No matter how skilled you are or how beautiful your model is, it is essential that you know how to pose your model.

Usually, knowing how to pose models and make them confident is the difference between a successful shoot and a mediocre one.

In this article, we will show you amazing model poses that are guaranteed to produce gorgeous images. We’ll take a look at the classic poses from standing and seated poses, right through to special poses and even action poses. So let’s take a look and find the perfect model poses for you.

Standing Poses

Standing poses can be tricky to master but follow our guide for flawless results.

1. Model Facing Camera: Wide Legs

Simply stand your model in front of you, facing you, with their feet fairly wide apart. This creates a shape with the model’s body, which takes a basic idea from boring to brilliant.

A model stands on a road holding an umbrella
The wide legs pose is simple but effective. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

2. Model Facing Camera: Shot from Below

Keep the same pose as number 1, but crouch down low and shoot from below: this makes your model appear taller and thinner. Ask the model to bring their hands to their collar for more of a fashion shoot feel.

A model in yellow faces the camera with her hands holding her collar
Shooting from below will make your subject look taller and thinner. Photo by Dom Hill on Unsplash.

3. Model Facing Camera: Legs Crossed

Keep the basic model pose the same, but ask the model to cross their legs one in front of the other. This can change the mood of the shot by making your subject seem shy or thoughtful. You could also ask them to turn their head away slightly if necessary.

A model stood in a pink coat underneath some arches
Crossing the legs can make your subject seem thoughtful. Photo by on Unsplash.

4. Model Facing Camera: The Fake Walk

If you have limited space to work with, a fake walk works well. Keep the same basic facing pose but ask your model to start to take a natural step forward with their front foot, but to freeze as they bring that foot down.

A model in a blue top and skirt walking down a road
The fake walk pose works well if you’re short on space. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

5. Model Facing Camera: The Fake Step

Still facing the camera, you need a staircase for this pose. Ask your model to step down naturally onto the next step, while her other foot remains on the previous step. This is great if the model is wearing a long dress or has long hair, as it captures movement.

A model in a red dress and sunglasses walks down some steps
The fake step can add movement to clothes and hair. Photo by Melody Jacob on Unsplash.

6. Model Facing Camera: The Angled Glance

Ask your model to turn their body so it is at a 45-degree angle to the camera. The leg nearest the camera should be slightly bent and their head should face in the opposite direction to their body, slightly turned away. This creates a nice shape in the model’s body.

A model in a red dress is reflected in a mirror, framed by a window in a door
Learn to create a nice shape with the model’s body. Photo by Ben Scott on Unsplash.

7. Model Facing Camera: The ‘s’ Shape

Here the model creates a sharp ‘s’ shape with her body. You must get her to lean slightly onto one hip, place the hand from the same side onto the opposite hip, and her other hand on the side of her head. The model should look past the camera.

A black and white photo of a model with her hand on her head
Sharp angles create a magazine layout feel. |Photo by Irina Gromovataya from Pixabay

8. Model Facing Camera: Use Props

Use some props to create a more relaxed look. Fairy lights, hats, scarves to statement big jewelry can add an extra something to your shot.

A model stands in the woods holding a string of tiny lights
Fairy lights are a simple and affordable prop. Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash.

9. Model Facing Camera: The Twist

Ask your model to join their hands behind their lower back and twist so that one of their shoulders is facing the camera. Their face should also be pointing towards the camera, with a neutral expression.

A model in a red dress and blue headdress facing the camera
Mastering the twist pose can be tricky. Photo by Carlos Vaz on Unsplash.

10. Model Facing Camera: Body Framing

Framing your subject is one of the most simple yet effective model poses to master. You could use a doorway, archway or even the model’s arm and hairstyle to beautifully frame them.

A model in a pale blue jumper
Allow the background to compliment your image. Photo by Fezbot2000 on Unsplash.

11. Standing: Back to Wall

Ask your model to lean back against a wall and turn her body at a 45-degree angle to face you. Direct her chin towards the camera and to use her arms to frame her face.

A model in a burgundy dress stands with her back to a wall
Be aware of the background. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

12. Standing: Shoulder to Wall

To create a more relaxed leaning pose, the model can lean against the wall using only their shoulder, facing you, with their hands in their pockets. This is one of the best model pose for headshots.

