Female Posing Guide

I started as a portrait photographer mainly focusing on female fashion photography. There are many details that go down to how to pose female models. And I learned a lot of the pro tips from through “The Lens Lounge.”  In this article, I will share the 9 tips as well as some of my add on advices on posing woman and finding their best angles.

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Kira


#1 The Closer the Bigger

The golden rule in female portraiture is the remember that whatever is closer to the camera, the bigger it is. Minimizing the unappealing body parts such as the upper arm, belly, or even the double chin and putting emphasis on the more attractive parts of the curve are very important.

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Tess-2

2. If it bends, bend it

(from “The Lens Lounge”)

This is one of the first rules of posing women. Because women’s bodies have curves, bending limbs accentuates the curves.

Bending the arms will highlight the curve:

  • at the waist
  • in the small of her back

Bending one leg and shifting her weight to the other leg will:

  • push her hip out on one side
  • which creates a curve when facing to camera

If she’s side on to camera it accentuates the feminine shape, because it:

  • amplifies the outward curve of her butt
  • and the inward curve in the small of her back


Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Tainna-2

#3 Curve the Arms

This part I have different opinions than the website guide. In the article from The Lens Lounge, it mentioned to give space between body and arms. But I am more incline to curve the arms no matter to bend in to the body so you can emphasize the waist or bend out away from the body are both fine. As long as the arm is not just straight unless is doing on purpose. Here are the examples.

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Kira-11

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Sherry

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Hajdi-4

#4 Less Than 90 Degrees

Anything that is 90 or more than 90 degrees give a sense of boldness, straight, masculine image. On the other side, if it’s less than 90 degrees, it’s more reserved, and feminine. Not saying girls can’t be bold, straight, and like a boss, this is just an expression. You get the idea.

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Hajdi

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Becka

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Sherry

5. The feminine S shape in posing

(The Lens Lounge)

The beauty of the female form lies in the curves. So when photographing a woman, we need to make sure that we make the most of her curves, regardless of whether she’s standing, sitting or lying down. 

The best way to do this is to think in terms of an S shape for great curves and apply the pose to the whole body. Because the shape is so distinctly feminine, when you photograph an S pose from the front, the side or even the back it’s flattering.

Zhiyang Tsai-how-to-pose-woman-Maria


I think these are the most important ones from the tips that I gathered. A lot of time, as photographer we need to find the angles for our models that will work the best on them. Make a few try and some adjustment and you will get there!

  1. The Closer the Bigger
  2. If it bends, bend it
  3. Curve the Arms
  4. Less Than 90 Degrees
  5. The feminine S shape in posing