It’s a common misconception that naturally beautiful models take naturally beautiful photographs. The truth is—without modeling poses and modeling tips, perfect photographs are harder than you think.
If you are a professional model, a photographer will most likely guide you through a variety of model poses throughout the photo shoot. But if you are an inspiring model and are still working your way up to the top—you may have to control your poses to ensure great headshots and sample modeling photographs.
Live show models, promo models, photographic models, and runway models all rely on professional model poses to succeed. Whether you aspire to appear in print magazines or fashion shows and Hollywood movies; if you want to be a model, pay special attention to this insider guide to modeling poses.
Although sometimes concentration enhances a good photograph, obvious concentration can distract and often ruin a good photograph as well. Do not hold your breath for a modeling pose; always remember to breathe and appear at ease.
Bad posture is an unrecognized flaw in many people. However, for models, posture is a harmful flaw. Always remember to keep your back straight and your shoulders up. Slouching affects the mood of the photograph and enlarges the appearances of your stomach. In addition to your back and shoulders, always remember to flex your stomach muscles. Despite your weight or state of shape, your abdomen will appear more toned if you flex.
Symmetry is officially out in the modeling world. When posing, make sure to differentiate your arms and legs with asymmetrical poses. If you have one arm long and straight by your side, make sure the other arm is bent. Whether a big or small angle, the bend will make the modeling pose look more real, less artificial. Continue the asymmetry to your legs. If one leg is locked straight, give the other leg a casual bend.
Although the camera is the ultimate focal point of a modeling photo shoot, great models do not look directly into the camera. To enhance the quality of your photo shoot, look away from the camera with a mix of head and eye poses. Looking off to the right or left side, or tiling your neck to either side can help you avoid direct eye contact with the camera. In many cases, your head and neck can remain stationary in your modeling pose—and your eyes can do all the work. Head and eye positions, coupled with personable facial expressions make for great model poses.
If you are sitting down during your photo shoot—don’t think it’s ok to slack off. In fact, sitting photo shoots require a lot of extra work. If you are sitting down or reclining, it’s important to put your eight on the back of one thigh, rather than distributing your weight equally on both thighs. If you roll one hip up from the ground or surface, shifting your weight will be simple. This pose results in a slimming effect that you don’t want to miss out on.
To make sure your best assets shine, there are a few basic guidelines to follow. Based on two distinct poses, a forward lean and a backward lean, any model with any breast size can maximize cleavage. When leaning forward, either bring your arms together at your waist, keep your arms straight at the elbows and clasp your hands together below your waist, or simply cross your arms. When leaning backward, raise your arms about your shoulders and head, keep your arms apart, and always slouch for the best cleavage results.
If you have a naturally beautiful smile—show your pearly whites with pride, just not every time. If you smile in each modeling pose, modeling agents will notice your lack of versatility, not your smile. To add variety to your modeling poses, try switching up your smile with a cute frown, a bratty bout, a friendly laugh, or even an edgy scowl. Your facial expressions can make or break your modeling poses. Let your smile show, but make sure to show what else you can do.
In addition to these personalized tips for modeling poses, every model should be aware of the basics of posing. There are 4 main types of model poses: lifestyle pose, movement pose, portrait pose, and body pose.
The lifestyle pose evokes a sense of everyday living with common body movements and facial expressions. Throughout the day, moments of happiness, love, anger, and hope arise. To succeed at the lifestyle pose, each model must be able to recreate these everyday emotions.
The movement pose captures a specific action, such as running or jumping. Because this pose is most often used for a marketing photo shoot—the model is used to promote a product. Each model must be able to smile and laugh when using the products in the photo shoot.
This modeling pose emphasizes the face of the model—and relies purely on facial features. The model will be in modest makeup and relaxed hair and should pose with a casual, genuine smile. Many portrait photographs are close up and emphasize details of the model’s face. If you are scheduled for a portrait photo shoot, make sure to pay extra attention to your skin and drink at least 8-12 glasses of water a day.
Full-length photographs require body poses. Models are encouraged to shift weight between hips and make arms and lengths into asymmetrical stances. Although many body poses do not require specific facial expressions, putting your entire body into character during full-length poses helps your body find a natural balance.
Keep these insider model posing tips in mind during your next professional model photo shoot to ensure you blow the photographer away. Whether you’re a trained expert or an ambitious beginner, all models have the ability to excel in photo shoots. Focus on your posture, attitude, and facial expressions to succeed beyond your wildest expectations.