A model faces the camera, leaning her shoulder against an orange wall
The shoulder to wall shot is a great pose for headshots. Photo by Bruce Dixon on Unsplash.

13. Standing: Arm on Wall

This is similar to the last pose but uses the model’s arm instead of their shoulder. The model leans on the wall using one arm or hand for support, looking down or towards the camera.

A model leans against a wall using her arm with a backlight behind her
Add in a backlight to create more interest to the arm on wall pose. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

14. Standing: Face the Wall

To give images a more intimate feel, ask your model to face and lean forwards onto a wall, but to direct their face towards the camera.

A model  leans against and faces a wall
The face the wall pose can give photos a more intimate feel. Photo by Mehrdad Haghighi on Unsplash.

15. Standing: Looking Back over Shoulder

Ask your model to face a 45-degree angle away from you, but ask her to look back at you over her shoulder. This adds sultry depth to any shot.

A woman in a long white dress looks back over her shoulder at the camera
The look back over the shoulder can add sultry depth to an image. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

16. Standing: Sideways Glance

Ask your model to stand sideways and gently hug herself using one or both arms. Then ask her to look at the camera with her head tilted slightly backwards, creating a soft ‘s’ shape with her body.

A black and white image of a woman standing in a field looking back over her shoulder
Create a soft ‘s’ body shape with the sideways glance pose. Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash.

Seated Poses

You don’t always have to have your model stand to get a good shot. Seated poses can be just as effective; let’s take a look.

17. Sitting: Facing Camera

Start your seated poses with the model facing the camera and her knees tucked into her body. The position of her knees allows her to lean on them to frame her face. Raise her chin towards the camera to create a slimmer look.

A woman sat in front of a yellow wall and a white door
Use the model’s knees to allow her to lean on them and frame her face. Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

18. Sitting: Facing Camera on Chair

Add a bit of edge to the previous pose by asking your model to sit on a chair. Move around the model’s limbs to create sharp angles.

A black and white image off a woman in a bid jumper sat on a chair
Using a chair and posing limbs can add edge to an image. Photo by Irina Gromovataya from Pixabay.

19. Sitting: Facing Camera with Chair and Table

Add a table into the mix and get your model to exaggerate angles with her body. Get her to sit and lean onto a table to create a ‘slash’ shape.

A woman in a beret and sunglasses sits on balcony chairs, resting her chin on her hands on a table
Use a table to add sharp angles to your model’s pose. Photo by Violette Zhou on Unsplash.

20. Sitting: Facing, Hide Half the Face

Use wardrobe in the shoot. If you have a large scarf, poncho, or a jacket with a big collar, ask your model to hide half her face with it, then look towards the camera.

A woman faces the camera but half hides her face with a large scarf
Ask the model to hide half of her face to add mystery. Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

21. Sitting Sideways: Profile Twist

For a classic profile shot, ask your model to sit sideways to you, then twist her torso towards the camera. She can face you or face to the side.

A woman in a long purple dress sits in front of a purple background
A relaxed profile twist works best. Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash.

22. Sitting Sideways: Profile Shot with Chair Backwards

Mix up the profile shot by positioning the chair with its back towards the camera. Ask your model to sit sideways on the chair, using one arm as a frame around her face, while the other hangs down.

A black and white image of a woman in a black jumper, sat on a chair, leaning back
Be creative with the position of your chair. Photo by Yuliya Kosolapova on Unsplash.

23. Sitting Sideways: Leaning Down

If you want to capture great clothing shots without the model standing, ask your model to sit sideways and simply lean down to touch one shoe.

A woman in a pink dress sits sideways while leaning down
The leaning down seated pose is a great way to showcase clothing. Photo by Bernadette V from Pixabay.

24. Sitting Sideways: Fetal Position

A variation of the last pose is to ask your model to sit sideways but upright, and then hug her knees into her chest.

A woman wearing a white dress sits on the ground under a tree
 Use hands as a natural frame for the face. Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash.

25. Sitting Sideways: With Chair

If you have a chair with armrests, ask your model to sit sideways to you on the armrest.

A woman sat sideways on a chair arm in front of a red backdrop
If your chair has an armrest, use it in model poses. Photo by Ksenia Varapaeva on Unsplash.

