Photographer & model must work together to achieve effective poses, such as this one from our posing guide. Please allow sufficient time for images to download.
An inexperienced photographer and an untrained model may set out with the best of intentions to capture well-posed images only to discover that their combined inexperience leads to static, uninteresting poses simply because neither one knows what to do next or how to get to where they want to be. It’s not uncommon. Many photographers face it with their first experience photographing a model. It is perhaps the photographer's equivalent of writer’s block, which occurs when an author is faced with a white sheet of paper and doesn’t know what to write on it.
The photographer may have little concept of how to properly direct a model for effective poses that provide variety, enhance the model’s presentation, best show her face and figure, and successfully convey the photographer's message. The model may simply stand there before the camera or perhaps be directed by the photographer to turn sideways or place her hands behind her head, but not much more. If you are inexperienced, it can be difficult knowing how to direct a model, and frustrating for the model who hasn't successfully posed before and expects to be given helpful instructions.
The learning process really begins later, when looking at the images and realizing their short-comings. Both photographer and model may comment that they could have done this or that to improve the pictures, but at the time, they simply blanked out and couldn’t come up with posing ideas.
OUR POSING GUIDE
With this problem in mind, we created a posing guide intended to help both the photographer and his or her model from the start. Comprised of a large number of on-line photographs of a single model in various popular and pleasing poses against a neutral white backdrop, the guide is intended to be a non-intimidating, easy-to-copy source of suggestions for a variety of different poses.
By referring to the smaller thumbnail images, a photographer, a model or both together can select poses that they feel will be suited to the images they would like to produce. Clicking on an individual thumbnail will bring up a larger version that clearly demonstrates all aspects of the pose, and shows smaller details like the positioning of hands and feet, or the turn of the model’s head. In all but a few poses, expressions by the model were intentionally suppressed to ensure mannequin-like neutrality.
Most of the poses in the guide are suitable for a wide range of photography situations, both indoors and outdoors, and in various garments, from full-length dresses to swimwear. Some are specific in that they require a simple prop, like a chair for the model to lean against or sit on. On location, that chair could be replaced by a tree stump, a rock or a bench. In a studio, it could be a small column, a coffee table top or any item of similar height.
Some poses may look similar to others, but when you look closely, you will see subtle differences - sometimes just a turn of a hand or the positioning of an arm or leg. We have attempted to group the poses in accordance with their major similarities to make it easier to evaluate their usefulness for your photography or modeling.
The guide is not intended to cover every possible pose, because the possibilities are endless. It is intended to stimulate creativity, so both photographer and model can use it as a jumping-off point that leads to their own imaginative poses and their own unique images.
WE USE IT OURSELVES
We brought in another model and showed her the images from our posing guide. She chose those she liked and thought would be suitable for her. Then we photographed her in the selected poses in various outfits. The results can be seen here. It worked well. The model was able to pose quickly and easily, in some cases with minor variations, such as a change in head angle or positioning of a hand to make the pose unique.
DOWNLOAD TIME CAN BE LENGTHY
Please be patient when clicking on our posing guide links (below, at the page bottom); there are several images of example poses to download - more than the usual amount that appear on our other pages on this website - and it may take a minute or so. You can also click here if you wish to start at Posing guide #1.
POSING GUIDES YOU CAN PURCHASE
For the quickest access to all of our poses (plus some additional poses for the female model that do not appear on the site), our Posing guides are available on a super-fast CD, which can be purchased here.
That's not all. You can purchase our practical, super helpful book entitled the PhotographyTips.com Guide to Posing the Female Model by clicking here.
Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? You can also buy our comprehensive Poses Professional app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, with 1,378 poses of the female model available for purchase.
POSING GUIDE #2
If you find you can use more pose suggestions, you will find them in our Posing Guide #2. (Just click on the link below.)
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SEND US YOUR POSE SUGGESTIONS
We hope you find the photographytips.com posing guide for female models to be a helpful reference. If you feel we perhaps missed an important pose that would be particularly useful to photographers or models, we invite you to bring it to our attention. Simply send us a photograph that clearly illustrates your pose, along with any commentary you feel is appropriate, so we can bring it to our viewers’ notice. If we use it, we will be sure to credit you with the posing tip and the taking of the photograph.