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The BEST and WORST Pageant Poses for Photographs

If you’re a pageant girl, it’s likely that you enjoy being in front of a camera. From photo-shoots to appearances, to Mom’s scrapbook, lights are constantly being flashed around you; however, just like everything else, there are do’s and dont’s. I want your next modeling exhibition to be the best it can be with a few simple tips from the professionals.

Photography has a lot of vocabulary. Lighting, angles, and yes, posing are all a part of the final product. Your job as a candidate for a potential modeling career through pageantry is to know YOU beforehand. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but this simply means know your body type. Posing in photography can be beautiful, if done correctly. For example: I have a full and rounder shaped face. My face is also very symmetrical. This enables me to take straight-on photos well.  On the other hand, taking photos from a profile is not my forte, whereas a friend of mine with higher cheekbones takes them very well. The typical goal in a photograph is to display oneself in the most flattering way. With a few tips, you will be on your way to doing just that.

Best & Worst Pageant Poses for Photographs

The Elongater

This is perfect for all of my vertically challenged ladies out there (I am right there with you)!  This can take you from small to tall instantly! Notice how the model has a casual expression but is using every inch to her advantage and creating an illusion by extending her legs. Granted, she is tall, but this is merely an example of how well this can work for anyone.

Pageant Poses for Photographs
The Elongater

The Classic “T”

This pose is a simple and classic move; just take it from our model, Betty Thompson, Miss Oklahoma 2011. Betty is very petite but rocked the swimsuit competition with her fitness and confident spunk. She proves that the classic “T” can do wonders for anyone! It can also be a great position for those who are not extremely comfortable branching out in this round. It is simple yet elegant. It forces you to stand tall and keep the tummy tight. Who doesn’t like that?

"T" Pose,Pageant Poses for Photographs
“T” Pose

Straight-On Head-shot

As mentioned earlier, the straight-on pageant headshot works well for girls with symmetrical faces. This can, however, also be a beautiful photo for just about anyone. With a winning smile and beautiful cosmetics, the “straight-on” can be a knockout! Notice how the model is engaged with the camera. Her head is tilted slightly to the right from our vantage point, yet completely centered with the lens.

Photo: Mugeek Vidalondon
Photo: Mugeek Vidalondon

The Don’ts

Unfortunately, there are some positions that are not as flattering for us in front of the camera. Never mind this, we are here to help.

katie stam,swimsuit,pageant pose
True Hip Grip

The True Hip Grip- I am guilty of this one. I was once told by national titleholder, Kendra Emerson of America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization (ANTSO), “Never place your hands on your true hips- your pelvis, located beneath your stomach- it cuts you off.” The more I looked into it, the more sense it made. Instead, place your hands for a pose right under your rib cage. This pose, like the “T” forces you to keep your shoulders back.

The Shunner

The Shunner- Now this sounds like a horror movie title… This is the classic “back to the camera” pose. I have seen plenty of beautiful pictures with the model facing backward; however, it is very hard to perfect. This is most commonly seen with the back turned and head craned to face the camera.  Not only does it look odd, it also strains the eyes. A better option would be a slight turn or maybe even a profile. We want to see your pretty face!

Like your gown, shoes and platform choice, a pose has to feel comfortable. You must sell it and make it believable! Modeling is about displaying your beauty and no one can make you pose a certain way without your consent. Do what I do, and practice in the mirror. Yes, it is silly, but nonetheless fun! Now you are on your way to a lovely, statuesque and stoic look for that camera with some of these innovative poses. Remember, please model responsibly.

Which dress do you like better?

One thought on “The BEST and WORST Pageant Poses for Photographs

  1. I am a fan of elongating myself in pictures. Usually heels alone do the trick for me since I am already so tall but I have noticed that some ways that I pose make me look much more elongated.
    The Classic T is such a typical MAO pageant girl. Especially on stage. It gets boring! This is part of the reason that I fell in love with MUO and all of the different variations they put on posing!
    For headshots, something I'm not sure if I love or hate, is hands on your face. I am guilty of having TONS of those myself! I just always think back to one of my absolutely favorite pageant directors who always looks at those photos and says "This is a pageant! Not an Oil of Olay commercial!"

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