You’re walking to brunch with pals and stumble upon an awesome mural. You want to take a solo shot for the 'gram, but those typically turn out looking painfully uncomfortable. (Where do I look? What do I do with my hands? Is this actually lame as hell?) But obviously, some women are pros, so we thought, why not learn from them? Here, nine tips we culled from searching the pages of some of the coolest gals on Instagram.

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Play with Your Hair

One of our biggest issues with posing alone is not knowing what to do with our hands. Do we keep them by our sides? In our pockets? What if we don’t have pockets? That’s why it’s best to keep them busy. Pushing back your hair works for two reasons: It keeps one hand occupied and makes it so that your face is unobstructed. 

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Block the Sun

Another way to keep your hands busy is to make like you forgot your sunglasses and cover your eyes with your hand. Since we’ve found ourselves in this position about a million times, it doesn’t look too unnatural or outlandish. Just be sure to look pleasant (not scrunched) with your facial expression beneath.

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Hold Something

This could be a handbag, a coffee or even an ice cream cone. Basically, the point is to avoid looking like you're auditioning to be a guard at Buckingham Palace and make it look like you were caught semi-off guard.

And Find Cool Backgrounds

You don’t have to coordinate with said background (though that’s never a bad thing), but an interesting wall or mural adds an additional wow factor to your shot. The beauty of a patterned or vibrantly colored background is that your followers’ eyes are drawn more to that, letting you off the hook for the perfect pose.

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Frame Yourself at the Bottom of the Pic

When posing in front of a cool background, you could just stand there for a full-body shot. Or, you could artfully frame (or crop) the image so you’re peeking from below. Your followers would actually appreciate the refreshing setup in their feed.

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Go Super Candid

So you’re in a cool room and really want a picture but don’t want a full-on staged portrait. Ask someone to snap your pic while you wander around the space.

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Play with Your Surroundings

In our dreams, all of our solo shots are us walking through a slew of orange trees. If there’s something in your vicinity that can function as a prop, use it. 

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Move Around

Static shots are more likely to look awkward since you’re, you know, just standing there. Take a pic mid-stride or turning away from the camera (or kicking sand on the beach) for a more interesting product.

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Don't Be Afraid to Get Silly

Honestly, the best way to avoid looking awkward is not to feel awkward. Embrace the solo shot and relax. Don’t worry about how you look to everyone else. If you’re genuinely having fun with it, that will show in the end result. Now, let the likes roll in.

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