5 Notorious Instagram Girl Poses Explained

Navigating the world of Instagram is a daunting task, let alone trying to figure out what the heck us ladies are doing in our photos! Before I started taking lots of travel pictures I would just be BAFFLED at these travel Instagram accounts!

Like WHY AM I ONLY SEEING THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD?! Or why are you wearing a dress and a hat on the top of a mountain, I KNOW you had to hike up to that!!

I remember thinking ‘this is dumb’, BUT little did I know these gals had it figured out. These are the essentials to making beautiful wanderlust-y photos.

Here I want to give you the behind the scenes explanation of 5 that I have (sort of) figured out and am totally guilty of!!


1. The Walking Away To Nowhere Shot

This is a BIG one in the Instagram world. You will see us Instagrammers aimlessly strolling along a street, or Riviera or some other picture perfect place. Somewhere that yes we probably did walk but WHY are we being photographed doing it. Well let me tell you!

I’ll start with the no BS reasons why I like to take pictures walking away from the camera:

Firstly, facing away from the camera covers up the fact that it’s probably 150 degrees and I’m sweating a lot.

Secondly, it also covers up the fact that I’m definitely wearing no make up and look like a tired traveling goblin.

Thirdly, it disguises that I probably have a stomach ache and I am in pain. Also if I extend one of my slightly chunky-ish legs it makes it look s’long and lean which works for me! It’s like the magic Photoshop for real life.

Now the more *~artsy~* explanation – Basically, this effortless aka totally planned picture, is supposed to beautifully recreate what we are actually doing which is probably walking down a beach or alleyway but with the intent to transport you there as well!

Showing only the back of my head makes it way easier for random Instagram viewers to imagine themselves exploring a new coastline or shopping in a local market. Its silly and kind of annoying but true!!

2. The Hat *also face turned away* Shot

Basically this kind of picture is the same as the one above but just add a hat to it! Why? Because the hat is the face of the back of the head! It adds interest, it covers up a bad hair day and hats are just cute right?!

3. The Dancing Twirl Shot

This is a classic instagram photo, you know that like dress or skirt which has the, as 7-year-old me would say ‘twirl factor’. Why are we spinning? It makes literally no sense and I actually can’t even explain it to you other than its fun! Twirling is fun, and that ‘funness’ is conveyed by the movement of clothing. But yeah I don’t really get this one but I’m totally guilty of it.

4. The Smiling At Literally Nothing Shot

Okay this one is a go to of mine, and may only be applicable to me, but I’ll explain anyway. A lot of people can pose in a shot and look super moody and mysterious by not smiling but your girl ain’t one of them. If I am not smiling I look a bit constipated and my face just looks puffy, overall not cute. SO that’s why I am smiling, and usually I am genuinely happy to be looking at whatever dumb thing I am looking at. ~*~miles of smiles~*~

Exploring back alleyways of Hanoi, also wishing that this orange Vespa was mine 🤗✨🍊

A post shared by Kelsey | Miles Of Smiles (@milesofsmiles._) on

5. The Scenery With You Being Very Tiny In The Frame Shot

This one is a popular one, and is actually a basic rule of thumb for photographers and hobbyists alike. These type of shots are used mostly to show off a view or something in the background and if you put a person in the frame it instantly creates more intrigue along with showing off what is in the background! It also creates a scale so that the HUGE mountain will actually look huge next to a person.

Every person you will ever meet knows something that you don't, learn from them // Bill Nye ✨💛 ☼ Did you know that Malaysia is predominatly Muslim country? While I was in Kuala Lumpur thought it would be fitting to learn a bit more about its religious culture, so I visited this absolutely ~*stunning*~ Mosque. Up until then I had never been to a Mosque before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect! ☼ I went on a short tour of the building and was amazed by the intricate tiling, and impressive architecture but even more so by the people who were there. They were kind, patient, and knowledgeable. We chatted about religion, art and just life! It was an absolutely amazing experience as a whole and totally what travel is all about – educating yourself! ☼ Tell me about a time you learned something completely new whilst traveling, let's share the knowledge! 🤓❤️

A post shared by Kelsey | Miles Of Smiles (@milesofsmiles._) on


There ya have it, 5 poses that I am guilty of using explained. I hope that this provides on insight and less eye rolls when scrolling through your Instagram feed. Do you have any others that you see or use often? Let me know what they are and why below!


