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.
In this guide, we’ll be diving into professional posing tips for women along with examples.
After reading this guide, you should know:
- How to poses for pictures as a woman
- How to pose more feminine
- How to pose to flatter your body
- Female posing tips to look and feel your best
- Feminine poses for girls
- How to practice posing
- And more
Let’s dive in.
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.
If you are working with a photographer, then they should at least be knowledgeable on 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 criterias when it comes to posing women, is that the pose is feminine and that the pose flatters your body.
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.
How Can I Pose to Flatter My Body?
If you take the most fit 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.
10 Female Posing Tips to Look and Feel Your Best
1. Shoot From Above Eye Level
The first tip is to shoot from above eye level, but not by much.
Shooting 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 the 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 tips into consideration with tip #4 and tip #8 which we’ll dive into later.
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.
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 chest, shoulder to head, kneed to foot, etc.
Each line should be at a slight angle. For another example, take the lines of shoulder to 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 make 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.
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.
5. Favored Side
The 5th posing tip for women is to leverage the favored side. In this age of selfies and what not, 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 less 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.
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.
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.
The benefit with 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.
Most important thing with smizing is, 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.
8. Define Jawline
The 8th posting 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 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.
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 the 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.
10. Guide Don’t Pose
The 10th posing tip for women are 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, 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.
Cute, Feminine Poses for Girls (Examples)
Now that we’ve covered the posing tips for women, let’s dive into some example cute/feminine poses for girls that are most popular and are some of the most flattering poses for women.
Hands in Air
Resting Hand on Face
Lean on Wall
Look Over Shoulder
Hand(s) on Hip
Hands in Pocket
One Leg in Front of Another
One Hand Touching Mouth
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 it’s features with these posing tips.
We hope you enjoyed this guid on posing tips for women.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
Is there a pose that you tried out?
Is there a pose that you think we left out?
Either way, let us know in the comment down below.
Nate Joaquin Torres is a portrait photographer based in Southern California. As a photographer, Nate loves testing different photography styles and gear to expand his skill set. Outside of photography, Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. Nate is also the founder of Imaginated.com, a media company dedicated to inspiring digital-age artists and creators in business, artistry, and mind. Connect with him on Instagram.