TIPS ON TUESDAY: Posing Models

It’s a simple method.

More often than not, with new models, I get asked “Oh, what kinds of poses should I do?” “What do I do with my hands?” “Does this look good?” “Should I do this?”

Here’s what I tell people. Literally everyone.

“Natural movements go a long way.”

I’m sure if you took a poll of everyone I’ve shot with, they’ll say they heard me say those words on the first shoot they ever did with me.

I tell it to everyone, and they seriously go a long way. Let’s look at some examples.


I will always tell someone to constantly move. They can be short, controlled movements or completely continuous movements. I don’t mind if a girl wants to shift her stance in between every single photo, or simply turn 45 degrees to the left or right. Small, simple movements go a long way!


Okay, pictured above we have two poses that look similar but are actually quite different from each other. She’s squatting down low in the left picture with a simple smile. In the next photo, she’s tilted her head and brought her hand up to her hair. My position hasn’t changed at all, as is evident by the two red cars on the right and the snow in the foreground on the bottom left. She’s actually produced two movements to create a totally different feel from one photo to the next.


Now, I shoot a lot of girls (like, a lot) but this can apply to guys too!

Hair. Use it to your advantage. Have them run their fingers through it, scrunch it up with one hand (or both!), pull it out to the side, push it behind their ear, on and on and on…it seriously is one of the easiest ways to make a pretty photo.



Now, I love winter because it means scarves and pockets, and sometimes lots of pockets. People want to hold things; they want to be using their hands and it’s tough when it’s summer and there’s no pockets or scarves! Those can easily be replaced with other objects, such as purses, handbooks, skateboards, heck, a beach ball, maybe a hat (giant sun-hats in the summer are my fave!) and more. Sunglasses are also popular. Make sure to tell the model to bring some of these items on the shoot! And if you’re a model, just bring whatever you want!


Finally, laughter.

These are my favorite, by far.

Generally, especially with people who aren’t actually models, they feel a little awkward after posing for ten or twelve snaps. I always juice the person up, and say random comments, hoping for a laugh. Usually it works and then I snap a couple photos of the person laughing; she then laughs through it, telling me to quit it, but I take a couple more. Generally, these end up being the best photos on the shoot.

Those shots capture real emotion, and there’s nothing better than seeing a photo of a happy person, no matter the circumstances.

And there ya have it! Hopefully this helps! If it does, let me know! I’d love to hear feedback.

Happy shooting!

~ Justin


Parting shots:


Next blog: I’m not quite sure. Perhaps we’ll go thrifting but we may also go to The Terrace? I don’t know?

2 thoughts on “TIPS ON TUESDAY: Posing Models

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