Top Model Poses: A Practical Guide for Aspiring Models
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


1. Fundamentals of Model Poses

2. Fashion Model Poses

3. Portrait Model Poses

4. Group Model Poses

5. Posing Tips for Aspiring Models

Are you an aspiring model looking to master the art of striking the perfect pose? Look no further! In this practical guide, we'll explore the top model poses and provide helpful tips to help you shine in front of the camera. Let's dive in!

1. Fundamentals of Model Poses

Before we get into specific model poses, it's important to understand the fundamentals that make a pose stand out. These key elements will help you look and feel confident during your photoshoots.

Body Awareness

Body awareness is the ability to understand how your body moves and looks in different positions. It's important for a model to be in tune with their body to create fluid and natural poses. Here are some tips to help you develop body awareness:

  • Practice yoga or dance to improve flexibility and movement control.
  • Observe yourself in a full-length mirror to see how your body looks in various poses.
  • Take note of how your muscles feel when you strike a pose—this can help you recreate it later.

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions play a huge role in model poses, as they convey emotions and bring life to the photograph. To master facial expressions, you should:

  • Practice different expressions in front of a mirror: happy, sad, sultry, fierce, and more.
  • Learn to control your facial muscles, so you can switch expressions easily during a shoot.
  • Pay attention to how your eyes, mouth, and brows change with each expression.

Posing Angles

Angles can make or break a photograph, so it's crucial to understand how they affect your overall look. The right angle can highlight your best features and make you appear more dynamic. To nail the perfect angle, consider the following:

  • Study your face and body to identify your best features—such as your cheekbones, jawline, or collarbones—and learn how to accentuate them.
  • Practice posing with different angles and observe how they change the shape and lines of your body.
  • Work with your photographer to find the most flattering angles for your specific features.

Now that we've covered the fundamentals, let's move on to specific model poses for various types of modeling!

2. Fashion Model Poses

Now that we've covered the basics, it's time to explore the world of fashion model poses. These poses are tailored to showcase clothing, accessories, and other fashion items in the best light possible. Let's take a closer look at some popular fashion model pose categories!

Runway Poses

Runway poses are all about confidence and grace as models strut down the catwalk. These poses showcase the designs and movements of the garments, making them the star of the show. When practicing runway model poses, keep these tips in mind:

  • Posture: Stand tall, shoulders back, and core engaged for a confident, poised look.
  • Stride: Take long, graceful strides that create a smooth, flowing motion.
  • Focus: Keep your gaze forward and maintain a neutral expression, allowing the clothing to take center stage.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to walk the imaginary runway in your living room until you feel like a pro!

Editorial Poses

Editorial poses are used in high-fashion magazines and campaigns to tell a story or convey a specific mood. These model poses can be more dramatic and artistic, showcasing not only the clothing but also the model's ability to captivate an audience. To master editorial poses, try these tips:

  • Emotion: Channel the desired mood or story through your facial expressions and body language.
  • Movement: Incorporate fluid or dynamic movements that accentuate the clothing and create interesting shapes.
  • Environment: Interact with your surroundings to create a more immersive, engaging image.

Editorial model poses can push your creativity to new heights, so don't be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with unique concepts!

Commercial Poses

Commercial model poses are used in advertisements, catalogs, and other promotional materials to showcase products in a more relatable, everyday context. These poses often involve natural, approachable expressions and body language. To perfect your commercial model poses, consider these suggestions:

  • Smile: A genuine, warm smile can help make the product more appealing and approachable to consumers.
  • Interact: Use the product or interact with props to create a realistic, relatable scene.
  • Energy: Maintain a positive, upbeat energy that reflects the product's intended audience and message.

Commercial model poses may not be as dramatic as editorial poses, but they're just as important for showcasing products in a way that resonates with consumers.

With a better understanding of fashion model poses, you're one step closer to mastering the art of modeling. Let's now explore portrait model poses, which can help you shine in front of the camera for various types of photography.

3. Portrait Model Poses

Now that we've explored the world of fashion model poses, let's dive into portrait model poses. These poses focus on capturing the essence and personality of the model in various contexts, making them perfect for headshots, lifestyle photography, and more. Ready to strike a pose? Let's get started!


Headshots are all about capturing your face and personality, making them crucial for actors, models, and even professionals in other fields. Here are a few pointers to help you nail those headshots:

  • Expression: Keep your facial expressions natural and genuine, showcasing your true personality.
  • Angle: Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering perspective for your face.
  • Eye Contact: Maintain direct eye contact with the camera, as if you're connecting with the person who will be viewing your photo.

Remember, confidence is key when it comes to headshots, so don't be afraid to let your true self shine through!

Three-Quarter Shots

Three-quarter shots capture you from the waist up, giving a more holistic view of your appearance and body language. These model poses are popular for both casual and professional settings. Here are some tips to help you master the art of the three-quarter shot:

  • Posture: Maintain good posture, with your shoulders back and chest slightly lifted.
  • Hands: Use your hands to create interesting shapes or convey a specific emotion, but avoid awkward or stiff positions.
  • Relax: Remember to breathe and relax your face and body to create a natural, effortless look.

