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Photography

Posing Tips for Women

September 22, 2022 by

Posing is a crucial component in the outcome of your photo. A bad pose can make anyone look weird, even supermodels.

If you’re looking for some professional posing tips for women along with examples, we’ve got you covered.

These are the posing tips I often tell my female clients while on a photoshoot. The thing I love about these poses is that they are easy and effective, and won’t have you doing crazy out-of-the-box contortionist-looking poses.

We’ll be covering the following topics:

Table of Contents

How to Pose for Pictures as a Woman

Have you ever taken a photo and been a bit discouraged because you did not look that good?

You might be thinking, “I thought I was beautiful! Not the Hunchback of Notre Dame!”

All kidding aside, don’t worry, you look beautiful, and there are a lot of factors that go into capturing a flattering image such as lighting, lens size, and posing.

Everyone wants to look their best in a photograph. These photos will be used as profile pictures, may be sent to potential job recruiters, or may be used as dating profile pics.

The point is — photos are important both personally and professionally and they represent us (literally) in powerful ways.

If you are working with a photographer, then they should at least be knowledgeable about the lighting and lens size, so it is your job as the subject to have some understanding of posing so the true you can show up in photos.

If you take your own photos, no need to fret because we’ll also be covering some tips for that as well.

The two most important criteria when it comes to posing women is that the pose is feminine and that the pose flatters your body.

woman posing tip
you got this

Best Poses for Women

Now that we’ve covered the posing tips for women, let’s dive into some example poses for women that are most popular and are some of the most flattering poses for women.

1. Hands in Air

Hands in the air is a great pose to show a sense of freedom.

Hands in Air
hands in air

2. Resting Hand on Face

Resting your hands on your face is another great pose. Just remember not to “press” on your face as mentioned in the tips above.

Resting Hand on Face
resting hands on face

3. Lean on Wall

Leaning on the wall is another great pose. This is a nice nonchalant and candid pose.

Lean on Wall
leaning on the wall

4. Look Over Shoulder

Looking over your shoulder is a great pose. It’s a pose that suits best when you want to add a moody feel to your photo.

Look Over Shoulder
look over shoulder

5. Hand(s) on Hip

The hands on the hip are a great pose to show confidence and power.

Hands on Hip
hands on hip

6. Hands in Pocket

The hands in pocket is another great nonchalant pose when you are going for that candid posed but not posed look.

Hands in Pocket
hands in pocket

7. One Leg in Front of Another

One leg in front of the other is a great pose if you are photographing at the beach such as in the example below.

One Leg in Front of Another
one leg in front of other

8. One Hand Touching Mouth

The one hand touching the mouth is another great pose but make sure not to press into your face and just rest your thumb and index finger on your face.

One Hand Touching Mouth
one hand touching mouth

10 Female Posing Tips

These tips are mostly for the photographer but are good to know as the model this way you know what to expect.

1. Photograph From Above Eye Level

The first tip is to photograph from above eye level, but not by much.

Photographing from slightly above helps define the jawline and chin. This has a slimming appearance on the face as well as the body if it is in the image.

The camera should always be at least slightly above eye level.

If the camera is below eye level, you may end up with an unflattering double chin.

I’m sure you’ve seen photos that are using creative angles and are shooting from the bottom looking up.

If you are going to venture into this creative side, then it is important that you also take another couple of tips into consideration with tips #4 and #8 which we’ll dive into later.

Shoot from above eye level
photograph from above eye level

2. Keep Mouth Slightly Open

The second posing tip for women is to keep the mouth slightly open.

You don’t want your mouth wide open and you don’t want a closed, tight mouth. You just want the mouth/lips to be just ever so slightly open and relaxed.

A closed mouth often conveys boredom and defiance whereas a slightly open mouth can convey openness and agreement.

A slightly open mouth allows one to also “pout” their lips ever so slightly to bring attention to the lips.

Just be careful not to pout too much or people might be quacking at you because you will have duck lips.

Keep Mouth Slightly Open
keep mouth slightly open

3. Angle Everything

The third tip is to angle everything. What do I mean by this?

When it comes to taking photos, think of every appendage as an opportunity to create an angle.

So for example, break your body down into lines such as elbow to hand, hip to the chest, shoulder to head, knee to foot, etc.

