighting; turn it black and white for the full effect. You can also buy a “beauty light” that you can hook on your computer to get that smoothing light effect for selfies.

Add a prop….

A prop, such as costume jewelry, a large hat, or opera gloves can add a playful element to the photo, like a throwback Hollywood glamour photo.

Do your hair and makeup…..

There are a million makeup tutorials to watch on YouTube. Get inspired and don’t be afraid of color or glitter. Wear your hair down or even put on a wig.


If you are only focusing on the face, always lie down. For some reason, the camera can distort your face when you are upright.

Filters, filters, filters….

Snapchat has goofy filters and filters that make you look gorgeous. I used to think men would call me out, saying I look fake, but I would say I have received the opposite response. Hot is hot, and at the end of the day men rarely care what it took to get there. So use those filters. Obviously, don’t distort your face where people won’t recognize you, but a simple beauty filter can do wonders.

Don’t try to be sexy for him….

I had a few clients in the boudoir photography days who would throw on a sports jersey or a men’s tie. You can totally do this, but I found it’s a little, “look at me, I’m one of the boys!” It just seemed a little too catered to his interests. However, a large men’s crisp button-down is a classic and always looks great.

Post it, send it to that guy, or show no one…..

Yes, it’s called a “thirst trap,” so I guess you want someone to see it. But hey, you don’t have to show anyone and most importantly, you don’t need validation that you are sexy. You also don’t have to spend hours doing a shoot; it can be a simple selfie that you slap a beauty filter on. But the time and effort spent on a sexy shoot for yourself is all part of the fun.

Bottom Line…..

Thirst traps can be innocent. There should be no pressure to make them sexual. Every once in a while to get a boost, I like to post a Snap if my eyeliner looks perfect that day, or if I just left the salon. Usually when I send out that Snap the boys will be asking me out and it can get the ball rolling for new dates. However, you don’t need Tucker from Tinder to send you a fire emoji to feel sexy. There is a great episode of “Sex and the City” where Samantha gets a nude portrait done of her framed and hung in her home. So yes, show off your sexy self for you, not for some guy or to get more Instagram followers.