Photography blog

Posing for catalog

Main Objectives

Modelling for catalog needs to be solely focused on using postures to enhance the shopper appeal of the garments to make it more sellable.

The guide below has been developed so that you can perfect the ideal pose needed for catalogue modelling. Catalogue modelling is needed to enhance design, display functionality and highlight clothing details including pockets, zips, hoods, branding or any other unique detail. Knowing what type of posing is required before you begin the photo shoot will help you relax and make you feel more comfortable in the studio – that’s a good starting point for any posing whatever it’s catalog, fashion, beauty etc.


  • Keep it natural. This is the number one rule for perfecting the commercial / catalogue model pose.
  • Keep your feet slightly apart, your spine straight and your shoulders pushed back. This will help your posture and positioning in the photo. Next, think about bringing the picture to life. Whether that’s standing with one hand on your hip or your hand in your pocket. Then, as you get into character, try different poses. Remember that commercial and catalogue modelling is all about selling an idealism so it’s key to look happy too!
  • Open your mouth slightly. When your mouth is open is can change the mood of the photograph. When your mouth is closed the jawline clenches and adds extra weight to the sides of face. It can also give negative energy to an image, a bored neutral look. When your mouth is slightly open, the jawline is elongated and gives a subtle intimate atmosphere to the photograph.
  • If you are modelling a jumper with a slogan across the front don’t fold your arms across your chest. Doing so will block out the most important details. Ensure that the branding is visible from the important angles.
  • “Follow your nose with your eyes,” as it reduces the amount of white in the eye and eliminates the awkward over rotating eyeball. It will create colour, contrast and catche lights in the eyes.
  • Twist your shoulders from side to side but remember to keep your shoulders pointed towards the camera so that you don’t hide either side of the garment.
  • Try twisting your hips and making different leg shapes that accentuate the outfit you are wearing.
  • You can also try posing with your legs slightly apart with one knee turned in; this is a good pose to show off the fit of the pants you are wearing.
  • Don’t cover your hands completely over the garment. Keep your hands on your hips or by your side if you can. If you do find a cute pose that involved lifting a hand, try to touch your shoulder area or place one arm across your body.
  • Keep your chin down and your head tilted slightly. Don’t pose straight on unless asked specifically to do so by the photographer. You may be asked by the photographer to pose straight on show off a detail such as a hoodie or jacket.

Shooting Sequence

On a photo shoot images of clothes are taken in a sequences. Below you can find a sample sequence. This sequence can change during the photo shoot depending on the type of shots required. It’s mostly used scenario which might change if there is a need. Sometimes models are asked to pose only for full body shoots, top, top close up and top back if shoots of pants were taken in previous sequence.


All sequence

Examples of good posing.
Click image above to enlarge.

Full Body – fashion

Around eight full body shots show clothing from front and slight angles (up to 45 degrees).


Examples of good posing.
Click image above to enlarge.

Full Body – performance


Examples of good posing.
Click image above to enlarge.


Around eight images of top showing detail, branding and overall shape of garment.

Examples of good posing.
Click image above to enlarge.

Top Close up

Around two images showing close up of the garnet. Very simple and straightforward photos with hands close to the body and chin up so it doesn’t cover any part of the garnet.


Top back

Around two very simple images showing back of the garnet. The same like with front close up – hands close to the body and straight back.


Around three images showing brand, detail and overall look of the pants. 45 degree angle and look from the side (profile).


Bottom back

Around four images of pants showed from back and around 45 degrees back focused on showing brand and detail.


Detail shoot

ometimes models might be asked to pose for a “detail shot”. A detail shot is where a part of a garment is showcased in the photo eg. zips, pockets, buttons.

Fun shoots

At the end or sometimes in the middle of the photo shoot models might be ask to pose for “fun shots”. Fun shots are a more creative way of showcasing garments and clothing details. See the images below as an example.



Below you can find links to websites with some good catalog photos examples.


Further education

Here are some YouTube videos with tips about postures and posing. You can also check out my YouTube playlist for further ideas on posing.