Wondering how I can take all of these photos in different locations? Check out my latest post here which explains how I can travel so much!


Keep smiling (at nothing while twirling and walking away)


xx Kels

An Open Letter To Those Asking: How Can You Travel So Much?

The neighborhood I lived in, in Thailand

Kelsey how do you travel so much?

A question I’ve heard time and time again from friendly strangers on the internet to my own family. It seems though we are enigmas to the world, expat-y 20 somethings living in a foreign country and traveling to as many places as possible, seems to be a concept that is difficult for many to grasp.

It would be easy to assume, that I am simply on one big holiday, a long vacation of beaches, and the wanderlusty adventures that fill your Facebook feed. In reality,  I,  like so many others are travelers (not the douche-y type), we are not on a trip, we are living our life just in another place.

I’ve been wanting to write this for some time, the countless ‘how is this possible?’ or ‘how do you travel?‘ questions I get are starting to pile up. I want to shed some light on my current situation as it is different from so many others who plaster travel photos on social media.

I know most people who see my Instagram or perhaps read my blog must wonder how does she do this?!

One may default to thinking ‘oh she is probably loaded – she probably has money.’ Well I hate to break it to ya, but my savings account barely breaks three digits and the funds have been dwindling for some time so lets just dispel that idea quick!

The second thing people might think is the ol’ maybe she gets money from her blog, or social media sponsorship’s, since that is a thing now. Womp, again this couldn’t be farther from the truth! I have never had a sponsored trip anywhere let alone gear, clothing or treats – although if anyone is offering… hehe.  On a good day my blog may be seen by 100-ish of you, but I’m still convinced its just my mom (hi mom).

You’re probably thinking then, Kelsey what the heck! How have you filled up your passport, lived in two countries and are visiting more all the time. The answer: I have a job! *gasps from the audience* I know it doesn’t seem like it but I am in fact working.

I have been working full time since I moved away from home two years ago. I have taught English in schools and centers in Thailand and Vietnam. This is my main source of income! All travels have been worked around a full time schedule.

Okay okay I can hear you rolling your eyes, thinking ‘sure you have a job – but its not a real job, you don’t work that hard. You drink coconuts on beaches and take pictures.’ And yes this is true, but also, I do work hard, the two things are not mutually exclusive, but I am not here to convince you of that.

Teaching in Asia is HUGE, the amount of people doing this same thing is incredible. There are communities of teachers, expats, and travelers in tons of countries. The amount that you are paid in SE Asia ranges from around 800 – 2,000 USD a month depending on a number of factors! This is way more than enough to live simply and travel lots and lots.

Here in Vietnam I work evenings and weekends but I get two days off and teachers are allotted a month of holiday – hellooo have you packed your bags yet?! The advantages of living in one place and making lots of mini trips is invaluable.

I, along with my boyfriend are able to take small amounts of vacation off at a time in order for us to explore more and more of Vietnam and the surrounding areas. Flights are cheap, countries are close together and all this makes for one hell of an adventure.

As for my Instagram account and blog, I am not a professional photographer, I don’t have tens of thousands of followers (yet – fingers crossed for one day), I’m not paying for likes or followers, hell I didn’t even have a DLSR camera up until a few months ago when my dad gifted me his 11 year old Canon, which due to his meticulous ownership works amazingly! I just want to take beautiful pictures and hopefully you like em’… and me… and this blog #loveme

I simply want to break down the social media veil, the wall of rose colored glass that separates too many of us. What I am doing is far from glamorous – more posts to come on that (i.e. sickness, bug bites, motorbikes, squatty potties, sweat, bug bites, sun burns, bug bites – you get the picture) but it is satisfying, and truly something that you can do to! (not to sound like a motivational speaker but — really!)

For now I am just writing these posts for you, my sweets, whoever is reading! I hope that my stories and tips will help you down the road! One day maybe I’ll make money from this, but for now it’s a creative outlet for me and hopefully a source of inspiration for you!

Keep smiling!