How to pose a portrait: 54 creative ideas

Portrait posing guide

Are you stuck for portrait ideas? Sometimes we've found that you can over-think these things. When you put so much thought into backdrops and colour schemes, etc, you can overlook some of the fundamentals of portrait photography, such as your subject's pose.

A great way to reignite you portrait photography is to shoot a model in your home photo studio, using as minimalist a set-up as possible. By experimenting with different poses you can see what works and get new portrait ideas to apply to your next shoot.

To help you along we've put together our latest photography cheat sheet, a visual posing guide that you can use as inspiration.

To create our posing guide we shot our own examples of some of the more traditional portrait styles - full-length portraits, seated portraits, high and low perspectives and head-and-shoulder shots - and then some suggested poses within these genres. We've also included some short tips on how to achieve these shots to get the best results.

1. Full-length portraits

To capture top-quality portraits like the pros, you need to put some more thought and preparation into your shots than simply aiming the camera at your subject. Once you've sorted exposure and lighting, it's really down to your composing and the model's posing to work together for the best results.

Full-length portraits