Posing Tips, From the Neck Down

While some women can seemingly strike a striking pose without much thought, most benefit from at least a little coaching. It’s easy to assume a woman with a size two figure and hour glass shape produces the best poses, but in reality great poses can be taught and anyone can execute them.

Posture and body control can make or break an image. With proper coaching and encouragement the photographer should be able to help the model maximize each pose potential. The following list, while not all inclusive, contains the most common instructions I provide a model during a shoot. Naturally not all of these are required for each shot, but many images require two or more of these considerations. Practice the following in front of a full length mirror and see if you agree with the causal effect of each exercise.

  • Relax your hands: This is usually the first instruction I provide. Tension and nervousness is often manifested in tightly clinched hands. So until the model settles in with the shoot I’ll keep a close eye on them to avoid the clubbed fist look.

Houston, Texas

  • Stomach in: The importance of this should be pretty obvious, but it’s difficult to maintain in every pose and therefore constant diligence is required.

glamour lingerie model

  • Shoulders back/chest out: These are two requests, but executing one usual works in tandem with the other. Doing so lengthens your torso creating longer, more sensual lines. It also has the secondary benefit of pushing your chest outward thus raising your breasts and improving your hour glass shape for side shots. Frontally, shoulders back broadens your chest while also lifting your breasts.

Houston, Texas

  • Arch your back: Arching your back is a close cousin to pulling your shoulders back. Where I typically ask for arched backs without regard to shoulder posture is while the subject is lying on their stomach, or back, or positioned on their hands and knees. As with the image below, this posing request is typical when shooting the model’s side.

glamour lingerie model

  • Arms together: Bringing your arms together does a great job of framing and shaping your breasts as well as creating additional cleavage.

posing from the neck down

  • Raise your arms: Raising your arms is another method for lifting your breasts and/or lengthening your torso.

blonde glamour model at Cullen Sculpture Garden, Houston, Texas

  • Point your toes: As with many of my posing instructions, pointing your toes aids in lengthening the lines of your figure. Your legs will look longer and leaner while doing so.

glamour fashion model

  • Bend your knees/off-set your legs: These two requests often go hand in hand, but can be done separately as well. It’s simpler to show in a photo than describe in words. In the image below you can see that bending one knee more than the other off-sets the legs. It’s also a great illustration for how toe pointing elongates a leg.

glamour swimsuit model

After a multi-hour photo session I can assure you executing these poses will leave you a little sore the next morning. Consider it a secondary benefit to learning how to strike excellent poses.

“I’ve worked with Doug several times on location. He’s crazy about details and is always prepared for the unpredictable nature of outdoor shooting. I love, love, love what we’ve done together. He rocks!”

Sofia Love