Modeling 101: 5 Pro Tips for Posing in Photo Shoots

These days, it seems like everyone behaves like a model. From the emergence of high-resolution front-facing phone cameras to appearance-changing filters, taking a selfie is already a breeze.

Posing for photo shoots is an entirely different story, though. Unlike selfies, these pictures are taken from the viewpoint of the photographer. Plus, you won’t be able to see how you look in the image before it has been snapped.

To make sure the resulting pictures are worthy of being submitted to top modeling agencies, here are five pro tips on how to pose during a photo shoot:

Practice in Front of a Mirror

When you’re an aspiring editorial model, the mirror is your best friend. Standing in front of one allows you to practice your poses to perfection. You can even imagine having a mirror behind the photographer during a shoot to help you consider the view the camera’s lens is picking up, and adjust accordingly.
Practice in Front of a Mirror

Know Your Best Angles and Own It

To be an excellent model, you have to know what your best angles are. Although there are people whose every angle looks gorgeous, a greater chunk of the population leans more on one side than the other.

To know what yours is, browse through your pictures, and separate the ones that are flattering from those that aren’t. Take note of the differences in your poses with a full-body scan across the two sets of images.

Professional models always do small shifts with their bodies to look for their best angle and come up with their best pose. Experimenting on different poses – even those with the tiniest changes – will help you master your best angle and use it to look good in all of your future photos.

Pose With Your Hair

The hair is usually the last thing that comes to mind when posing, but the truth is, it can actually make or break your photo. Generally, people think that they cannot control how the hair would look like, but professional photographers believe otherwise.

If you have long hair, those looking at your photo will most likely be drawn to it. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule that identifies which “hair pose” is the best for everyone, you can make sure that you look good in your photo shoot even without styling your hair.
Pose With Your Hair
For a basic portrait session, it is vital that you avoid letting your hair sit on your shoulders, looking unruly and messy. There are four things you can do with your hair:

  • Let it all fall behind your shoulders;
  • Place it all in front;
  • Gather it up to one side; or
  • Pull it up in a ponytail.

Forward With the Chin and Ears

Posing in a relaxed and regular stance doesn’t often yield the best photos. In fact, most of the time, these types of poses tend to make you look a bit flabbier than you actually are.

This is why experts strongly suggest pulling the chin and ears forward when posing for headshots as doing so effectively prevents the flab underneath the chin from standing out. The key is to bring your ears forward, which also places your chin away from the neck. This can be used for both front-facing headshots as well as side-angled ones.

Lift Your Arm

Another natural-but-un-photogenic mistake people make when posing for a photo shoot is letting their arms hang flat on their sides. Although this might feel like the most comfortable pose for full-body shots taken while standing up, it actually causes a couple of issues:

  • It makes you look uncomfortable and awkward in the image.
  • It lets the arm press against the torso, which causes the arm to look larger than it really is.

To correct this, you can lift your arm from your torso. Leave at least one or two inches between them to create a floating illusion. You can also try placing your hand on your hip or pant pocket and try other poses that put the arm just above the torso.

Lights, Camera, Pose!

Becoming a model entails being able to show your personality even in still pictures.
Lights, Camera, Pose!
While some may be naturally talented in doing this, posing for the camera is actually a skill that can be learned and honed through study and lots and lots of practice.


Adam Jacobs is the Managing Director of Bubblegum Casting, the longest running agency specialising in babies, children and teen talent in Australia. Bubblegum Casting works with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties and agencies to secure talented children to work in Television, Film and Modelling roles.