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7 of the Best Poses for Female Models

best poses for female models
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As a female model and actress who is constantly trying to keep things fresh in front of the camera, new and creative poses are key. Sometimes poses can start feeling repetitive, but it’s important to keep pushing yourself to be loose, in your body, and most importantly, interesting.

Here are a list of 7 simple, yet effective modeling poses I think look great on every body type. 

This is the second of two articles we’ve put together on posing for models. This post covers the best poses for female models. Click here to view the post with the best poses for male models.

1. Over the Shoulder

poses for female models

Photo via Tumblr.

This pose will never get old to me. For one, it’s so flattering. It instantly creates dimension in the photo, and has a “flirty” like mystery to it. I love how this pose accentuates the model’s jaw line, lengthens the neck, and allows us to see a little bit of the face’s profile. 

2. Use Your Hands

female posing tips

Photo via Pinterest.

In portrait photography, you typically only think of a face and it’s expression. When adding hands to the mixture, the photo comes alive. A hand grazing your cheek, or playing with your hair gives the photo more of a human quality, making it more natural and relatable.

In my opinion, the biggest compliment a model can receive is being called natural or a “natural”, and naturally we use our hands when we move! 

3. Against the Wall

how to pose

Photo via Lipstick Alley.

I personally love using walls or objects to play with during a shoot. For me, it’s a prop that I can lean up against, lean towards, and balance on. It’s a solid surface that I know isn’t going anywhere, which gives me freedom to do whatever pose I so desire.

It’s kind of like a little safety net, and a great tool for beginner models. I love a good brick wall! (So does every photographer)

4. Surface Lean

poses for females

Photo via E! News.

Whether you’re slightly sitting on, or leaning against a surface, this pose is striking and allows for the model to change her focal points to something else besides the camera.

It also gives the photo a sense of ease. There is something cinematic and deep about a human staring longingly at something in the distance. If the model is actively seeing things and having thoughts behind their eyes, it will be portrayed on camera and is absolutely captivating. 

5. A Little More Sensual

model posing female

Photo via The Independent.

When doing a shoot indoors, outdoors, in a studio or in a more intimate space, lying on your stomach with legs propped up is sexy and feminine way to pose without too much exposure (unless that’s what you’re going for, if so, more power to yah!).

When photographed from the side, it lengthens the body and legs. When in this pose, I like to play around with the angles of my chin; tilting it up and down to accentuate my jaw and give the pictures a different mood. 

6. Hands on Hips

female model tips

Photo via Fashion Gone Rogue.

Putting your hands on hips when posing in front of a camera makes your waist appear smaller.

The space in your arms creates a background effect and slims everything down! I also love this pose because it is powerful, feminine, and dominant.

Whenever I do this pose I like to push my shoulders forward to accentuate my collar bones. Try playing with body weight distribution; let one leg have more weight than the other and then switch. 

7. Full Frontal Face (Close-Up)

portrait posing for female models

Photo via Listal.

This can be one of the most beautiful and powerful portrait poses, and it is the most simple. Little is going on in the body, but everything is going on in the eyes. Nothing is worse than seeing a pair of dead eyes on camera. It is important that during a shoot, the model is consistently having thoughts behind his/her eyes as they are modeling. Modeling is acting!

Sometimes when I find myself burning out I take a deep breath, close my eyes and count to three. On three I open my eyes with a fresh thought in my mind. Modeling is a lot more than looking pretty, it is telling a story through your body language and your eyes.

If the story you’re trying to tell is unclear to you, it will be unclear to the audience. You are allowed to feel emotions! The more open you are to creating uninhibited art, the more creatively fulfilled you will feel at the end of your shoot. 

Additional Quick Tips


Don’t forget to breathe, ladies! We will be able to tell on camera if you are not. Breathing will help you feel more in your body, and will get rid of those unwanted nerves.

The Mirror is your Best Friend

Use the mirror to try out different poses. Figure out what you think looks good on you before you get in front of the camera. I guarantee you’ll feel more confident and you will know you look GOOD. 

Don’t take yourself too seriously!

Modeling is fun, and it’s important to smile. Smiling is the most beautiful and natural human expression. Everyone loves and appreciates a genuine and BIG smile. 

Special thanks to Lauren Paley for this article on posing. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

Main background photo courtesy of Top Shelf Vintage Co.

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