How to Pose for Pictures like a Model in 2023 (10 Pro Tips)

Want to learn how to pose naturally for pictures? Discover flattering ways to pose for your next self-portrait, office photo or photoshoot with these 10 tips.

Learning how to pose for pictures is an essential skill for getting the perfect selfie or having your photo taken.

If you aren’t a model or receiving instructions from a professional photographer (who knows how to pose), being in front of the camera isn’t as easy as it seems.

Whether you need fashion pictures for social media, want to pose and not look awkward, or are just experimenting with how to look your best on camera, this is the guide for you.

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(We’ve already written a guide on how to pose (other) people in photos, sp this one will be concentrating more on tips for you as the subject.)

Let’s take a closer look at how to be more photogenic with 10 posing tips and ideas from photographers, influencers and models.

How to Pose for a Picture like a Model (10 Tips)

1. Find your best angle

Girl taking a selfie with smartphone

Credit: Tommy Huang

You probably have a side that you like more than the other.

Browse through your gallery or your Instagram account and find the images where you feel you look best – you’ll likely have the same side of your face turned towards the camera in all of them.

We all have a more photogenic side. Some studies show that the left side of our face reflects more emotion, and therefore is perceived as more pleasing.

Either way, to learn how to pose for pictures, you first need to find your best side. This way, you can practice different poses and expressions on that side and find your perfect angle.

To do this, you can practice your poses in front of a mirror, record yourself on video, or take a bunch of selfies using burst mode while you move – it’s your choice.

2. Tilt your head

Using a head tilt in portrait photography

Credit: Nappy (left) / Italo Melo (right)

Now that you know which side is your best angle, make good use of this knowledge and tilt your head towards your best side.

This will enhance the natural angles of your face and will make you look more approachable.

This tip can be useful for full-body pictures or tighter crops; whether you’re sitting or on your feet. It’s a subtle thing that can help the overall look of your poses.

3. Turn 45-degrees

45-degree turn pose using a male model

Credit: Samad Ismayilov

This is a classic posing rule that makes anyone look more photogenic despite their age, gender or body type.

Instead of facing straight towards the camera, twist your body to one side – your best side.

Don’t turn all the way to your profile – stop halfway, when you’re at a 45-degree angle from the camera. This will make you more approachable – just like the head tilt – and make the image more dynamic.

Your body will look slimmer with this pose as it accentuates the natural curves. This applies to both men and women as it has to do with soft and fluid lines instead of sharp angles and bulky shapes.

Most articles you see in glossy magazines about how to pose for pictures skip over this tip, but it’s a good one, so make sure you try it out next time on Instagram or for a new profile photo.

If you’re a couple, these poses can work well if you mirror each other and lean on a wall, with each person leaning with their opposite shoulder.

4. Keep the weight on one leg

Photos demonstrating pose with weight on one leg

Credit: Anthony Shkraba (left) / Chloe (right)

When you pose for photos, try not to stand with equal weight on both legs. Instead, lean slightly and send the weight to one of the feet.

When you do this, the other leg is free to bend the knee and look more relaxed. If you want to accentuate the effect, you can also cross the leg in front or behind the other one.

This movement also highlights the body’s natural curves because it automatically pops the hip. As such, it’s a great pose for women.

You can also achieve this effect by walking. Do your best runway walk (pretend you’re posing like a fashion model!), and the photographer can shoot in burst mode to capture the perfect moment.

5. Improve your posture

Good posture is key to looking good in photo

Credit: Ralph Rabago (left) / Oziel Gomez (right)

Whether you’re standing up or sitting down, doing a full-body portrait or a head shot – good posture is key to looking good in photos.

To improve your posture, you should keep a neutral spine, which means that it should follow the natural curves – avoid hunching your back or shoulders.

Also, when you pose, keep your shoulders down and elongate the neck as if something was pulling you up from the head – you’ll see professional bikini models posing like this all the time.

Incorporating all these things into your poses will make your face and body look slender, and you’ll convey confidence in every photo.

Having great posture is a neat trick when posing males, since it conveys strength and confidence, regardless of the model’s height.

6. Do something with your hands

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.



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