Posing Techniques

Not everyone is a seasoned fashion magazine or runway model, so here are a few tips to make your poses more professional.

The Basics

These are the standard fashion poses. We commonly see these in magazines, fashion ads, brochures, and online stores. Although hardly groundbreaking, these are classics that can add style and grace to a collection and are expected by many clients. As a good rule of thumb, it's a good idea to knock out a few of these poses before you dive into more intricate poses. I've found that sometimes the simplest pose makes the largest impact.

So what is a basics pose? Standing still with arms hanging, walking in mid stride or squared up with thumbs in the pockets. These poses are usually simple and relaxed. Add some flair by simply having the model try looking directly into the lens, over their shoulder, 45 degrees to the left or right of the camera, or into the key light source.

Have A Seat

We've all seen those pictures of a model sitting in what appears to be a blissful serenity, sipping a cup of tea or seemingly looking fabulous without effort. Most magazines and fashion photos will have the models sitting with excellent posture, but in a natural position. This just means don't have the model with their limbs twisted and contorted to create a unique shot. Keep it basic and add subtle changes, like shifting their hair to one side, have them cross their legs or fix a piece of jewelry with the offside hand. My favorite is to have models (that aren't wearing skirts) take a wide legged stance, lean forward aggressively and rest their elbows on their knees. Know what else makes a great photo? Don't have the model sit in the chair. Have them sit beside it or stand behind it. Kick up one foot or, hell, kick the chair over. Give it a go!

Beauty Poses

Now we're cookin'! These poses are awkward and difficult to master, but capturing them is oh so satisfying and makes your shots supreme. Beauty poses are those shots we see in Maxim Magazine and Sports Illustrated, in which the subject is displaying complete confidence and sassiness. Throw those hips to the side, flip that hair, entice the camera, hold nothing back. These images are based on the details. Whether it's an earring, the hair, the eyes, or what have you, the details are absolutely imperative. A great photographer will make the model comfortable and give suggestions, but the model has to really feel in the moment.

In Motion

Capturing photos of subjects in motion is not an easy task. A slight error can make a phenomenal shot useless. In these moments it is up to the model to do what they do best, perform. Whether it is jumping, flipping, singing, or flying, just be you. Don't worry about us photographers, we will adapt to the movement. Hold nothing back when doing these poses because the photo will show how committed you are. That half-assed karate kick, yep we noticed. That Grand Jeté you slacked on, yep noticed that too. Photos will show your emotion, energy, and the last thing you want it to have to do the same move a dozen times. Last tip, when doing these movements be aware that the face does not appear natural. Try to keep a plain face and eyes open when performing movements. It won't be pleasing to have half your photos ruined because your tongue is hanging out or eyes closed.


Your parents told you "sit up straight!" but you only listened when they were watching. Well, we're telling you not to sit up straight! These are the poses that make models uncomfortable. Not like your friend's creepy relative hitting on you, but rather in terms of how the model positions themselves. There is no science to this, but the idea is to look as UNnatural as possible. Try bending your legs in a weird direction, arch that back.... or don't! Do your worst and make your parents proud.


There's a ton of ways to be creative. You can add props, add lights, and pick an excellent location... but the poses are what make the shot. Some of the best photos are taken at common locations but it is the pose that SELLS the photo. Be confident, be sexy, be you.

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