Beautiful models in pinup poses became the talk of the town in the mid-20th century, with vintage posters remaining popular to this day.
Take a look at posters and stock photos from decades past, and you’ll see a variety of classic pinup poses that exude beauty and grace.
I’ve had some experience as a beauty photographer, shooting fashion content inspired by 1960s US pinup poses.
I love the timeless style and making fresh new imagery with a classic twist.
I hope you can embrace the pretty and playful pinup trend, too.
Check out this list of the best classic pinup poses to enhance your next photo session.
Table of Contents
What Are the Best Pin Up Poses?
Classic pinup poses can stand the test of time and make for quality photo shoots with a vintage touch.
Beautiful models wearing stylish outfits are the stars of the show in this type of photo, especially with a complementary background.
Each pinup pose should show off the model’s shape and style, with a playful personality as another key element.
Posture is important, too. Models should keep their backs straight and heads held high to capture the essence of a classic pin-up girl.
The ‘S’ pose, power pose, and hand on chest/waist are some of the most popular pinup posing options to consider for a stylish photo shoot.
I’ve outlined my top tips for glamorous pin-up girl poses below.
The ‘S’ pose is one of the most notable examples of pin-up posing. It’s all about showing off body shape and a radiant smile.
In this pose, the girl model should kneel to the side with her head turned to face the camera and her chest out.
The left arm extends down to the knee, while the right arm is placed back on the waist, almost out of view.
A slight leg raise boosts posture, while bold lipstick and fashionable shoes complete the shot.
If you look at pinup girl stock photos, you’ll see models often hold flags or balloons as props, too.
The girl power pose is one of the most enduring images from the World War II era.
If you’ve seen the historic “We Can Do It” girl posters, then you already have a good idea of how this should look.
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For this upper body shot, models turn to the side and lift one arm up, showing off their strength.
A plaid shirt, headband, and colorful makeup add to the beauty.
Hands Under Chest
Another classic pin pose is this standing one, where the elbows point out to the side and hands come down to rest just under the chest.
Models need to keep their shoulders up and legs straight to make the most of this stance, which shows off the chest and waist.
Tight-fitting clothes, high heels, and a colorful lip make this pose extra fun and flirty.
Hand on the Waist
Every pin girl shoot should include several standing poses, and hand on the waist is another easy one.
Models wearing jeans and a fun top or a paintsuit can show off their style by turning slightly to the side.
A bit of back arch makes the legs look longer, as the front leg stays straight and the back leg bends forward at the hip.
Place one hand on the waist and the other above the knee with pointed fingers and toes to complete the look.
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When it’s time to choose pin props, consider a bar stool. It’s the perfect piece of furniture for a girl pin model to lean on while complimenting her beauty and style.
For this shot, have the model bend both legs and rest them high on the stool. Otherwise, try sitting on one leg or putting a foot on the stool with a bent knee.
This is a great chance to try a few different angles, with the pin model facing the camera directly or turned to the side.
Legs to the Camera
Last but not least, make sure to add variety to your glamour photo shoot with both standing and seated positions.
Pin models can stretch their legs for an extra-long look while sitting on the floor and directly facing the camera.
It’s a popular way to show off the legs, shoes, and a beautiful dress or skirt.
A vintage suitcase, an antique phone, or vinyl records make great accessories for this pin photo style, too.
How Do You Pose for a Pin Up?
Some of the most well-known models throughout history absolutely nailed pinup posing.
Think Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Ava Gardener, Cindy Crawford…the list goes on and on!
All of these pinup girl models set the stage for future models. Here are the top posing tips we can take away from these amazing pinup models.
- Prioritize posture. A pinup girl who stands up straight and stretches her legs slightly makes for camera magic.
- Rock those high heels. Classic pinup girls are known for wearing tall heels, and today’s beautiful models should do the same.
- Point the toes. For sitting or leg out pinup poses, pointed toes help elongate the legs and make a noticeable difference to the final shots.
- Try props. Give the hands something to do and add an extra flair to pinup poses with props. A telephone, magazine, purse, flowers, or camera are all great ideas.
- Smile big. Personality is everything in pinup posing. Wide eyes and pouty lips or a bright smile create the over-the-top look pinup girls are known for.
Final Thoughts on Pinup Posing
Pinup girl poses had a massive influence on fashion and pop culture in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.
Many modern photographers incorporate classic pinup poses in newer fashion and beauty portraits.
If you want to expand your photography skills, I highly recommend getting creative with a pinup photo shoot.
I hope this list of pinup poses inspired you and will come in handy in the future. After all, this photography style can improve your portfolio and is super fun and playful, too.
Can you think of any other ideas or tips for pinup poses? Share your thoughts in the comments!
As the Content Manager of Shotkit, India Mantle brings with her a lifelong love for photography that she developed during her childhood, watching her father document their family moments with his Nikon EM. In her free time, you find her enjoying the awe-inspiring natural beauty of her home, Northern Rivers, Australia.