Each line should be at a slight angle. For another example, take the lines of shoulder to the elbow, then elbow to hand.

Imagine if these two lines were straight, how stiff you would look in the photo and how you could end up with a “fat arm” because it is pressed against your body.

With that being said, when posing for a photo, start with your feet then work your way up all the way to your head.

These angles also create “curves” and are great for highlighting feminine features and making the waist look more defined. This is especially true for boudoir photos.

Try to have every line be a slight angle — emphasis on the “slight” part because if you go overboard you may end up looking like an air dancer.

woman pose in angle
woman pose angles
angle everything

4. Forehead Forward and Down

The fourth posing tip for women is to slightly stick your forehead forward and down.

This creates a more defined jawline making the face appear more flattering.

A similar cue to this is to stick the chin forward and down but I don’t really like this one because if you think “stick chin forward” you’ll often do a turtle-like head movement.

With that being said, it’s easier to think forward and down. But again, do this slightly and not exaggerated because if you bring it too down then you’ll scrunch your chin in.

fine art portrait photo girl with blue eyes
forehead forward and down

5. Favored Side

The 5th posing tip for women is to leverage the favored side. In this age of selfies and whatnot, we’ll often find that we have a favored side.

Use that favored side to your advantage! We don’t really have symmetrical faces and sometimes we have a side of our face that just has better symmetry and lines or it has fewer blemishes, acne marks, or whatever it may be!

Another benefit of using a favored side is that since we know it is our favored side, we will appear and feel more relaxed in front of the camera.

If you are a photographer, then ask your subject what their favorite side is (if they have one) and if you are the subject, let the photographer know that that is your favorite side so they know which way to angle your face when it comes to taking side shots.

6. Smize

If you followed any pop culture around the year ~2009, you may have heard about the “smize” made popular by Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model.

Here’s the background story, I love this video:

A smize is defined as assuming a playful or alluring expression of the eyes. It is also described as smiling with your eyes — hence, smize.

Now, all jokes aside, it does add more character to a photograph. In order to smize, you crinkle/squint your eye without your mouth moving, with an emphasis on squinting the bottom of your eye/lower lid.

An easier way to think about it is to smile right now. Now smile genuinely like you are seeing your best friend for the first time after a long while.

Usually, when you have a genuine smile, your eyes will also squint. It’s pretty much that but without the mouth part.

smizing

The benefit of smizing is that it can bring life to the photo and any viewer who looks at the photograph can be drawn in.

If there is no character in the eyes, the subject could look like a deer in the headlights and there will be no character or depth in the image.

The most important thing with smizing is, to be subtle, and just like everything, don’t go overboard.

7. Shift Weight to Back

The 7th tip is to shift weight to the back leg. This is especially important for full-body photos.

By shifting the weight to the back, there will be a slimming effect.

In order to do this, just think about shifting your body’s weight to the straightened back leg with the front knee being bent.

Going back to tip #3, it’s all about creating those angles. If the subject just stood straight in front of the camera there would be no character, no dimension, no curves, and it might even make the subject appear bigger than they really are.

Shift Weight to Back
shift weight to back leg

8. Define Jawline

The 8th posing tip for women is to define that jawline.

Nobody wants a double chin, but it happens to the best of us, even models!

In order to avoid this dreaded chin, there are 2 simple things you can do.
We’ve already touched on the first way in tip #4 by bringing the forehead forward and down.

The second thing you/the subject can do is press their tongue against the roof of the mouth. This can be done while smiling and without. Make sure to not push it on the teeth, but on the roof of the mouth.

The effect that this has is that it lengthens the neck, helps avoid the double chin and helps accentuate and define the jawline.

A strong jawline is important for any pose, and not just for men.

Define Jawline
define jawline

9. Don’t Press with Hands

The 9th tip for posing women deals with the hands.

Oftentimes, photographers and the subject don’t know what to do with their hands.

Should I put them in my pocket? Just let them rest by my side?

I’m sure you’ve heard people say “I feel so awkward, what do I do with my hands?”

Well here is what you can do — pose them under the chin, in the hair, or have them slightly resting against something such as their legs or face.

The most important part with the hands is to not have them press hard against whatever it is they are resting against. You will also want to make sure that the fingers are curved and slightly apart.

