female model featured image for posing guide article

Working With Female Amateur Models: A Posing And Directing Guide For Photographers

Knowing how to pose and direct models is great photographing quality. Unfortunately, many photographers lack this. You may have a great location, stylist, and lighting setup. However, a badly posed model can ruin your shoot. Hence it is necessary to have a few female model poses or tips ready under your belt when working with beginner models.

Photography as a profession goes beyond firing away on the shutter release. It extends to directing and posing your models for a great photo. Photographers handle their models differently; some shout, some sweet-talk, while others ignore them.

Directing models with little or no experience can be tasking. Giving them a mood board isn’t enough; they need direction. They’re not yet in tune with their figures and how to pose for pictures. 

Luckily, this posing guide will provide valuable posing tips for photographers.  

How To Pose Women For Pictures? 

There are many aspects to handle when it comes to directing model poses for females. They include:

Female Model Posing Tip 1 – Head Position

female model gazing with a slightly tilted face to the camera

Your chin should be slightly raised and down

Slightly raise the chin forward and tip it downward. This accentuates your jawline and makes your neck appear longer. This tip is not meant for a side profile because it will appear unnatural. We recommend keeping your head in a more natural pose for side shots. 

female model poses with an open smile

Don’t keep your mouth closed

A closed mouth may clench your jawline, giving you a neutral expression. On the other hand, slightly opening your mouth makes the female model’s poses look more inviting. You don’t have to smile, but if you choose to, let it be natural. 

Female Model Posing Tip 2 – Hand Position

girl lifting her b&w coat with right hand

Don’t Pin your Arms on your figure

One of the golden rules of female model poses. Pinning your arms on your body highlights them and makes you appear uncomfortable. Ensure there’s a small space between your arms and your body. 

female sitting with relaxed fingers on a chair

Keep your Fingers Relaxed

When doing female model poses – If your fingers are not relaxed during the shoot, you’ll feel tense. You can shake your hands before the shoot to ease the tension.

female model looking away from camera side shot

Avoid Placing your Elbows in the Camera

Keep your elbows to the side to prevent your arms from appearing short. Raise your hands behind your head or pose sideways toward the camera. You can also slightly spread your arms to the side. This makes your female model poses look more appealing.

female model posing with her hands on cheek

Keep your Hands on your Cheek

This is one of the best and most popular female model poses. Keeping your hands on your cheek during a shoot accentuates femininity.

female model with hands on hip

Keep your hands on your hips

This is one of the classic female model poses. This hand pose is incredibly popular because it accentuates your body’s figure. Click here for more effective tips on hand poses. 

Female Model Posing Tip 3 – Lower Body

model poses female with limbs apart

Keep your Limbs and Body Apart

When posing, ensure there’s a small space between your limbs and body. This works for any angle the photographer will be using. Spread out your legs, so they don’t touch. This gives you a better posture and a slimmer look.

female model posing and making a fake waist

Create a Fake Waist

Your waist can be a great asset during your photoshoot. You can appear slimmer and curvier by creating a false waist. To achieve this, move your hips out to the side. This will accentuate your curves and make you look curvier. Please don’t overdo it by shifting your hips too far to the side. It makes your attempt to enhance your waist obvious.

stylish female walking with hand bag on the sidewalk

Keep your Feet Mobile

Don’t root your feet on a single spot; you’re not a tree. You can ignore your feet if it’s a shot taken from the waist up. However, if it’s a full shot, move your feet for a better shot. To achieve this look, pose as if you’re running or walking. You can even try lifting a foot slightly, dancing, or jumping.

Female Model Posing Tip 4 – Posture Tips

Photographers can recommend the following tips for achieving the ideal poses:

girl wearing white shirt leaning on wall

Standing Posture

  • You can lean on a chair or wall to enhance your posture. Make the lean slightly dramatic by slightly bending your limbs to accentuate your figure.
  • If there’s no prop to lean on, use your body. Lean your weight on one foot and allow your body to tilt in that direction.

Sitting Posture

  • Sit and pose like you’re looking over your shoulder; it’s a classic pose
  • Sit on the very edge of the chair and slightly lean forward
  • Tilt your head while sitting to look more relaxed.

Female Model Posing Tip 5 – Expression

model poses with a full smile to the camera

More than posing, emotions are key to a model’s expression during a photoshoot. If you’re depicting happiness in a shoot, wear a natural smile. A smile that involves your mouth and not your eyes looks fake. The eyes are key to your expression, so smile with your eyes.

In some shots, you will have to depict sensuality or seduction. There are different ways to achieve a sensual look. An intense look in your eyes and a head tilt can achieve this. You can softly touch your lips with your fingers and part them. You can also touch your neck or cheek delicately.

Female Model Posing Tip 6 – Tips On Facing The Camera

model poses female facing but looking away to the side from the camera
  • Don’t stare directly into the camera to avoid appearing unnatural.
  • Slightly turn away from the camera; you can follow your nose with your eyes.
  • Slightly lift your head to make your neck appear longer.
  • You can add depth by running your hand through your hair.

For your makeup, we recommend using a primer before applying foundation. Also, don’t overdo the makeup; the aim is to look natural.


There are so many tips on directing model poses female. However, there’s no point overwhelming yourselves with so much. Knowing and mastering the basics is more than enough for a great shoot.

If you are looking for more posing tips, check out these 18 striking tips for female poses.

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