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Posing 101

The essential posing tips for your next photoshoot

You got the perfect look decided for your next photo shoot, the photographer of your dreams, the best location and the light looks great on the day. You face the camera and after a few shots, you run out of your poses. Read on to know how to overcome this mid-shoot conundrum.

Fashion models couple caucasian neoprene dress fur teal studio photography
You don't need to be a model to look confident

Why do you look so stiff and the same in all the photos but not in a very flattering way? What are you doing wrong? If only, you would have done some research on posing or your photographer was better at communicating, you could have made the most of the session.

Learn about effective posing and natural-looking photos for portraits, headshots, and fashion photography. These tips would help you in flattering your look and working your body more confidently, the next time you pose. Let's begin from the top.


Black and white portrait photography female model
A slight angle can make all the difference

Here are a few tips to crack the face game. Instead of a straight face, add variety by turning your face slightly away from the camera, ideally at 45 degrees.

Don’t forget to bring your chin forward and slightly down to elongate your neck. Try not to look too away from the camera, otherwise, mostly the whites of your eyes are visible.

Read this post to know all about face angles.


Keeping the shoulders straight and parallel to the camera makes them look broader than usual and squares your body. If that is the desired look you are going for, for example, to add a larger than life persona, go for it! Sports portraits and CEOs often choose this pose to indicate power and control.

But for a more fluid look, angling your shoulders to a 45 degrees angle makes you look more friendly and also slims down your body. No wonder, it’s used a lot for females as well as for some male models to add some interesting lines to the body and make the shot look more candid.

Irrespective of the pose, keeping the shoulders relaxed and down makes you look more comfortable and eases any tension in the photo.


Anything nearer to the camera looks bigger and the farther you place something away from the lens, the smaller it looks. The same logic can be applied to body parts that you are concerned about. If you want to make your arms look slimmer, try to point those elbows away from the camera and behind you.

Female fashion model grey silver cocktail gown garden photography night evening
Bend your arms to look leaner in photos

Want to make your arms look natural and relaxed? Then don’t just hang them stiffly on your sides and add some life by bending the arms. Bending your arms separates them from your body and makes your torso look less bulky on camera.

Or forget about it all and just wear something that covers your upper arms, if you don't want to draw attention to them.


'Oh! What do I do with my hands?'

You are giving your best expression and suddenly, it feels as if your hands are not part of your body.

My two cents: give them something to hold on to, like a prop, a bag, a glass, flowers, anything! If props don’t go with the photoshoot's theme, then tuck those hands partially or entirely in your pockets. If your dress doesn't have pockets (as in most cases for female models), then rest those hands on your hips, chin, cheek, hair or above your head.

If you are looking for more variety then use your hands to interact with the environment, lean on a wall or even interact with any part of your outfit. Below are some examples of hand placement while posing.

Just don’t let your hands stay idle or they would shy away and appear tense in your pictures.

Pro tip 1: Remember that hands draw interest wherever they are touching so pick your areas wisely.

The overall posture

Keep your posture straight and a neutral spine with its natural curve to look taller and fitter in your images.

Keeping the neck elongated and relaxed also uplifts your overall posture. Imagine an invisible thread is pulling your spine and head up. You would look much more confident that way.


Now that we have cracked almost the rest of the body parts, let’s get to the most important area- your legs. Putting your weight on one of the legs can add life to your pose. Your other leg remains free to bend and it helps in creating variations in your poses. Resting your body weight onto the back leg automatically slims your body.

Another useful posing idea is walking slowly and asking your photographer to take burst shots. This creates more lively shots.

Pro tip 2: When putting your weight on your back leg, a slight leaning forward of the torso makes you look more approachable.

Create triangles

Try to form triangles using your limbs and environment. It not only looks flattering but also slims down your body.

Pro tip 3: If you want to make your waist look smaller in your photos, try twisting it a little rather than keeping it parallel to the camera.

Whatever pose you choose, don’t forget to have a little fun. Sometimes being a little goofy and just being in the moment, gives you the most unique shots.

Did I miss something? Do mention it in the comments.

(Research by Mrittika Debnath)

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Prianca Mishra
Prianca Mishra
Apr 13, 2022

Love love it! Always a fan of your detailing, the way your observe details. These little nuisances that you covered are very helpful. ❤️


Mar 31, 2022

Got to know several new terms like triangle pose... Never knew such pose existed... The description starting from the face and moving onto other body parts make for a gradual progression. The hand part is really informative. Keep writing and keep ⭐✨


Mar 28, 2022

Very useful tips. Loved the pictures you used for illustration.

Neena Majumdar
Neena Majumdar
Mar 29, 2022
Replying to

I am glad it helped. :)


Pia Mazumdar
Pia Mazumdar
Mar 28, 2022

Great tips! Love your polka dot top photo!

Neena Majumdar
Neena Majumdar
Mar 29, 2022
Replying to

Thank you :)

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