Guidelines for posing Female Models

May 19, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

As a Photographer, How do I pose the Models ? or what are the guidelines one should keep in mind while posing as a model.

There is no rocket science involved in posing a model whether it is for modelling or for a fashion shoot. It could even be for a simple corporate portrait or a formal portrait of a Bride. Once you gain some experience as a Photographer, it all comes naturally to you and you very instinctively guide your model, who may have been hired for a professional Fashion shoot or who may be getting her own professional modelling Portfolio made from you. In both the cases, it's very important and relevant to meet the model beforehand so as to understand her potential. Once I meet, I get an idea about the models expressions and overall body language. 

While shooting I do not have this list, which I kind of compiled for this article but these are the general parameters which are involved while a model is being photographed. The poses are also worked out on the basis of the objective you as a Photographer or a representative of your client or the Fashion designer have in mind. Sometimes posture is a part of what you wish to show or convey through your photograph, be it a look or an outfit.

How one poses can vary a lot from model to model and depends on her Body type as well to some extent. What ever the case maybe, one should not be nervous and confidently pose without getting conscious about your body. Do it naturally and with spontaneity.


Role of Hands

Using Hands affectively helps a lot in Posing. Many Models are clueless about the positioning of their hands.I generally ask my models to play around with their hands and mostly it helps. Models may not be able to make out but you should be careful in not showing absolutely flat palms which may not look very pleasing. A slightly curved hand looks better than keeping it just straight and flat towards the camera.

Photographed for New York Heritage Bags in an outdoor location around Delhi.  Best Fashion Photographer in DelhiCF039695 Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi shipra malik, top indian model photographed by Munish Khanna

A broad classification for the Hands

  • Bring them closer to the face or just around the chin or the forehead.
  • Bring them closer to your chest
  • Put them around the head.
  • Hold them above your head.
  • Put them around your neck.
  • Fold them together. Fold the arms together.
  • Hold something in hands.
  • Hold your outfit - shirt or skirt, whatever feels natural.
  • Place them in your pockets.
  • Place them on something.
  • Let them hang loose but firmly and confidently.
  • Put them around your waist.
  • Any other way, the subject can keep them in a natural manner.

Looking back over the Shoulder

A very romantic and delicate pose, works quite well to emphasise the back, especially if it's bare. It could be a backless blouse or even just a bare shoulder or Back. This can be quite a revealing shot without actually revealing at all. As a Model, you should have the right attitude and confidence to pose with a Bare back.

fashionfashionFashion Photography by Munish Khanna, new delhi, india


Make the Model lie down

Somehow, I love doing this as it puts the model at ease and there are numerous possibilities of shooting her around from different angles. 

Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi

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Miss Earth India 2016

Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi

fashionfashionFashion Photography by Munish Khanna, new delhi, india

Makeup and Hair- Roberta by Dilshad Ahmed and Yana bypoonam Rawat

 


Full length Shots

Many models find it more difficult when it comes to a full length shot. Positioning the legs and balancing the body weight are key to good posing as a model faces the camera upfront. You may need to curve the body in the right manner, usually arched in an S shape helps but is not always essential. I generally tell the model to fine tune her posture by moving slightly in one direction and ask her to stop once I notice that the posture is looking appealing to the camera.

Miss Earth India 2016

Miss Earth India 2016


Just as the right placement of Hands is important, the right positioning of the legs is equally important for a Model.

Slightly bending one of the legs while suitably shifting the body weight helps a lot. It's difficult to explain and express but the following photographs will give an idea.

© munish khanna photography© munish khanna photography


Lean on to a Wall

Simply leaning against a wall helps a lot in confidently facing the camera as compared to when you are without any props or surroundings.

Miss Earth India 2016

You could even be facing the wall instead of just your back towards it.

munish khanna photographymunish khanna photography leading fashion photographer in DelhiCF040897

It does not always have to be wall behind. Something in the front or on the side like a pillar can also be used to lean on to. Munish Khanna is a leading fashion photographer of India


 

Be on your own

Sitting shots, but there are no props around and the model is on her own. Simple, yet interesting poses can be worked out.


Don't Hold back. Simply express

DJ Unnati


Swirl around

It works well in many cases particularly where the garment is quite flowing.

Munish Khanna - best Indian Fashion Photographer

Best Fashion Photographer in Delhi

 


No Eye Contact

It's generally good to have a direct eye contact in a portrait but sometimes looking away or looking down works as a good variation. While shooting a Model, I do keep in mind to have as many variations as possible. jia_0152.TIF-01771.jpgjia_0152.TIF-01771.jpg jia_0089.TIF-01708.jpgjia_0089.TIF-01708.jpg

© munish khanna photography© munish khanna photography


Holding hands above the hands is a sensual pose and requires a lot of confidence and a perfect body to carry.

Here, it was a good option to show off the outfit. 

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Leaning the Body slightly forward can accentuate the upper body of the Model in a very subtle manner 

Miss Earth India 2016


Lean forward and rest on something

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Hold on to something

Holding on to something helps the model be more at ease. It could even be her own knee for that matter.generally, it helps one hold on and lean back.

Best Fashion Photographer in DelhiCF039615

Play around with Hair

Either you can use a fan to blow off the hair or the model can turn around towards the camera to bounce the hair.

Makeup and Hair- Roberta by Dilshad Ahmed and Yana bypoonam Rawat

leading fashion photographer in DelhiCF040970


Play around with the outfit itself


Go for a Side Profile

I usually go for good side or short lighting for the model while shooting her side profile.


Posing a Model with a Male model can be quite challenging for many Photographers.

It's important to understand and keep in mind the objective of the shoot. Is the male model equally important? Is the product being advertised or promoted equally applicable to both. Based on these aspects, poses can be worked out to give equal or more weightage to one over the other.

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If you are an aspiring model looking forward to get a Modelling Portfolio made for yourself or need guidance in general as a Model, do get in touch with Munish Khanna. You can get more tips on modelling and photography as you flip through this website and also get complete details of the Portfolios being offered by Munish Khanna. 


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