Flow Posing Hack: Memorize 30 Poses The Easy Way

If you have watched the above shooting sequence, you have observed how I handle posing flow, directing the model and communicating with her. This is a part of my natural workflow and after years of exercising shoots this habit became a natural part of me by now.

Though that was not always the case!

I had to learn how to build a rapport, communicate and direct poses the hard way (with a lot of failures…).

Pre-internet it was not that easy to get condensed and awesome visual educational material with proper focus on the essentials. This has definitely improved these days. 🙂

Flow Posing - Behind The Scenes with Playmate Coxy Dominika copy

A Practical Game-Plan: Prepare Yourself, Show Confidence

When you work with a model, being to the point and starting a shoot fast shows that you know what you’re doing. It says you’re confident – even though you probably don’t feel that way (sometimes) 🙂

A few of you might remember the LIVE 2 show where I preached that it is always you who is leading the show – (well, the shoot)!

Flow Posing - Imagery & Results - feat. Playmate Coxy Dominika copy

Pretending or Knowing? Simple Systems Help You.

Your model needs to feel that you know what you are doing. Even if you are a newcomer you are responsible for the guidance when it comes to poses. If you feel lost, you should at least pretend that you know what you are doing.

You’re the boss; you are the director on the set. (Doesn’t matter if you are working with a model or a private client.)

Thoughtful preparations before the actual shoot and educational tools during the session are definitely helpful.

Remembering Poses: Michael Zelbel’s Brain Hack For You

Flow Posing - Boudoir Flow Posing by Michael Zelbel - eBook - 1 copy

There’s actually a neat system that easily lets you remember a large sequence of poses. Michael explains his trick and system in the following video.

The following video offers you awesome detailed posing system explanations and actions you can replicate in your next shoot right away. Those are very valuable 5 minutes worth spending – I promise you!

“Flow Posing”. More Inspiration. More Ideas. Less Hassle.

Michael’s comprehensive eBook reveals many more aspects and also poses as full system that you can adopt and rely on. In this case, I can really say it’s a hack, offering you a short cut that lets you smoothly sail around trails and errors. Purchasing the eBook is very wise spent, little money.

The 60-page PDF spells out 30 boudoir/glam/portrait poses in detailed, clear directions based on the flow & letter system. Sticking to this hack will help you to begin your shoots faster and more productively.

And because you and SWP peeps are awesome, I got a deal for you from Michael: 20% OFF.

Flow Posing Hack with Coxy Dominika.Still001

Tutorial “Posing with Coxy Dominika”

LIVE Replay: ‘The World Of Posing’ – Starting Out, Glamour & Art Nude

12 Films. 128 Min Runtime. FullHD
Starring Czech Playmate Coxy Dominika & Canadian Art Nude Sensation Hanna.
From Posing Basics to Coaching Systems to Genres: always sexy. Different genres, different posing styles, different model types. All techniques and examples guarantee you immediate, meaningful and portfolio-proof imagery and the settings with Coxy Dominika and Hanna will let you replicate and adapt not only your ideas but also your shots right away.


Content value?


Dan Hostettler

A traveler at heart, inspired by women, working along Swiss precision. Dan is a mediapreneur, photographer, author of several books and founder + Editor in Chief of SexyWomenPhotography.com.

Being a successful photographer for more than 15 years Dan got internationally published and featured on/in GQ Online, The India Times, FashionONE TV, FotoTV, GoodLight Mag, amongst many others. Dan is currently residing and working in Prague, CZ.

Dan will talk about his projects, provide insights in shootings & concepts, produce webinars, create Academy content, explain styles, emphasize the importance of working with models and any other exciting topic he discovers along the way.

What “system/hack” do you use for remembering poses in a flow?


  1. Hi Dan
    Thanks for sharing your posts. I have watched many of your tutorials and DVD. In fact I have purchased too many of your DVD and books that I never had time to finish watching/reading. Many photography teachers have discussed about posing sexy models. But hardly anybody have explained clearly why and what they want to achieve from those poses. We can pose sexy models in hundreds of ways. Professional models know how and are able to do many poses. Amateurs or the average clients are only able to do limited poses due to their body type or fitness. The simplicity is that the human body is a vertical straight line which is not flattering at all. We therefore, are trying to achieve V shape, C shape, triangle, diagonal and curve line. Almost every pose contains these shape or form. For example, often times, model keep their knees tight together to achieve a V shape in the hip. They bend their body and lower one shoulder to achieve a C shape or 2 reverse C shape. All we are doing is trying to enhance the breasts, waist line, hips, arms and legs and hide the less attractive parts of the model’s body. If we use flat lighting, we can shoot around the model and with different camera height, we can achieve many varieties with every pose. I have been struggling with posing models for many years. However, I have learned that posing sexy models do not have to be complicated nor we need to memorized tens or hundreds of poses.

    • Dan Hostettler

      Hello Daniel, thank you for your comment and insights. Also many thanks for buying my training – this helps to keep this site alive!

