No matter how skilled you are or how beautiful your model is, it is essential that you know how to pose your model.
Usually, knowing how to pose models and make them confident is the difference between a successful shoot and a mediocre one.
In this article, we will show you amazing model poses that are guaranteed to produce gorgeous images. We’ll take a look at the classic poses from standing and seated poses, right through to special poses and even action poses. So let’s take a look and find the perfect model poses for you.
Standing poses can be tricky to master but follow our guide for flawless results.
1. Model Facing Camera: Wide Legs
Simply stand your model in front of you, facing you, with their feet fairly wide apart. This creates a shape with the model’s body, which takes a basic idea from boring to brilliant.
2. Model Facing Camera: Shot from Below
Keep the same pose as number 1, but crouch down low and shoot from below: this makes your model appear taller and thinner. Ask the model to bring their hands to their collar for more of a fashion shoot feel.
3. Model Facing Camera: Legs Crossed
Keep the basic model pose the same, but ask the model to cross their legs one in front of the other. This can change the mood of the shot by making your subject seem shy or thoughtful. You could also ask them to turn their head away slightly if necessary.
4. Model Facing Camera: The Fake Walk
If you have limited space to work with, a fake walk works well. Keep the same basic facing pose but ask your model to start to take a natural step forward with their front foot, but to freeze as they bring that foot down.
5. Model Facing Camera: The Fake Step
Still facing the camera, you need a staircase for this pose. Ask your model to step down naturally onto the next step, while her other foot remains on the previous step. This is great if the model is wearing a long dress or has long hair, as it captures movement.
6. Model Facing Camera: The Angled Glance
Ask your model to turn their body so it is at a 45-degree angle to the camera. The leg nearest the camera should be slightly bent and their head should face in the opposite direction to their body, slightly turned away. This creates a nice shape in the model’s body.
7. Model Facing Camera: The ‘s’ Shape
Here the model creates a sharp ‘s’ shape with her body. You must get her to lean slightly onto one hip, place the hand from the same side onto the opposite hip, and her other hand on the side of her head. The model should look past the camera.
8. Model Facing Camera: Use Props
Use some props to create a more relaxed look. Fairy lights, hats, scarves to statement big jewelry can add an extra something to your shot.
9. Model Facing Camera: The Twist
Ask your model to join their hands behind their lower back and twist so that one of their shoulders is facing the camera. Their face should also be pointing towards the camera, with a neutral expression.
10. Model Facing Camera: Body Framing
Framing your subject is one of the most simple yet effective model poses to master. You could use a doorway, archway or even the model’s arm and hairstyle to beautifully frame them.
11. Standing: Back to Wall
Ask your model to lean back against a wall and turn her body at a 45-degree angle to face you. Direct her chin towards the camera and to use her arms to frame her face.
12. Standing: Shoulder to Wall
To create a more relaxed leaning pose, the model can lean against the wall using only their shoulder, facing you, with their hands in their pockets. This is one of the best model pose for headshots.
13. Standing: Arm on Wall
This is similar to the last pose but uses the model’s arm instead of their shoulder. The model leans on the wall using one arm or hand for support, looking down or towards the camera.
14. Standing: Face the Wall
To give images a more intimate feel, ask your model to face and lean forwards onto a wall, but to direct their face towards the camera.
15. Standing: Looking Back over Shoulder
Ask your model to face a 45-degree angle away from you, but ask her to look back at you over her shoulder. This adds sultry depth to any shot.
16. Standing: Sideways Glance
Ask your model to stand sideways and gently hug herself using one or both arms. Then ask her to look at the camera with her head tilted slightly backwards, creating a soft ‘s’ shape with her body.
You don’t always have to have your model stand to get a good shot. Seated poses can be just as effective; let’s take a look.
17. Sitting: Facing Camera
Start your seated poses with the model facing the camera and her knees tucked into her body. The position of her knees allows her to lean on them to frame her face. Raise her chin towards the camera to create a slimmer look.
