Some specific model poses characterize each photography genre and it is very important to choose an appropriate one. However, the typical feature of all fashion poses is that they are full of confidence and self-assurance.
Even if you already know some beneficial poses that always look great in the frame, remember that there is always place for improvement. Continue practicing and find more successful modeling poses for female and male models.
50 Best Model Poses from Top Models
Who should know the model poses? I may confidently say that both the shooter and the model should be aware of beneficial model posing since the success of the shooting fully depends on them.
Different poses in the same circumstances look completely different. Therefore, the pose may contribute to the successful shooting as well as spoil it. I will tell you about the most favorable model poses.
1. Hands on Hips
If your hands are on the hips, your waist seems thinner. Moreover, circles formed by the arms mix with the background creating a slimming effect. This is one of my favorite fashion poses since the model looks powerful and superior.
Experiment with bodyweight distribution. For example, let one leg have more weight and then switch the legs.
2. Full Frontal Face (Close-Up)
Perhaps, some of you will say that we are not talking of model posing when it comes to close-up portraits. But it is not so, actually. Here, the eyes are primarily engaged in posing.
Every photographer knows that it is impossible to get a great portrait if you see a dead look in the frame. Only if you have thoughts in your eyes, the picture will be successful.
3. Being Near the Wall
I believe that the wall is a universal background for any kind of shooting and a great surface to pose. You may lean up against it or balance on the wall.
Do everything you like experimenting with various fashion poses. Moreover, it is the best prop to work with for beginner models.
4. Leaning on Something
Remember that the shooter’s position also influences the model’s behavior in the frame. For example, if you sit or lean against her, she changes her focal points and that is, of course, seen in the frame.
In such a way, the shots become easy and natural. If the model is constantly focused on one thing, it will spoil the shot. Therefore, it’s better when she sees various things and has thoughts behind her eyes.
5. Twirling Hair
If you have beautiful long hair, you should really show it in motion. It is one of the most favorable female model poses.
You should quickly turn your head to make the hair swirl. The photographer may experiment with the exposure to get sharp or, on the contrary, blurred shots highlighting the motion of hair.
6. Straighting Neck
Remember that in any picture you should try to straighten your neck up ‒ it will visually make it longer. Also, you should lower the shoulders. It is a great fashion model pose that makes the shot graceful and liberated.
7. Shooting in Movement
Female model posing often presupposes movement. Such shots require much time and great efforts both from the shooter and the model.
You may get the perfect shot in one button press or work for hours to receive a desired image.
8. Facial Play
Engage all parts of yours. You may raise an eyebrow or part your lips slightly. Change the position of your shoulders.
Experiment with facial expressions. However, faces are not symmetrical, so it’s better to determine your favorable face positions and use them while shooting.
9. Relaxed Hands and Legs
Don’t create some special hand poses all the time. You may just leave them in their natural position when they are free and relaxed. The same is true concerning legs.
But mind that if the model is standing, she should distribute her body weight to one leg.
10. Using Hands
Don’t forget about female model poses involving hands. For example, you may use your hand to shape the face.
Touch the forehead or the chin. It will look great in the frame. The simpler the gesture ‒ the better the shot. I recommend these modeling poses for beginners since they create the neutral look maintaining originality.
11. Look Beyond the Camera
It is a popular model pose among both professional models and ordinary girls. The thing is that you are not supposed to look into the camera while shooting.
Forget about it! Look away, turn your head, in other words ‒ pose as if you were captured accidentally.
12. Working With The Shoulder
If you glance over your shoulder while shooting, the photographer will see that you know a great deal about female model posing. However, one should remember some details using this pose.
First of all, mind the lighting since shadows may spoil the picture. Moreover, don’t focus on your nose. Try to raise the hand furthest from the camera to rest on your shoulder.
13. Straight On with No Props
Bend one knee and lean one leg over the other to create an “S” shape. If it is too difficult, you can cross your one leg over another. In such a way, you will create a sleek shape.
Mind that there should be some space between the arms and the body for light to move. It will focus the viewer on your waist.
14. Almost Sideways
This supermodel pose presupposes standing position when the model is not looking into the camera.
In such a way, photographer may take full-length and close-up pictures. In order to show you in the best light, you can bend the knee nearest to the camera. The weight is shifted and the image depicts only the best body shapes.
15. Totally Sideways
You may also create a picture when you are peeping over your shoulder at photographer. The shot will be intimate and extraordinary.
