Photography Posing Guide For Beginners

Photography Posing Guide For Beginners

Today you will learn how to pose a non-model subject in a flattering way. I will not go on about 100 different poses that you possibly could do because believe it or not for posing really is a skill that needs to be learned and often the real issue is caused by a lack of confidence in front of the camera. So we will start slow with some simple poses for this photography posing guide for beginners.

With that being said. Let’s get started! 🙂

How to Make Them Feel Confident

This doesn’t only go for non-models. 🙂  The thing is that with a good picture you will always capture how the person feels and in a perfect world that would be everything but being uncomfortable, scared and insecure. Right? Unless that is what you are going for. So how do you make her or him feel comfortable even though you have a huge camera in my hand?

photography posing guide for beginners

  1. Talk With Them While You Shoot.

There is nothing more awkward than taking pictures without a word. Because silents between people that work closely with each other really is an uncomfortable thing. It really doesn’t matter what you talk about. It can be the weather, a funny story or just explain what you trying to archive with those pictures.

  1. Give Them Directions.

Not in a dictating, but in a confident way. Because most people really just don’t know how which way to turn or how to sit or what you expect. When you just tell them what to do, they can relax and slowly get the hang of it.

  1. Shoot The Better Side

Most girls at least have a side they like better for some reason. They think it makes them look better and if you shoot it they will feel better. Which will ultimately result in really looking better. 🙂

  1. Always Be Positive

This is the most important and also most obvious tip in my photography posing guide for beginners. Always be positive. We seem to forget about that while we try to get the perfect shot. For me, I make photoshoots more about having a good time than nailing the picture. which actually leads to nailing the picture. 🙂  Don’t go like FUUUUCK that’s the worst picture I have ever shot. Even if it is. Just say that’s cool but I want to try something different. Then move on because it really won’t work if you are annoyed about how she looks, how the picture looks or how the light comes. Being annoyed visible in the picture.

like a Zen master 🙂

  1. Tell Them How Freaking Good They Look

Most people think they don’t look bad in real life but in pictures. Which is bullshit 🙂 tell them how good they actually look and what a hell of a job they are doing while you take the pictures. Don’t overdo it though. I have seen photographers talking to models in a high pitched voice like they where some kind of dog or something… I don’t think I have to tell you that this didn’t do anything aside from making me almost collapse from laughing.

Relax Their Faces

To not get the typical camera face that most people get as soon as you aim the camera at them. Do those two exercises with them

Make Them Breathe Through Their Mouth.

That relaxes all the muscles around the mouth opens up their chest and gives you a natural looking face.

She is breathing through the mouth and looks totally relaxed

Make Them Do Stupid Faces.

Most people have a lag of impression on their faces (at least here in Germany). So what I like to do is, to just try to show each other the worst faces you know and try to look as stupid as possible. This is actually an exercise that actors do to activate the face muscles to have a stronger impression on their faces which is awesome. It also is super hilarious and sets a good mood.:)

photography posing guide

Let’s Get To The Posing

What are the hands doing?

Make sure they don’t just hang on the subject. That can make a skinny girl appear pretty big in a picture. Try to put one on the hip and the other one on the head.


1. Let her go through her hair and play with it. Make sure she doesn’t grab it super tight. Playful looks better.

photography posing guide

2. Try to make her face you at an angle.

photography posing guide for beginners


3. Make sure the face faces you and not just the eyes.

photography posing guide for beginners

4. The Jawline is a very feminine feature and you want to have that visible in most cases.

photography posing guide for beginners

5. Let her put a hand on her face. Whenever you do that make sure that she doesn’t cover up the jawline with her hand and that she doesn’t bring the inside of her hands towards the camera. Because a fingerprint is a bit complex to retouch. 🙂

photography posing guide for beginners

6. Shoulders. Don’t let them hang. That’s it.

photography posing guide for beginners

What Are The Legs Doing?

The most basic thing that girls can do to look more flattering is to either stand tight with one leg in front of the other while putting the weight on the back leg. That makes the legs appear thinner and longer and gives the give the whole body a very feminine look. It also does a lot for the bottom it makes it posture way better with the legs when you shoot from the side.

photography posing guide for beginners


I tried to not put the main focus on the actual pose because the most important thing to get started really is to be relaxed and have fun. You will figure out what you like and what you don’t like. The poses described above are very basic but important. Also, keep in mind that it is the same with posing as it is with photography. There are no rights or wrongs and it really depends on the situation and on the subject itself. Poses are like clothes certain poses fit certain people and certain scenarios.

And I am certainly done now with my photography posing guide for beginners. I know it might be a lot at first, but just take small steps you will get there:) If you have any kind of opinion or question please let me know in the comments and I will get to you as soon as I can.

Cheers Aaron.

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6 thoughts on “Photography Posing Guide For Beginners

  1. Erick

    Cool tips man , body language is king in term of taking photographs, I like the part where if it doesn’t go in your way try to be positive and move on try another way , that is looking it like a mechanical progress action feedback , correction , and finally this is good to know since I am thinking of when I get good in shape i can take some of your advice to look better on a photo obviously not feminine poses.

    1. Aaron

      Hey Erick, thanks for the nice feedback. I will do a post on men poses too, but since there are more female models I did this one first. Yes body language absolutely is king and in order to keep the body language positive everybody on set needs to be positive. Plus it’s way more fun this way 🙂 

  2. Louise

    You’ve got some great tips here – I particularly like the one about making your subjects do silly faces! I can imagine this would really relax them. After all, the candid and natural shots are always the best!

    I like your comment about poses being like clothes and suiting different people too – I’d never thought of it this way. I love your photos, they’re great 🙂

    1. Aaron

      Hey Louise, thanks for the nice feedback. The face thing is also one of my favorites to do. Because if you work with a model that you just met, it will break the barrier between you and her and will make you both work more as a team. 

  3. Festus

    Thanks Aaron, this is a great post for all, particularly me.

    I am not a photographer, neither am i a girl, but i do love taking pictures. Trying to get the perfect pose could be tiring a times.

    I have learnt to just relax myself and have fun, i might try the stupid face you suggested, that will be funny though.

    This has been helpful, hope to learn more as i visit some other time

    1. Aaron

      Hey Festus, Yes try to have the most fun possible and take pictures while you’re at it. If you are in a bad mood it will show in the picture. 🙂 

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