Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to Get You Started with Glamour Photography

Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to Get You Started with Glamour Photography

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.

Posing guide glamour 01

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.

Posing guide glamour 02

2. Just a different variant for the model lying down. Works very well with all body types.

Posing guide glamour 03

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.

Posing guide glamour 04

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.

Posing guide glamour 05

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.

Posing guide glamour 06

6. Beautiful pose for an outdoor shooting. Ask your model to lay down, curve her back and stretch her feet.

Posing guide glamour 07

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.

Posing guide glamour 08

8. Easy and simple pose to emphasize a feminine shape. Works also well as a silhouette against a bright background.

Posing guide glamour 09

9. Variant for fine arts nude photography. Variations are endless with different hand, leg and head positioning.

Posing guide glamour 10

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.

Posing guide glamour 11

11. Easy yet gorgeous pose. Works well in different settings, both indoors and outdoors. Also suitable for a silhouette shot against a bright background.

Posing guide glamour 12

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.

Posing guide glamour 13

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.

Posing guide glamour 14

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.

Posing guide glamour 15

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.

Posing guide glamour 16

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.

Posing guide glamour 17

17. Full height at the wall shot. Again, endless variation and shooting angles are possible.

Posing guide glamour 18

18. Following from the previous, for example, change you angle and shoot as well from the back.

Posing guide glamour 19

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.

Posing guide glamour 20

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.

Posing guide glamour 21

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.

More Posing Guides

If you find this article helpful, you may want to check out previous articles from the posing guide series:

Grab Our Guide to Portrait Posing

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.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • tjrohwer March 21, 2013 12:36 am

    I love you series kaspars, and I own your app, it is a great help. Here I even have one attempt at no. 8 that I like.
    Thank you so much

  • Adi March 17, 2013 05:17 pm

    Very nice and interesting but it would be more interesting with real life models of different types/curves.

    And these are all very close to boudoir photography and not so much to glamour.


  • Martha January 2, 2013 01:39 pm

    Great series, next up that would be great is a Posing Guide for Pin-ups

  • Kevin December 19, 2012 02:47 am

    Would love a part 2 on this one!

  • geo October 5, 2012 07:18 pm

    what a great post !!
    thank you on behalf of all those who shoot photojournal and cannot post (like me...)

  • Fozzy October 5, 2012 04:48 pm

    Thank you, this helps a lot would it be possible to have a printable version to be able to carry in my camera bag. I have tried printing the above but the drawings get cut off when printing .

  • Rahul October 5, 2012 09:12 am

    The moral police, who commented on the first of 21 pose series, would be here soon... :-)

  • Tim October 5, 2012 08:48 am

    These are some great ideas for shooting females. I know it's a big call - but does anyone have advice on how to shoot males nude? We have an assignment coming up at University that involves shooting a male and a female in the studio - both nude. I think this article gives some great tips on how to pose females - but males. Tough one!

  • Sarah October 5, 2012 07:31 am

    As someone just starting to enjoy taking portraits I have loved all these posing guides and found them very helpful. I really like the illustrations rather than real images as I can concentrate solely on the pose and not get hung up on the lighting or the setting a photographer has used that I can't achieve in my novice-ness so thank you again

  • Gus October 5, 2012 03:07 am

    Love the app. Extremely usefull and fun to use it as a guide. I found that when you show the poses to your subject you make them part of the variations they create themselves

  • Ram October 5, 2012 02:37 am

    Good tips with clear and simple explanation .
    Keep imparting with such great knowledge for beginners like us. Good luck!

  • Danny October 5, 2012 01:57 am

    There's 2 types of "model" those that have experience and those that think they are because they have paid for a photoshoot. Experienced models know how to pose and can and normally will teach the photographer. These are your best subjects to use if your new to glamour & fashion but they normally charge. None models or those that think they are but really they aren't are the ones you will struggle with as they expect you to guide them every step. It will show in your images.

    Great write from what I have browsed through will enjoy reading it more later this evening

  • ccting October 2, 2012 11:10 pm

    I have to say.. you are the best author that i have most..

  • Kaspars Grinvalds October 1, 2012 11:16 pm

    thanks for your comment. Regarding getting over the fear, my short advice would be - start practicing with a model you know very well, somebody you can feel absolutely comfortable with together. Nobody ever achieved posing masters degree on the first photo shoot. As with all things, it just comes with practice.
    But the question indeed is a good thought for possibly a separate article.

    thanks for your question! Using somebody else's photo as a sample would be awkward for this purpose. It's nearly impossible to reproduce exactly the same pose and your model will never look the same as the other person. In contrast, illustrations are only body outlines, so it's very simple for the model to understand and recreate the pose. Illustrations aren't so restrictive either, the model can be creative and come up with different variants on her own.

  • Jai Catalano September 29, 2012 06:25 am

    This is great. Why don't you use a real model though? It would be great to see the real thing and not stick figures. Although 18 is still hot. :)

  • John Davenport September 29, 2012 04:53 am

    Loving this series! As someone who's trying to get more comfortable posing models this series has been a great resource I keep coming back again and again.

    My question to you though how do you get over the fear of constantly telling a model what to do? Do you ever worry that you might frustrate them or is it really just in their mentality that they're going to be guided and pushed in all sorts of different positions.

    My biggest problem is not just finding the ideas for how to pose models, but getting them into the positions I've thought of.

    Anyway, that's my rambling question, maybe it's a good idea for a future post in the series?

  • Mridula September 29, 2012 02:10 am

    Interesting, very interesting ideas.