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You’ve found a model. You’re excited. She’s in AMAZING shape. I mean amazing as in 8% body fat and abs that you can wash your clothes on. This might not be quite what you were expecting so here are some tips for posing your muscular, super fit model in more feminine poses.
Tell your model to avoid flexing. It might sound counterintuitive but these are not sports or fitness competition photos. You do not want the flex, you want the form. Make sure you encourage your model to relax. Relax her shoulders and her arms. Her shoulders are broad so you want to help her relax them as much as possible.
Unless you’re shooting an athletic or an androgynous story, you will most likely want your model to have some curves. Your muscular model will most likely not have curvy hips. You can create the illusion by posing. The key here is to watch as your model moves, see what her body does.
Have her push her hips to one side, as she drops her shoulders and arms to hug her body. Another trick is to have her hug her body. This can create curves where there are none. As she’s hugging, have your model bend forward a little. Shoot from various angles to find the most flattering look. Thirdly, have her bend a knee – just a little. This knee will add yet another angle for you to work with. The knee should be moved as you’re shooting. Try having her cross her knee in front of the other leg. Use all of these tricks together to achieve the look you want.
You can do a lot with a photo with your framing. Your muscular model will most likely have broad shoulders and you can bring those in a bit with your framing. Have your model pose with her shoulder facing you. Have her turn her head towards you, and you’ve now softened her shoulders. Encourage her to drop her shoulders as much as she can. She might not be able to go far so pay close attention, you don’t want to hurt her.
You can have her tilt a bit if you need to. You can also have her face straight on towards you. Have her put her hands on her sides slightly above her hips, one hand should be just a bit higher than the other. Have her roll her hips towards the camera just a bit. One hip should be slightly to the side. This pose gives her a bit of movement in her shape and helps to soften her form. From this point, you can vary your shooting angle and framing to get the look your going for.
These tips are the starting point for posing your muscular model. If you’re shooting athletic or competition photos then you’ll want to tweak these poses to accentuate the muscles. Remember that what you see is what you photograph. If something doesn’t look quite right, change it to look better. Use these tips to create the look you and your model want.