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Tips for Posing Muscular Female Body Types

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.

Muscular Posing 1

This athletic model has a muscular physique. The tips in this article will help you pose her in a softer way.

Don’t flex

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.

Accentuate the curves

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.

Muscular Posing 2

Have her hug her body and play around with her arms. You can also have her bend her knee just a little to add a bit of a curve.

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.

Muscular Posing 3

Have your model embrace her hips. Encourage her to push one side out and have her hands and different lengths along her body as she leans forward just a bit.

Frame it

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.

Muscular Posing 4

Have your model turn her shoulder directly towards the camera. Shoot at different angles to get the look you’re 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.

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Monica Day
Monica Day

is a portrait photographer in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She specializes in photographing women and children. Monica aims to help each of her clients feel strong and confident. She also teaches and mentors other photographers. She is the author of The Most Fabulous Boudoir Marathon Guide. You can find Monica on her YouTube page where she provides tutorials and talks about lifestyle. Be sure to check out more of Monica’s work at her website and Instagram.

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