When it comes to putting on a swimsuit, it can be easy to automatically think you should be a sex kitten during a photo shoot. Contrary to popular belief, posing in a swimsuit doesn't always mean you have to do overtly sexual poses.
There are ways to pose in a swimsuit that doesn't exude sexuality. After all, not only volumptuous, long-legged models wear swimsuits. There are bathing suit styles made for teens as well as adults and when it comes to shooting swimwear, your poses should reflect the target audience.
There are different types of poses you can do when sporting a bathing suit, namely a bikini. There are also different types of bikinis and other two-pieces as well so also keep that in mind. Obviously you would pose differently in a string bikini than you would a two-piece that has boy short bottoms and a simple top.
Like any other type of shoot, the poses you do for swimwear should be natural, graceful and simple. Complicated poses tend to make you look awkward or take away from the overall composition of the photo. Even simple poses can look stunning if shot the right way.
If you're doing swimwear shots for your portfolio/agent, keep it PG, regardless of what age you are. Not all clients want a sexed-up model in a swimsuit. Often they just want a photo that shows off your body without you being naked.
It's much easier to book a gig with a swimwear shot that can appeal to all age ranges than a shot that eyes under 18 shouldn't witness. For portfolio updates, make sure that the poses you do are safe and appropriate enough for your agent to submit to any client without offending them.
Examples of safe, fun swimwear poses:
Freelance models can use a variety of poses in their portfolios since they are the ones in control of their images and who they submit them to. If you're looking to do glamour or modeling for men's magazines, then posing sexier is definitely going to come into play. Even though these poses are supposed to be sexual in nature, that doesn't mean that you need to look like a slut.
Honestly, there is a way to look sexy without looking trashy. Photographers who specialize in this type of photography won't hesitate to tell a model that she is posing too sexy and to take it down a notch. A simple smirk or playful tug on your bikini is just enough to create an image that will appeal to a male audience without appearing raunchy.
Example of a sexier pose for glamour/men's magazine:
No matter what kind of posing you do, it has to look natural and graceful. The greatest pose is one where it doesn't even look like you're posing at all. Having grace doesn't just apply to taller models. Models of average height can also play up their best assets with the right pose. Knowing how to use your arms and how to angle your body can make all the difference.
Even the standard hand on the hip can look stylish and natural in a photo. When it comes to swimwear, make sure to avoid poses that cause your arms to block the swimsuit you're wearing. Everything as a whole should work together to create one dramatic, eye-catching pose.
Examples of simple, graceful poses that create nice lines:
Based off of these two photos, it's hard to tell what my true height is. In the first photo all I did was angle my hips slightly and it created these amazing curves that not only look sexy but slim my torso as well. For the second photo, I knew that by bending one of my knees slightly and angling them just right, I could create the illusion of longer legs. Having these types of photos definitely work to the advantage of models who are on the shorter side.
The best advice I can give when doing a shoot in a bikini is to not have any preconceived notions about the poses you're going to do. First find out what the shoot is for and then tailor your poses to fit that theme in a way that is appropriate for the nature of the shoot and the people who will be viewing the images.