Model poses: the secrets for a successful photo shoot

We will see together examples of model poses and which techniques to use to enhance the shot. It can be a useful guide for novice photographers or for models who want to know more about the existing types of shots. In fact, if you are a novice fashion photographer eager to get noticed, there is nothing better than a photo shoot with a model to start. And not only because some models, also novices, are willing to pay you for the work of a photo shoot, but also because they will be the ones to spread the photos on social networks or in their workplace. This way your name will circulate and, if you are really good, you will have a return in terms of success and profit.

But for a shooting that works, the model must know how to move . You must be able to find and hold the poses. She must be able to invent modeling poses herself that work and enhance her characteristic features.

This is true for both newcomers and professionals, because sometimes – even if the model is good – it is the photographer who has to direct her to get what she is looking for.

But how do you teach how to make a model pose well during a photo shoot? Let’s see it in the following lines!

How many poses can a model take?

The types of poses that can take models and models in a serious photo shoot are dozens , and each of these poses can be varied by the imagination of the model himself or the photographer. So the possibilities are endless .

Basically, the main modeling poses to consider are about twenty, but the most used are just some of these:

  • Full-length poses: These include the classic pose, hands on hips; standing hands in pockets; standing against the wall; leaning against an object or piece of furniture; moving on the spot; on the way;
  • Posing with American foreground: we mean a semi-full figure, cut at the height of the pelvis. With this pose, the model can also assume a three-quarter, half-three-quarter position back to the camera, very useful for having seductive and winking expressions;
  • Pose in the foreground: that is, when only the face is framed, at most with a portion of the neck. The foreground can be totally frontal – in that case, the eye make-up will play a lot of role, three-quarters with the neck straight. Or again, with the involvement of the hands to make precise gestures or just to create movement, with the involvement of the hair, playing with the tuft, moving the locks, moving them en masse, etc;

Model poses: examples

If you work with a model, therefore with a beautiful woman , some poses work more than others in photo shoots. You need to be aware of what you want and how, to allow your model to take a certain position or not.

Here are the ones most suitable for women in fashion photography, in the following lines.

Pose with your hands on your hips

It’s a full-length stance, which sometimes works with the American first floor as well. The hand on her hip, or both hands on her hips, allow the model to assume a slightly cut pose that emphasizes her waist and therefore makes her appear even more slender and charming. For a woman and a seductive pose that works a lot, in fashion photography.


Laying leaning against objects

The best models will immediately know what pose to take if they have to lean against a wall, the hood of a car, a motorcycle, a piece of furniture. The less experienced can be guided by you photographers, with a lot of imagination.

The body of a woman who leans or stretches on an object takes on a sinuous shape that embellishes even more and makes the shot more effective.

Model against the wall

This is a universal modeling pose, which works full length or even with American close-up.

The wall becomes part of the contrast work and can further emphasize or embellish the clothing the girl is wearing at the time. Imagine, a light wall while she is wearing dark clothes, an old and cracked wall while she is sporting modern and trendy clothes…. and so on.

Featured model

To photograph a woman, the face and especially the make-up are fundamental elements. Whether she is frontal, semi-three-quarter, three-quarter totally, the points to be valued will always be the eyes, the lips or the ears, if she wears particular earrings. In the case of close-ups, allow the model to play with her hands as she wishes: hands under the chin, on the neck as a caress, in the hair, playing with the earrings, playing with the tuft, the sexy effect and engaging and assured.

Model from behind

A beautiful woman also has the opportunity to show a beautiful back, legs or the famous “side B”, ie the lower back. Whether in a bathing suit, dressed up or in a nude shoot, a model with her back to the photographer will always be sexy and intriguing. The good photographer will also be able to play with shadows and backlighting to emphasize the model’s curves.

If the model is in motion

The professional model will know how to move well even on her own. The short stories must be guided according to the photographer’s taste. To photograph a beautiful woman in motion, the choice of pose also depends on what she wears and how she is.

The model can also move on the spot , swaying or rotating a skirt, for example. It can play with a veil or a scarf or with the pockets of any garment.

If you prefer him to walk , or run, make sure he wears clothes that can emphasize that movement. Long skirts, coats or veils are always a great choice. But also a trouser suit can be used to make the model’s walk, towards you or away from you, a lively and seductive shot.

When the model plays with her hair

It seems like a banal pose, but it is instead one of the most creative you can imagine. Especially if the model has long or curly hair, being able to play with them helps her to assume particular positions. She can turn her head by holding a lock high on her head, twist a few curls around her hand as she is turned three-quarters towards the lens. Stimulated by movement it can take on natural expressions that favor the beauty of the photos (arms raised, a raised side, the neck on display …). A model with short hair will have less chance to play, but she will be able to use the tuft on her forehead or to ruffle herself to give a particular tone to the poses.

Standing, with shoulder movement

Among the poses of the standing models, the most famous is that of three quarters, with the classic leg just bent that is so sexy. But if the photographer wants to give the scene further movement, he can ask the girl to create different poses using her arms and shoulders. The shoulder raised while “embracing” itself, one shoulder lower than the other to enhance the breast, the shoulder as a “shield” to break the light or the flash on the surface of the skin itself … and much more.

Walking confidently with his hands in his pockets

The model photographed walking has a standard pose that never fails: wide stride and hands in pockets. She doesn’t have to wear pants, she can also have a full skirt or coat. The movement of the step creates the movement even in the garment she is wearing, and the hands in the pockets help to assume even sexy poses (pelvis forward, underlining of the buttocks while she sways …) and so on.

Sitting with objects

If you want to portray your model sitting on the floor, or on a cushion, don’t just leave her cross-legged. Place an object or an animal next to her to help her assume particular poses. A low chair, a stool, a coffee table … a pouf, other cushions, a kitten … are all elements that can encourage play, which is well suited to sitting. Why not try?

Lying down, many intriguing poses

The reclining model is the ultimate in sensuality. And in those cases it is up to the photographer to draw the line between vulgarity and beauty. A model on her back, arching herself touching her neck, or a model lying on her elbow, next to her, with her legs on display… these are exciting poses that leave little to the imagination.

A very creative pose – shot from above – of the model lying on her back, with her torso and face facing the photographer, but the pelvis rotated. Her legs will thus assume the sexy side position, while the model will always be clearly visible in front of the camera. This pose is suitable for outdoor photos, drone photos, photos that intend to be sensual without being too provocative, open to everyone’s tastes without being excessive. And they lend themselves to various photographic uses.