16. Standing Back to Camera
Standing back positions are rather popular female model poses. Such pictures have new emotional coloring impressing the viewer with its originality. If it is a full-length shot, mind the position of the legs.
The leg nearer to the camera should be slightly bent to shift the weight away. The hands may be on the hips or anywhere you like. Experiment with poses but control the light since it must freely flow around you.
17. Standing Without Support
No matter where you use it ‒ in the studio or in the open air, it is a universal model pose. Bend one leg in the knee, place your arms and allow the light to move freely.
18. Crossed Arms
It is a commonly shared view that crossed arms and legs create a psychological barrier between the people. That is why this model pose is not highly recommended. But why don’t you try and see what results it will bring?
19. Arms Behind Back
It is one of the most unusual and interesting modeling poses. The image will be open and sincere. You may lean against the wall and look directly at the camera.
20. Facing the Wall
It is a great model pose if you need a close-up involving arms and a face. You may lean on the wall with your head and rest on your hands. Besides, if the wall allows, you may sit on it and look away from the camera. Experiment with the wall and you will get great results.
21. Standing Near Chair
Modeling poses make wonders but don’t forget about good old props. They are a source of original creative photo ideas opening new opportunities.
For example, you may use a chair. You can lean on it, rest your foot or hand on it, or even twirl the chair on the leg creating great movement pics.
22. Keeping Your Poses Moving and Alive
You want to change something every three seconds. Move your hand, slightly change the pose, change the expression on your face.
A good model, with many years of practice, will correctly make these variations in poses.
23. Standing with Accessories
Hats, scarves, sunglasses, handbags, etc. are also great props for shooting. Experiment with accessories and have some fun! Sometimes you don’t even know what opportunities props may offer.
24. Hands in Pockets
If you want to show confidence, place your hands into the pockets. Put the whole hand or show some fingers ‒ feel free to play with this fashion model pose.
Actually, the position of your fingers expresses different emotions so don’t fail to depict it. As for me, it is a universal pose to show self-assurance and it looks really cool in the frame.
25. Full Frontal
The shoulders should be squared to the camera. Make your hands do something. For example, hook the thumbs in the belt loops.
Turn your head and touch the hair with the other hand. You may also put it on the shoulder.
26. The Profile
This is an interesting perspective that can give you unexpected shapes. Try moving around, placing your weight off-center, seeing what such modeling poses result in.
See how the position of your limbs looks like on camera since its lens can cause distortions, making your limbs look shorter. Avoid pressing the limbs to yourself and they will look thinner and smoother.
27. The Three-Quarter
Three-quarter is one of the standard model poses that looks great and is widely used. You will have to stand so that one leg goes behind the other, the side of your hips is facing the lens.
Then you twist the upper body to have everything above the waist facing the camera. You can start the photoshoot with it and then do various slow transitions.
28. Hands in Camera
There are two ways to do this model pose, serving different purposes. One is to focus on the face on the background while the hands are stretched towards the lens.
The other is just the opposite, with the focus set on the palms.
29. One Leg Up
If you’re willing to try some less common model poses, then lean against something and lift one leg. Same can be done while sitting, too, so just play around.
In fashion photography, one of the most requested is strolling, but this is also the one that requires some practice.
Some models might have a very tense gait, others might be too sloppy. It depends on the person and there is beauty in all such variations.
31. Covering Face With Hand
Appropriate for both male and female model poses, a hand touching the face can accentuate and enforce the emotion in the photo. Use it to express something that can’t be shown with facial features alone.
Create unique and enchanting looks by covering your face in different places with the palm or fingers. Essentially, hands can be applied as a ready-to-use prop, emphasizing the face or image idea.
32. Draped with Fabric
It is a feminine and graceful pose. When the model poses for photo shoots in the style of glamor and nude, do not exclude the use of props.
Sometimes a stretch of fabric can serve as an excellent complement to the frame, mysteriously covering the naked body of your subject.
33. Walking Towards or to the Side of the Camera
A common and recognizable fashion model pose is walking, with feet aligned. This pose looks better in photos when slightly exaggerated. The gaze may be directed towards the camera or away from it.
When water is in the frame, it looks great to have the model wander in the shallow area and disturb the surface with each step.
34. Walking Away from the Camera
A similar type of model poses involves walking, but moving further from the photographer. You can glance over the shoulder, setting your hair or clothing in motion, which looks playful and lively in photos.
35. The Lean-Forward
There are variations of model poses that convey different characters to the viewer. Setting knees together and spreading the ankles, with the torso fully bending over the legs and arms encircling them will be read as misery and defeat to the viewers.
