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No doubt, today’s media and advertising industry heavily exploits “fashion” and “sexy” themes (sometimes indeed too much). Over time public perception of what is acceptable has also broadened. This trend drives the demand and naturally glamour photography is increasing in popularity. Specialized glamour photo studios are opening with photographers working together with professional hair and makeup artists in order to provide a kind of “fashion model” experience for their clients.
Increasing popularity of this genre of photography is not surprising, many women like the whole experience – dressing up, trying on different ideas and accessories, creating different moods. And glamour is the perfect match for that. But there are several factors each of which can mean all the difference for the final result – hair and makeup, clothing and accessories, lights and posing. Of course, each of these are a broad subjects and in this article we will only touch the surface of the posing part.
So here follow sample poses that you can use as the starting point for your glamour portraits or simply as an idea for a shot.
1. Good starting pose for an intimate glamour. Works well in different surface settings: the model, for example, might lie on a bed, on the ground, in the grass, or on a sandy beach.
2. Just a different variant for the model lying down. Works very well with all body types.
3. Really nice and lovely pose. Shoot from a low angle. Ask the model to keep her upper body slightly lifted, but the head – slightly tilted down. Toes should always be pointed.
4. A demanding pose. A few things need to be checked: Supporting hand must be turned away from the body, stomach muscles should be controlled, and feet need to be stretched. Works only with slim to athletic body types.
5. Another challenging pose. Not so easy to pose and very demanding for a photographer. In order to shoot this pose successfully you have to pay attention and scan all body parts – hands, head, waist (avoid skin creases!), hips and finally legs.
6. Beautiful pose for an outdoor shooting. Ask your model to lay down, curve her back and stretch her feet.
7. Beautiful pose for the model lying on the ground. Upper body should be slightly lifted and the model looking back over her shoulder. Works well with all body types. Try different angles and look for the best position by moving gradually around the model.
8. Easy and simple pose to emphasize a feminine shape. Works also well as a silhouette against a bright background.
9. Variant for fine arts nude photography. Variations are endless with different hand, leg and head positioning.
10. Easy and gentle pose. A model should sit on both of her legs and feet, but it shouldn’t be too heavy. Eyes looking over her shoulder.
11. Easy yet gorgeous pose. Works well in different settings, both indoors and outdoors. Also suitable for a silhouette shot against a bright background.
12. An absolutely gorgeous pose if done properly. Correct limb positioning is crucial. Works exceptionally well with all body types. Also note that you should make your shots from a slightly elevated angle.
13. Very challenging pose, leg positioning being the decisive factor for good results. Carefully guide your model to the intended postures. High heel shoes are a must.
14. Simple and dignified pose. Make sure that model’s face is not partly covered by her hand or shoulder. Eyes looking down to her body creates particularly romantic mood. The raised elbow should be pointing away from the camera.
15. Very feminine and delicate pose. Remember that glamour and nude photography doesn’t exclude using some props. Sometimes a single piece of clothing might be a superb addition to a shot. Thus, the model might partly cover her body.
16. Very helpful aid for creating different poses is utilizing a wall (or any other object of a kind). Wall can be used as a place to put hands on, support a body, back, legs etc.
17. Full height at the wall shot. Again, endless variation and shooting angles are possible.
18. Following from the previous, for example, change you angle and shoot as well from the back.
19. An exquisite pose for slim to athletic models. Many variations are possible. Ask the model to curve a body in S shape, twist her hips and change hand positions. Let her turn her head in different directions.
20. Using a sheer textile as a prop creates endless possibilities for the model and photographer to create very rewarding and outstanding results. Especially marvelous looks can be made in windy weather conditions outdoors.
21. Another good idea for a creative glamour photography is to shoot in vast open fields, for example, some cornfield or wildflowers meadow or even in a deserted landscape. As previously mentioned some textile or other piece of clothing is very helpful for the model to come up with some interesting and graceful postures.
As a final note I will say once again – each of these initial sample poses is only a starting point. Each pose has endless variations. First of all, the model can always try different face expressions, smiles, head turns, hand and leg placements, body turns and twists etc. Only slight variations can make a completely different pose (and a better one!). Moreover, always remember to take a shot from different angles (up and down, right and left), try changing your distance to subject, try different crops and compositions of your shots. After all, posing is trial and error effort. The more variations you will try, the better results you will get.
Finally, you may want to look at Posing Women Part I and Posing Women Part II articles in this series for additional ideas on posing your models.
And I would really like to hear your experience with these posing samples. Please feel free to leave a comment.
If you find this article helpful, you may want to check out previous articles from the posing guide series:
Kaspars Grinvalds is a photographer working and living in Riga, Latvia. He is the author of Posing App where more poses and tips about people photography are available.