26. Sitting: Angled Look

Ask your model to sit on the floor at a 45-degree angle away from you. Her feet should be facing away from the camera. Ask her to look back at the camera over her shoulder, with her hand resting in her hair.

A woman sits on the floor with her arm resting on her knees
Ask the model to sit facing away from you and look back over her shoulder for the angled look. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

Special Model Poses

Now we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get creative. Let’s bust out those special model poses that guarantee eye-catching results.

27. Stand on Tiptoes

Depending on what type of shoes your model is wearing, ask them to hop onto their toes, while you capture the shot using fast shutter speed.

A man in a hoodie stands on his tiptoes in front of a white background
 Get your model to stand on their toes, depending on the type of shoes they are wearing. Photo by Patricia Palma on Unsplash.

28. Stand on Half Tiptoes

An alternative to the full tiptoes shot is to ask your model to only tiptoe using one foot.

A man wearing a hat stands on half tiptoes in front of a red door
Standing one tiptoe creates interesting angles. Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

29. Add Make-Up & Hair

Hire a make-up artist to give your model a make-over, including hair and make-up. Make sure that everything is perfect and in frame before you take the shot.

A woman looks up at the camera wearing beautiful make-up
Perfect hair and make-up can add so much to an image. Photo by M Jurcevic from Pixabay.

30. Include Tattoos

If your model has prominent tattoos, make a feature of them. Remember that every tattoo tells a story, so make sure that you capture them clearly using the correct lighting and angles.

A woman with tattoo sleeves on her arms
Focus on your model’s tattoos, if they have prominent ones. Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

31. Use Natural Laughter

Humour is worth its weight in gold if you can capture your model laughing naturally. To obtain a natural laugh, make some jokes (especially about yourself).

A laughing man in a white T-shirt sits in front of some steps
Crack some jokes to make your model laugh. Photo by Jennifer Venter.

32. Fetal Position on Chair

Use a chair and ask your model to pull her legs into her chest for a seated fetal look. You can then use a prop to occupy the model’s hands.

A woman sits in a fatal position on a chair while holding a drink
Use a prop to occupy the model’s hands. Photo by Aigdy Aukkaraya on Unsplash.

33. Seated: Wide Legs

This is a combination of a couple of the earlier standing and seated poses. If your model is wearing a pair of trousers, sit them on a chair with their feet placed wide apart. This pose can add some attitude to an image.

A woman sits on a chair with her feet wide apart
The seated wide legs pose adds attitude to images. Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash.

34. Goof Around

Encourage some goofiness from your model; ask them to pull funny faces or play with her hair.

A woman with braids pulls a funny face for the camera
Encourage some silliness for funny shots. Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash.

35. The Crouch

A great way to capture a model’s outfit is to use the crouch model pose. Get them to crouch close the floor, they can face the camera or be at an angle.

A woman in a woolly hat and scarf crouches over a puddle
Capture outfits and shoes in a new way. | Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash

36. Play with Positions

A woman in a green and white dress stands on a rooftop
Experiment with how your model is stood. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash.

Play with positioning the model in different poses to vary your shots. Place the model’s arms and/or legs at quirky angles to see what works. Allow time to experiment and see what happens.

37. Use Barriers

Place your model behind a fence, window or prop, to add a new dimension to an otherwise mundane shot.

A woman stands behind a wire fence
Be creative with fences, windows, and props. Photo by David Hurley on Unsplash.

Action Model Poses

Finally, we have action poses. Time to add a little fun to the photo session. Let’s take a look at just how creative you can be.

38. Dare to Dance

If your model can dance, be that classical or hip hop, get them to show you some moves. Capture their talent with fast shutter speed.

A woman dances, framed by fountains
Ask your model to dance. Photo by JoelValve on Unsplash.

39. Jump to It

If your model is not keen to dance, ask them to jump instead. This will be a fun way to wind down the session.

A woman in a denim jacket and glasses jumps in the air
Ask your model to jump to wind down a session. Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash.

40. The Throw

Ask your model to smile and then throw her hat or scarf at the camera and capture this movement.

A woman throws a white hat at the camera
Capture a smile to end off the shoot. Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash.

A Final Note

Always be mindful of body types and outfits; make sure the clothing and poses suit your model. If your model is not comfortable with a pose, move on to another one.