When knees and ankles are set the opposite way and the elbows are rested on the lap, with a sneering face expression, the model will radiate strong character and assurance.
36. The Lean-Back
Yet another pose to be interpreted in multiple ways, all giving a different air to your picture. If you are sprawled on the sofa, one leg over the armrest and another extended to the floor, your head sinking back, it can look playful or sexy.
Set yourself with both legs over the armrest, leaning back with a blank face and you will be perceived as haughty, cold.
Yet, pulling legs closer in the same position and hugging them will make you look more innocent and flirty.
37. The Floorwork
If you’re out of portrait photoshoot ideas, you can take a chair but not for just boring sitting on it. You should sit on the floor beside and lean on the chair, or with legs spread on the floor but arms lying on the seat. The angle is crucial in this case.
38. Sitting Cross-Legged
Another one of modeling poses for beginners: you are sitting with your legs crossed. It should be noted that the legs do not always need to be included in the frame, depending on the type of your body.
39. Sitting on/near the Water
This is a classic of the beach photo shoot genre. For successful use of such modeling poses female body has to be in good shape, otherwise, all the flaws will be emphasized.
40. From a Height
A very favorable position for setting the emphasis on the model’s eyes. Arranging the models posing in a particular way, the photographer can play with shadows and sunbeams on the skin in clear weather.
41. Sitting on the Knees
You should sit on the knees, but not lean too much on the feet. The gaze is directed over the shoulder.
42. Sitting with a Cup of Coffee/Tea
The pose is perfect if you are sitting on the bed or in an armchair. For adding a certain thematic depth, you should hold a cup of coffee in your hands.
43. Laying on the Side
With such female model posing, you can really emphasize the curves, especially if you bring the top leg forward and bend it slightly.
A hand can prop the head, barely touching the jawline. Or the arms can frame the body, as long as you keep them soft and relaxed. Pay attention to how the clothes wrap the body.
44. Laying on the Back
The lying down model poses are common and easily variable, only requiring you to make sure the angle doesn’t create a double chin. As usual in such poses, you should arrange your hair and clothing neatly and look straight or to the side.
45. Lying from the Front Point
To step away from a boring portrait, you can shift things down and ask your photographer to use a frontal perspective. It looks nice with the blurred background and brings additional attention to the eyes.
46. Lying with Legs Up
With such model poses female legs look elongated and slenderer in the image. It is preferable to have the subject look into the lens for more expressiveness of the shot.
47. Caving in the Back
The pose has been gaining popularity in photography for a while. In these poses model can emphasize the flexibility and beauty of your figure.
The surface doesn’t necessarily have to be the floor, other interesting variations, like a windowsill, can be found.
48. Lying In The Milk Bath
A bathroom is one of unusual locations and filling it with milk opens endless shooting possibilities. The effect can be reinforced by flowers or pieces of fruit set swimming in it.
49. Lying on the Stomach
Whatever your location, including a shot or two in this position is not a bad idea. When a model poses on your belly, lifting your feet in the air, it plays nice tricks to the figure, especially with a side angle.
This pose can also be very sensual and feminine without exposing too much.
50. Entrust Image Retouching to Professionals
A crucial component of model photography is post-production and many photographers or even models prefer outsourcing this tedious work. It ensures that the photos are done in the shortest terms with the highest quality maintained.
Good photo retouching service providers can even maintain your personal style.
FREEBIES for Editing Model Photos
Here are some free filters in case you want to make improvements to the model portraits on your own.
Free Lightroom Preset Portrait "Contrast"
This incredible simple preset does a wonderful job on studio portraits, setting the white balance and lighting to add a clean look to the shot. Plus, the skin tones look more appealing.
Free Lightroom Preset Portrait "Vintage"
The earlier photos are known for their style. If you want to replicate it, then this preset is what you need.
Get a dramatic yet elegant picture looking as if shot on film.
Photoshop Action Color "Creative"
For a more modern air, add brightness and cool the colors with this eye-catching action. Looks stunning in images with many color pops.
Fashion Photoshop Action "Glow"
The renowned Polaroid shots can be imitated by this action. It tunes down brightness and saturation, softens the shot altogether. The action is applicable to lifestyle, wedding and editorial images, producing equally good results.
Bokeh Overlay Light Free "Gold"
If the image looks too dark, use this overlay to brighten it and add warm bokeh, creating a heartfelt atmosphere.