For example, if they are against the face, think of the hands as simply resting and slightly touching the face. If they were pressing instead of slightly touching then they would be squishing the face and making the hand have an unflattering shape.

Don’t Press with Hands
don’t press with hands

10. Guide Don’t Pose

The 10th posing tip for women is for the photographers but also good to know as the subject.

Instead of thinking of rigid poses like “okay, stand here, move your hand here, a leg here” etc.

First think of a prompt, story, or emotion you are trying to convey.

For example, here is a prompt — “look over to the right and smile like a cute boy is over there smiling back at you” or something like that.

Then, once both the photographer and the subject know the story and prompt, from there you can make minor tweaks in the pose.

The photo will look a lot more relaxed and engaging rather than just saying “look over to the right, smile slightly, smize, and then laugh.”

Use the prompt as a base and see how you would naturally move the body and look with that prompt, then make final adjustments and tweaks to the pose using all the tips we’ve mentioned.

To further explore posing tips for women, we also recommend this video by Jerry Ghionis:

How Can I Pose More Feminine?

Posing for pictures as a woman is a lot different than it is for men.

Culture has dictated that women pose more feminine and men pose more masculine.

While of course, this isn’t a hardcoded rule, this is the popular posing style for women — so that’s what we’ll be focusing on.

Well, what does being feminine actually mean?

What is Femininity?

Femininity is often associated with other terms such as nurturance, gentleness, warmth, affection, kindness, tenderness, etc.

So unlike in poses of males where the goal is to look just masculine and powerful, in female poses, we aim to look powerful and demure at the same time — a balancing act worthy of its subject.

Combining this with posing techniques to flatter the body will produce a beautiful image that captures the subject’s inner and outer appearance.

What is Femininity?
poses to flatter body

How Can I Pose to Flatter My Body?

If you take the fittest person in the world and have them take a photo with an unflattering pose, their body will look unflattering — simple as that.

With that being said, each of the 10 tips we’ll be diving into will help contribute to the flattering image.

How Do You Practice Posing?

Just like everything in life, practice makes perfect.

When it comes to posing, it does take practice!

In order to practice posing, stand in front of a mirror and use the tips listed above. Do the opposite of the tips to see the effect that it has, then implement the tips to see the difference that it makes.

Once practiced in front of the mirror, use these tips next time you get photographed or take photographs of yourself.

Just remember, that with all these tips, you want to look comfortable and relaxed. Once you feel more comfortable, you will also feel more confident.

And remember, have fun with it! It should be an enjoyable experience. Laugh at yourself, make funny faces, and admire that double chin when you scrunch your neck in.

Love your body and emphasize its features with these posing tips.

FAQ

How Can I Pose to Look Better in Pictures?

Everyone wants to look their best in photographs, but sometimes it can be difficult to know how to pose. There are a few simple tips that can help you look your best in pictures. First, try to stand up straight and avoid slouching. This will help you look taller and more confident. Second, give the camera a slight smile. This doesn’t mean that you should grin from ear to ear; just a small smile will help you look approachable and friendly. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses. The best way to find a flattering pose is to try out a few different options and see what looks best on camera. With these simple tips, you’ll be sure to take great photos every time.

How Can a Woman Be More Photogenic?

Anyone can be photogenic with the right pose, lighting, and angle. If you want to look your best in photos, start by practicing your posing. Pay attention to your body language and facial expressions, and strike a balance between looking natural and relaxed. It can also help to practice in front of a mirror so that you can see how you look from different angles. When it comes time to take the photo, make sure that the lighting is flattering. If you’re outdoors, try to position yourself so that the sun is behind you. Indoors, use soft, diffused light instead of direct overhead light. And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles until you find one that flatters your features. By following these simple tips, you can learn how to be photogenic in any situation.

How Can I Pose Naturally?

When it comes to posing for a photo, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, try to relax your body and face. If you’re tense, it will show in the photo. Second, avoid stiff, awkward positions. Instead, experiment with different angles and find a position that feels natural to you. Third, use props to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. For example, if you’re standing, you can lean against a wall or tree. If you’re sitting, you can prop your feet up on a stool or chair. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to take great photos that capture your natural beauty.

Final Remarks

We hope you enjoyed this guide on posing tips for women!

Now go out there and try these new poses.