      You are totally correct regarding posing approaches and “needs”. Depending on the story/message one wants to create, very subtle “posing”, acting is just enough. No need for any exaggerated movements or quirky actions.
      It’s always good to have some (simple) basic ideas and the to take it from there. As you mentioned, depending on the model itself it’s not always possible to (re)create what we have in mind. But if we are open minded and a bit creative we are always able to tweak an idea towards a successful result.

      I am still failing directing a model in compelling poses (and flow thereof) when it comes to place her on a bed, couch. As soon bodies get elongated in form (head to toes) I get blocked with “strong” lines and unappealing composition. A weakness; I need to practice a whole lot more to find good starting points for those ones…


  2. Hi Dan
    In Michael’s video re the posing his books language is not English (German??) can you please confirm what the written language is in the book

    thank you

    • Dan Hostettler

      Hello Chovik, thanks for reading, watching and reaching out.

      While Michael is indeed of German origin all his (ours) material is delivered in English, the book(s) as well. Hope this helps.

      Best from Prague, Dan

  3. Boudoir Flow Posing is a very useful to guide you on a boudoir session.
    I recommend it for anyone working with photography at that style. The e-book is so easy to undertand and very elaborated.

    • Dan Hostettler

      Hello Marcelo, thanks a lot for commenting and your recommendation! Awesome it is helpful to you and the many others out there.

  4. Dan,

    Just went through the book and found it very informative (like just about everything on this site). It did leave me with a technical question though, the diagram on page 56 uses speedlights (which I’ve never used before). I went into set.a.light and tried the same settings as shown in the diagram using 250 ws monolights and the shots were massively blown out even at minimum power, leading me to believe that the monolights are much stronger than the speedlights. My own are 320 ws, so I would expect it to be even worse if I tried. Obviously, I could stop down my lens (quite a bit) to get a good exposure, but I like the effect of the f2.8 he used in the book. Other than moving the lights 50 feet away, do you have any tricks that would resolve this issue?


    • Dan Hostettler

      Hello Craig, thanks for reading and your question. Challenge accepted!

      Here’s what I did:

      1) I created a new monolight with 300WS and put an Octo on, 90cm diameter; light comes in the same direction/positioning as in the book.
      => Note: I could not create a speedlight as they are referred to in „guide numbers“ which are related/measured to the distance. But anyway, since you have a 320WS strobe a monolight similar is OK. It’s about the Octo modifier and it seems that the Phottix Luna Deep Octa is 100cm diameter.
      So all these small differences do not have a huge impact on the lighting design (brightness). Light quality is a bit different as a “Deep Octa” for example creates accentuated shadow areas. Anyway…

      2) For the corner/background light I just took one of the speedlights without modifier, blasting a volume towards the corner (as shown in the book). The volume is in the ratio so that it does not pour back (= brighten up) the models back but still let the room “disappear in white”.

      3) Cam settings: 50mm, f2.8, 1/125, ISO 100. You might see the DOF effect slightly when looking at the 3D model hips/legs.

      4) Posing: I could not simulate the pose like it is in the book but the exercise setup is the same: Camera is quite close to the model, height is approx. the same (= model faces up), we have a shift tilt, in the back would be the wall/corner visible but the background light blows this off etc.

      Conclusion: It seems to be possible to use all your strobes and the suggested cam/lens settings.

      Please download my SAL 3D set here, so you can walk around and change poses, framing etc.

      Have fun!


      PS: Everybody who’s interested in a free 14 trial of set.a.light.3D:

      • Wow, that was quick – thanks!

        I swapped out the units you used for what I actually have (47″ octabox and 7″ reflector) and when I put them in the exact position and orientation you had it worked great. What surprised me was that the wall light had to be stronger than the model’s to make the background blend away.

        I then tried it on the pose that I originally had been trying, which is much like #3 “Anchor” and I was unable to get the look. Here’s the link with the .set file that got closest, but the light is uneven, and the wall light spills a lot onto the model.


        Hoping you won’t mind taking a peek as this may be helpful for others as well. The only explanation I can come up with is that everything might be set up a bit too tightly, but not sure.

        Anyway, thanks for all the help.

        • Dan Hostettler

          Hey Craig, thanks for working on that.

          I would do the following improvements:

          A1) Repositioning the corner light.
          A2) Increasing the power of the corner light a bit.
          A3) Putting any sort of light blocker/flag between corner light and model to avoid light spill.

          B1) Due to a stronger corner light the bounce get’s bigger/brighter and things get nicely overblown in the back.
          B2) The blocker tames the beams’s blast. You can use any material you have available. Curtain, cardboard, even a reflector that acts as a flag. As long it is not a translucent material everything works.

          See attached 3D file with my adjusted settings: https://goo.gl/IFWRBs

          What do you think?


          • I think it’s great. Hadn’t thought of using a light blocking item to stop the spill. Once that’s done, it all comes together nicely. Thanks for the help, and I hope this conversation is helpful to others too.


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