How To Pose Models: Tips For Working With Fashion Models
Updated: Mar 23
Meeting new people is hard enough, let alone having to photograph and pose them- I understand. Even for the most confident people, it can be difficult learning how to pose models, so I made this handy list of my favourite tips for anyone who is struggling or looking to up their game!
Positive Reinforcement Gets Great Poses For Photos
Whilst photographing your model it is so important to give them positive feedback throughout. Even if you notice that the images you're taking aren't turning out as you had planned, still give them positive words! No model wants to hear the pictures aren't looking great because they will instantly feel like it's their fault.
This tip is especially important when you are working with new models who may be nervous to start with; saying nice things will make them feel more confident and will guarantee great images!
Show The Model The Good Images
To add to the last point, if you take a great picture, show the model! It's so important to show them the good work that they are doing and to-again- praise them for it. They will get an idea of how they are looking and will know what to carry on doing throughout the shoot.
Play Music Whilst Photographing Your Model Posing
If you haven't worked with the model before, there's a chance things may be awkward or nerve wracking at the start. This is completely normal if you are a beginner. If the model is feeling this way, the likelihood of getting good pictures is low, so putting on some music is always helpful!
Ask them what their favourite song is at that moment or what albums they like- put those on. The model is then likely to start feeling more relaxed and will start to loosen up and have more fun.. trust me, it works!
Direct, Not Pose
This is so important. Do not try and move your models arms, legs or face around to give them the pose that you want. This will look forced and un natural. Instead, tell them what you want them to do and they will do this naturally for you in a way that they feel comfortable doing.
Another vital thing is to communicate with them, they can't read your mind whilst you're looking through your viewfinder. Tell them you want them to bring their shoulders back. Tell them to lower their chin.
Or tell them specific emotions you want them to embody. They won't know what style you're going for unless you communicate with them with specific language. Once you do this, you will save so much time because if you don't do this you will waste so much time demonstrating poses or trying to instruct them- so just be clear!
Ask Before Touching
This is common sense, but ask before touching your model. Even if it's just to move the models hair out of their face for example, ask them before you do it. Even better, ask them to do it themselves. You don't want to make your model feel uncomfortable.
Shoot Their Favourite Side
Try asking your model what their favourite side is. You'll notice that a lot of girls and guys take selfies of only one side of their face, so ask them what side that is! You are then more likely to get better posed images this way... not to mention the model will probably love them even more!
Tell Them Your Best (Worst) Jokes
I found that if I wanted a natural smile from someone it is best to never ask for it. You will have to pull out all of the stops to make it happen instead. Tell your model stupid jokes or stories and wait for their laughter... always be ready to take the picture when this happens and I guarantee you'll get the shot!
Plan Your Photoshoot Poses
Before you go to any shoot it's a good idea for you to plan what kind of image you're looking to get. Sketch out some rough drawings and take those with you on the shoot. Another helpful tool is Pinterest; create a board full of cool poses so if you get stuck on a shoot or run out of ideas you have it there to help you out. You don't wanna be that guy who cuts the shoot short just because you've hit a creative block.