Practicing these tips will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and make your three-quarter shots truly stand out.

Full-Length Shots

Full-length shots capture your entire body, making them an essential part of any model's portfolio. These model poses can showcase your entire outfit or highlight your proportions and body language. Keep these suggestions in mind when working on your full-length poses:

  • Balance: Distribute your weight evenly or shift it slightly to one side for a more dynamic pose.
  • Legs: Create interesting lines and shapes with your legs, whether it's crossing one in front of the other or bending one at the knee.
  • Energy: Convey your personality through your pose and body language, making the image more engaging and captivating.

With practice and persistence, your full-length model poses will leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them.

Now that we've covered the basics of portrait model poses, let's move on to group model poses—because sometimes, teamwork makes the dream work!

4. Group Model Poses

Now that we've got the hang of portrait model poses, let's dive into the world of group model poses. When you're working with other models, it's important to create a cohesive and visually appealing image that showcases everyone's unique strengths. Let's explore some popular types of group model poses and how you can master them!

Dynamic Arrangements

Dynamic group arrangements involve striking poses that create visual interest and energy. This can be achieved by working together with your fellow models to create a sense of movement, interaction, and connection. Here are some pointers for creating dynamic group model poses:

  • Varying Levels: Experiment with different heights by using props, bending your knees, or even sitting or lying down.
  • Interaction: Engage with other models by making eye contact, touching, or reacting to each other's poses.
  • Asymmetry: Aim for asymmetrical poses, as they often create a more visually engaging composition.

Remember, the key to dynamic group model poses is working together to create a visually striking image that tells a story.

Symmetrical Poses

Symmetrical group poses involve models mirroring each other's positions to create a balanced and harmonious image. These poses can be particularly effective in fashion editorials and campaigns. Here's how you can achieve perfect symmetry in your group model poses:

  • Coordination: Work closely with the other models to ensure everyone is on the same page and holds their pose correctly.
  • Attention to Detail: Pay close attention to the position of your arms, legs, and head to create a truly symmetrical image.
  • Stability: Maintain a steady posture and hold your pose, as even the slightest movement can affect the symmetry of the shot.

With practice and patience, you'll be able to create visually stunning symmetrical group model poses that leave a lasting impression.

Casual Poses

Casual group poses aim to create a relaxed and natural atmosphere, making them ideal for lifestyle shoots and informal settings. To achieve this laid-back vibe, keep these tips in mind:

  • Authenticity: Let your true personality shine through and interact with the other models in a genuine way.
  • Comfort: Choose poses that feel comfortable and natural, avoiding stiff or forced positions.
  • Spacing: Be mindful of the space between you and the other models, ensuring a sense of connection without overcrowding.

By following these guidelines, you'll be able to create casual group model poses that look effortlessly cool and inviting.

Now that we've covered the basics of group model poses, let's wrap things up with some posing tips for aspiring models like you. After all, practice makes perfect!

5. Posing Tips for Aspiring Models

Great job so far! With all these fantastic model poses under your belt, let's dive into some handy tips to help you become a pro at posing. Whether you're just starting out or looking to polish your skills, these pointers will help you make the most of your modeling journey. So, let's get started!

Practice Makes Perfect

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more you practice your model poses, the more confident and natural you'll become in front of the camera. Here are some ways to get started:

  1. Use a mirror: Stand in front of a mirror and try out various poses. Pay attention to how your body looks from different angles and adjust accordingly.
  2. Record yourself: Set up a camera or phone to record yourself practicing poses. This will help you see what works and what doesn't from a photographer's perspective.

Remember, even the most successful models started somewhere, so don't be discouraged if you don't nail every pose right away. Keep practicing, and you'll see improvement over time!

Know Your Angles

Every person's body and face are unique, so it's essential to figure out which angles work best for you. Here's how you can discover your most flattering angles:

  • Take selfies: Experiment with different facial expressions and angles using your phone's camera to find what suits you best.
  • Analyze photos: Look through photos of yourself and identify which angles make you look your best. Use these as a starting point for your model poses.

Once you know your angles, you can confidently strike a pose that highlights your best features and makes you stand out from the crowd.

Communicate with the Photographer

Photographers are your partners in creating stunning images, so it's crucial to establish open communication with them. Here are some ways to ensure you're both on the same page:

  • Ask for guidance: Don't be afraid to ask the photographer for feedback on your poses. They can provide valuable insights to help you improve.
  • Share your ideas: If you have a specific pose in mind, let the photographer know. They may have suggestions on how to make it even better.

By working together with the photographer, you can create beautiful images that showcase your talent and versatility in various model poses.

And there you have it! With these posing tips and the model poses we've covered, you're well-equipped to make a lasting impression in the modeling world. Keep practicing, stay confident, and always be open to learning new things. Happy posing!

If you're an aspiring model looking to perfect your posing skills, don't miss the workshop 'A Drawing for a Painting' by David Shepherd. This workshop will not only help you master the art of posing but also provide you with valuable insights on how to work with photographers and artists to create stunning visuals for your portfolio.