Art of Photography Guide,  Tips for Beginners

10 Tips on how to Pose Like a Model

Wonder how models never seem to take a bad photo? Most models aren’t born photogenic, they just know how to pose in front of a camera. Whether you’re an aspiring amateur model, attending events where photos are taken, or just don’t want to look awkward in front of the camera anymore, learning how to pose like a model is easy if you apply these 10 tips.

The ten tips we are going to share with you are simple little changes that you can make in your posing to ensure that you get those flawless photos that models are so well known for. The best part is, anyone can try out these tips anywhere. And whether you are using a professional camera or a cell phone camera, you are sure to have stunning images each and every time. Let’s take a look!

1. Angle Your Body

It doesn’t matter if you’re a supermodel, standing with your arms down and directly facing the camera is not flattering for anybody. Know how to pose like a model by angling your body slightly, point one foot out, and put your hand on your hip. This pose will thin you out, create a more interesting picture, and generally make you look more attractive. This is also great if you’re self-conscious about your arms since it moves them away from the body. Flat arms can look big in photos so don’t be afraid to move them out and even flex your muscles a little.

Speaking of muscles, when you are angling your body, you want to make sure that you are not stiff. Focus your attention on your shoulders and your fists. These are the common places where people stiffen up, and photos pick up on this well. Roll back your shoulders so that you feel more relaxed and remember to loosen up your fist so that they are not clenched. This can make a huge difference in your photos. 

2. Perfect Your Posture

Keep your shoulders back and stand up straight. This may seem obvious but most people will revert to slouching or hiking their shoulders up to their ears. Learn how to pose like a model by pretending there’s a string pulling the top of your head up while weights are pushing your shoulders down. A straight posture and elongated neck will not only instantly make you look slimmer, you’ll look more confident in photos (awesome advice in general, not just for posing in front of cameras).

3. Be Comfortable

Knowing how to pose like a model means learning to like having your picture taken, or at least get comfortable enough so you don’t hate it. Try to wear something that makes you feel comfortable so that confidence will radiate from you. Since holding a smile for too long can come across exaggerated or unnatural, a trick is to look away from the camera right before the photo is taken or don’t smile until the last second. A spontaneous expression will look genuine and not forced. This is also a way to get the best candid shots as well. The more practice you do with getting comfortable, the more your photos will come out beautiful. 

4. Smize

Everyone’s heard of “smizing” or smiling with your eyes, but how does one pose like a model and pull it off? Look at yourself in the mirror and smile without moving your eyes. Looks forced, doesn’t it? Now think of something happy (cute puppies always seem to work) and look at how your eyes change shape slightly. A true smile is reflected in the eyes. If you smile with your eyes first, your mouth will naturally follow.

5. Color Coordinate Clothes & Makeup

If there’s a color that you know looks good on you, by all means, wear it! Match that shirt to the color of your eyes or wear that dress that brings out the highlights in your hair. Don’t forget that makeup can make a huge difference in how you photograph by bringing out (or hiding) certain features in your face. And don’t be afraid to experiment with colors. While black may look good on you, it does nothing to make you stand out, particularly in group shots.

6. Loosen Up

Don’t be afraid to ask the picture taker to take several shots. Using the first few for “silly poses” is a great way to take off the pressure and loosen you up. Not sure how to strike a silly pose? Tell a joke or think of something funny to get yourself laughing. Another trick is to think of something you love right before the photo is taken. When you think about a loved one, your face will naturally relax into a happy state. A genuine laugh or smile always looks better than an artificial one.

7. Good Lighting is Your Friend

Don’t stand where the sun is in your eyes or under bright fluorescent lights. Your face and body are made up of different dimensions, and harsh lighting will wash them out. Try to place yourself in between multiple light sources so the light isn’t coming from one direction. Candlelight is also universally flattering, but if that’s not an option, try to look for any soft lighting. And while this should go without saying, don’t look directly into the camera’s flash! There’s a reason the phrase “looking like a deer in headlights” is not a compliment.

If you are a photographer and want to help your models pose under the best lighting, check out our 11 tips on photography lighting and our natural light photography tips.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Learn how to pose like a model by practicing in front of a mirror. Put a timer on your camera and snap a few photos at home. Take note of how your body looks in different positions or at different angles. Pay close attention to your face and how it looks when smiling. Do you look better with teeth showing? Should you angle your face slightly? Once you find what works best for you, practice the same look (or looks) until you’ve got it down so that the next time you’re in front of a camera you’ll be prepared.

9. Change it Up

One of the main tips in knowing how to pose like a model is to constantly keep yourself moving and strike multiple poses. Models know that taking five pictures of the same pose is useless. But taking five pictures with different expressions or body angles mean five chances to take an excellent picture. Have in mind which poses and facial expressions look best on you (remember the previous tip to practice at home) and use each one every time you’re in front of a camera.

10. Look for Inspiration

Take a few minutes to look through any magazine featuring models. Or better yet, look at videos of a photo shoot or celebrities on the red carpet. Models and celebrities make a living by how they look on film and it’s not hard to see why they are professionals at striking a pose. There are certain poses or facial expressions that always look flattering. Study how to pose like a model and try out some of the looks yourself to see which ones work for you.


Having your picture taken doesn’t have to be awkward and you don’t have to run every time you see a camera. Be confident by knowing how to pose like a model by following these few key points: work on your posture and know your angles, relax your face by thinking happy thoughts, and the more photos you pose for, the higher the chance you’ll take the perfect shot!