18. Sitting: Facing Camera on Chair
Add a bit of edge to the previous pose by asking your model to sit on a chair. Move around the model’s limbs to create sharp angles.
19. Sitting: Facing Camera with Chair and Table
Add a table into the mix and get your model to exaggerate angles with her body. Get her to sit and lean onto a table to create a ‘slash’ shape.
20. Sitting: Facing, Hide Half the Face
Use wardrobe in the shoot. If you have a large scarf, poncho, or a jacket with a big collar, ask your model to hide half her face with it, then look towards the camera.
21. Sitting Sideways: Profile Twist
For a classic profile shot, ask your model to sit sideways to you, then twist her torso towards the camera. She can face you or face to the side.
22. Sitting Sideways: Profile Shot with Chair Backwards
Mix up the profile shot by positioning the chair with its back towards the camera. Ask your model to sit sideways on the chair, using one arm as a frame around her face, while the other hangs down.
23. Sitting Sideways: Leaning Down
If you want to capture great clothing shots without the model standing, ask your model to sit sideways and simply lean down to touch one shoe.
24. Sitting Sideways: Fetal Position
A variation of the last pose is to ask your model to sit sideways but upright, and then hug her knees into her chest.
25. Sitting Sideways: With Chair
If you have a chair with armrests, ask your model to sit sideways to you on the armrest.
26. Sitting: Angled Look
Ask your model to sit on the floor at a 45-degree angle away from you. Her feet should be facing away from the camera. Ask her to look back at the camera over her shoulder, with her hand resting in her hair.
Special Model Poses
Now we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get creative. Let’s bust out those special model poses that guarantee eye-catching results.
27. Stand on Tiptoes
Depending on what type of shoes your model is wearing, ask them to hop onto their toes, while you capture the shot using fast shutter speed.
28. Stand on Half Tiptoes
An alternative to the full tiptoes shot is to ask your model to only tiptoe using one foot.
29. Add Make-Up & Hair
Hire a make-up artist to give your model a make-over, including hair and make-up. Make sure that everything is perfect and in frame before you take the shot.
30. Include Tattoos
If your model has prominent tattoos, make a feature of them. Remember that every tattoo tells a story, so make sure that you capture them clearly using the correct lighting and angles.
31. Use Natural Laughter
Humour is worth its weight in gold if you can capture your model laughing naturally. To obtain a natural laugh, make some jokes (especially about yourself).
32. Fetal Position on Chair
Use a chair and ask your model to pull her legs into her chest for a seated fetal look. You can then use a prop to occupy the model’s hands.
33. Seated: Wide Legs
This is a combination of a couple of the earlier standing and seated poses. If your model is wearing a pair of trousers, sit them on a chair with their feet placed wide apart. This pose can add some attitude to an image.
34. Goof Around
Encourage some goofiness from your model; ask them to pull funny faces or play with her hair.
35. The Crouch
A great way to capture a model’s outfit is to use the crouch model pose. Get them to crouch close the floor, they can face the camera or be at an angle.
36. Play with Positions
Play with positioning the model in different poses to vary your shots. Place the model’s arms and/or legs at quirky angles to see what works. Allow time to experiment and see what happens.
37. Use Barriers
Place your model behind a fence, window or prop, to add a new dimension to an otherwise mundane shot.
Action Model Poses
Finally, we have action poses. Time to add a little fun to the photo session. Let’s take a look at just how creative you can be.
38. Dare to Dance
If your model can dance, be that classical or hip hop, get them to show you some moves. Capture their talent with fast shutter speed.
39. Jump to It
If your model is not keen to dance, ask them to jump instead. This will be a fun way to wind down the session.
40. The Throw
Ask your model to smile and then throw her hat or scarf at the camera and capture this movement.
A Final Note
Always be mindful of body types and outfits; make sure the clothing and poses suit your model. If your model is not comfortable with a pose, move on to another one.
Which is your favorite model pose? Have we missed any out? Leave a comment below.
Other Posing Guides
Download FREE Photography Lighting Cheat Sheet
Subscribe and get a free downloadable photography lighting cheat sheet