Model Photography Tips for Photographers

Have you ever made an album of model photography shots?

Model photography is important for multiple purposes, such as fashion, brand marketing and e-commerce. This type of photo is also useful for people who need good professional-looking photos of themselves to use on professional websites, on resumes (a.k.a. CVs) and on professional social media accounts.

Model Photography Tips for Photographers

The work of the photographer is very important in this style of photography. It’s necessary to find the best poses of the model being photographed to result in the best images possible.

In this post you will discover the essential steps for creating complete albums of model photography!

Let’s discover model photography tips for photographers to create high-quality photos.

Have a meeting with the model before the photo shoot

As a photographer, it’s important to start with a meeting with your client before any photo shoot. In this case, it’s good to have a meeting with the model you will be photographing. This first meeting is very important to define all the steps of the work that will be carried out. This first conversation will guide the expectations between the photographer and your client.

During the meeting, the photographer will get to know the characteristics of the model, for what purposes the photo book will be used and similar things. Ask questions about the client’s expectations for the album to create a positive vibe during the meeting, this will make a difference on the photo shoot day.

How to Compose Model Photography Shoots

Write a script for the photo shoot

After the meeting with the model, write a detailed script with the main steps that will be essential to carry out the photo shoot.

This script must include:

  • Hairstyles that will be used
  • Number of photos needed
  • Number of photo shoots (will it be more than one day?)
  • Clothes, shoes, makeup, and everything else necessary for the production.

If you’re creating an artistic photo shoot, the model’s photos must be taken in different scenarios and with different clothes, such as casual clothes, party clothes and summer vacation clothes (those are just a few examples).

You can work together with hairdressers, makeup artists and clothing rental stores. Most of the time, clients need the photographer’s help to know what are the best professionals who offer those services.

Don’t forget to make sure you have all the Camera Accessories needed, such as flash units, camera lenses and tripods. Don’t forget to use flash diffusers and light reflectors to improve the photo light exposure.

You can write one script per work as the material needed can be different.

Direct the model

Conducting a photo shoot is much more than telling the model how to pose for photos. The photographer must show confidence and communicate security and balance to the model so that they arrive in the best poses with the aesthetic beauty. That’s what directing the model means.

You can let the model stay alone in the photo scenario for a while because models may feel a little nervous at the beginning of the photo shoot, especially in photo studios. So you can walk around the photo studio/scenario with the model before starting the photo shoot and also introduce them to the work team (if there’s one).

How to Take Photos of Models

Being in a positive vibe is essential for getting to a successful photo album. Be in high spirits. Look for posing patterns of hands, shoulders, and knees. The positions of those body members are essential for good aesthetic final results. You can seek inspiration from the work of other photographers, such as fashion magazines and model photography portfolios.

Communication Tips

Your communication must be clear and objective during the photo shoot for the work to happen with greater productivity.

Remember to talk with the model in a dynamic way. An idea is to put on background music during the photo session, and always tell the model when to smile and when to be serious before taking each photo.

Model Photography Techniques

Don’t give the model the wrong direction. An example of bad directing is when you say “Turn to the side“, which side are you referring to? Is it just to turn the head? Just the eyes? Just the shoulder? The entire body?

Those are some example phrases you can use for a correct communication with the model:

  • “Move your head to the right.”

  • “Keep your chin level (not too high, not too dipped down).”

  • “Bring your right/left shoulder forward.”

  • “Look to the left/right.”

  • “Keep looking at the same spot.”

  • “Lean your body towards the left/right.”

  • “Place your hand/hands in your waist.”

  • “Put your hand/hands in your pocket/pockets.”

  • “Cross one leg over the other.”

How to Take Professional Photos of Models

Take photos that highlight the model’s beauty

As a photographer, it’s important to take photos from the best angles for each model. It’s also important to know if the model’s face is more expressive with a smile or serious and if the model looks better in face side view photos or in face front view photos.

Take photos of the model’s face, take photos from the waist above, photos of the full body, and other angles that will highlight the beauty of the model. Regardless of the purpose of the photo shot, clients always notice when you’re dedicated to get the best shots possible.

Tips for Taking Photos of Models

Also, lighting is essential and you have to make sure there’s enough lighting to avoid shadows and dark photos. You must take from 3 to 4 shots per pose to have varied material and choose the best shots later. This also minimizes the work needed post-production (image editing). If there is any type of decoration in the photo, remember to change its position every 4 shots too.

Pose ideas for female models

Those are poses for female models that can be useful in your model photography shoots:

One Leg Behind the Other: in this pose, the model puts one leg behind the other (without crossing them) and slightly flexes the leg that is more in the back. This pose is good for side view photos. If there’s a wall behind the model, tell her to avoid putting one foot on the wall because that’s not very aesthetic.

Straight Body Position: in this pose, the model stands up with the body aligned and places her forearm on her leg. It’s good to tell the model to touch her hair as if moving the hair because keeping the arms straight and close to the body doesn’t look good.

Sitting Pose: in this pose, the model sits sideways and places her hand on the side next to the chin, always keeping her shoulders straight with a slight inclination towards the camera. The model can also bend one leg to support the arm if it’s placed on the knee.

Shoulders: no matter what’s the pose, remember to pay attention to the model’s shoulders because they need to be well aligned.

Arms: if the model raises one arm towards the head, tell her to don’t extend the arm too much effort and bend the arm towards any accessories they may be wearing, such as glasses and earrings, or simply towards the hair.

Pose ideas for male models

How to Take Photos of Male Models

Many female photo poses work for male models too. However, if you’re taking photos of a male model, focus on the model’s face, especially on the jaw.

It’s less usual to use hands to compose poses for male model photos, but you can tell the model to slightly close one hand and put it on one side of their forehead or touching the beard or behind the neck.

If the photos are for business purposes, the best post set up is: one or both hands in pockets with the body slightly leaning towards one side, the head held high, the eyes on the camera and a slight smile.


Great! Now you know how to create a high-quality photo album of model photography and how to achieve an impressive model photography work.

So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!

You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!

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