Posing is difficult. There's really no way around that, it is what it is. Models earn their fortunes not simply through being good looking people, but with a well-practised and hard earned ability to hit visually interesting & dynamic poses on demand.
Now, I don't want you to go read this thinking that you'll go away and, through the power of this blogpost alone, become Cara Delevingne or Naomi Campbell. That lofty goal may be a little out of reach. Hopefully though I'll be able to share with you some useful tips to help you get the most out of being in front of the camera - and feel confident doing it.
Posing is a physical activity and you'll find it easier if you're nice and warmed up. This obviously depends quite a lot on where the photos are being taken and to what purpose. It'll look a bit strange if you're doing stretches in your wedding dress. Avoiding stiffness is all we're after here, you don't need to do the splits.
Keep Your Limbs Separate From Your Body
It's a weird-sounding heading, but it'll make sense in a moment. I'm not talking about dismemberment, but rather keeping your arms and legs from butting up against each other (or your body in general). An example: Bring your arm in tight against your torso and watch what that does to the flesh of your arm. It flattens and spreads around, making your arm look chunkier than it actually is. By making sure that you keep even a small level of separation between limb and body, they'll look more natural and true-to-life.
Likewise, keeping a space between your elbows and your waist will accentuate the general natural curve of your waist, rather than rendering your body a flat rectangle.
Forehead Tricks For Your Neck
Look at yourself in a mirror, straight on, head level. Take a look at your neck and jawline in particular. When people stand straight on in a neutral position the front of their neck can become compressed, resulting in double chins/sagginess or other general looseness. Unless you have a lush beard to hide your chin behind, one way to combat this is by pushing your forehead towards the camera ever so slightly, this stretches the skin across your jawline and makes it very clean and good-looking. Don't overdo this one though, or you'll end up looking a bit like Quasimodo.
You don't want your hands to look like a seal's flippers, do you? Avoid having them splayed flat against your body. If possible, have the sides of your hands facing the camera to dial-down the seal effect. Among models, one of the most popular ways of achieving this is through 'ballet hands', i.e, emulating the hand position of a ballerina. Adjust your hand position so that your middle finger is on a lower position than your index finger, stay loose and flowing and voila! There are your ballerina hands!
This could reasonably look a bit weird and unnatural as well though, so don't overdo it if you're just doing simple posing.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Simply, don't stand face-on to the camera like a soldier standing to attention. By standing 45 degrees to the camera your waist will look much more streamlined. If you research pictures of celebrities on the red carpet you'll notice one thing most of them have in common: none of them face their bodies directly into the camera. They put one foot in front of the other, body forty-five degrees into the camera, hand on the hip to pop the waist. They know what works.
Try out some of these tips next time you're in front of the camera and hopefully you'll look better and feel more confident!